I know that prayer seems passive. It seems like this thing that we say to do when things are too tough and we want to look like we’re doing something when we’re not.
There is a lot happening in the world. I think it’s fair to say that many of us are battling with the uncertainty of what it means to be an American in 2017. And we hear varying opinions on what the next steps are and what the resistance should look like. But I assure you that prayer is one of our greatest weapons of warfare. And I don’t know if you notice, but we are seemingly in a war.
Prayer is much more than what we say prior to eating our food. Quite honestly, it has become a lifestyle to me. It is conversation and something that God encourages us to do, often. To pray without ceasing, means to be in daily communication with God in various ways. We need Him. And so the only way that we can see God work is through us and our petitions to Him. Prayer should not only be daily, but happening multiple times throughout the day. If your prayers have ever been answered, then you should know how much it works.
I remember being uncertain about tithing at a certain point in my life. I literally asked God, “how am I supposed to tithe if the tithe is the exact amount of a bill that I need to pay?” That day, I came home and there was a check from Comcast (who never gives anyone money for anything) and a check from the security deposit from an old apartment. That moment in my life will always be at the forefront of the power that comes with speaking with God. It was like him saying to me, the reason you can tithe is because I am your source and sustainer. When you put me first, I will supply all your other needs.
Seeing my brother give his life to Christ was also one of my prayers. I looked on and thought, wow, he hears us. That’s all most of us want to know. That when we are crying out, that when things look bleak and we have no understanding of what to do next that God hears our cries. He does. Prayer may not seem as cool as I Dream Of Genie’s ability to make things happen with the twitch of her nose, but persistent prayer filled with hope, belief and faith does work.
Prayer is not indicative of inaction. It is the opportunity to seek guidance from the only one who actually has the answers. We pray and then we move with better direction. When we are in our own heads about what to do and who to be and how to act, we rarely get better results than feeling confident that God is directing our path. So it’s a two part process, we pray and we act.
I could share with you for paragraphs on end the impact of prayer in my life. Many of us get discouraged in our prayers when we feel they are left unanswered or simply when the answer to our prayer is no. But prayer is even so much more than asking God for things. This is an opportunity to worship, to tell of his goodness, to thank him, to intercede, to repent, and most importantly to HEAR.
Quiet time with God will reveal to you life changing revelations on life, being, healing and so much more. So not only should we allow ourselves time to speak with God, but also to shut up at certain points and listen. To sit at his feet. To read his word. To gain more wisdom and understanding to help combat our feelings of anxiety and confusion. It’s not spooky. Most of us will not hear a booming voice that we can say “yes, God told me.” But hearing from him, at least in my case, has always been encased in peace and a gentle settling in my spirit that allows me to know that it is not me or my ideas or my thoughts, but his spirit.
“My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
We simply cannot give up on prayer because our land does indeed need healing. We cannot be a generation that thinks we can live without daily communication with God. We can’t think that prayer is something for the weak that do not want to fight. A battle plan of prayer is effective. I know it because I have seen prayer work. I know it because I have seen strongholds removed and I have seen redemption in the flesh. If you have seen prayer work one time, that is all the belief that you need to know that it is real.
Imagine if we raised up a generation of praying warriors? That we gathered together and that we prayed and listened, and sought the face of God to help us in our fight to survive and to live in purpose and to shine goodness into this world? Mountains would be moved and most certainly, we could stop the forward motion of bigotry and hate in this country.
And so you may ask, how do I pray? Well here are a few tips to get started:
- I write my prayers every day. For me it’s easier to organize my thoughts that way and I have the opportunity to look back on them to see what has been answered, what may have pivoted and how much what I was praying for has changed.
- Start with the book. In the Bible, there are tons of prayers that you can literally just recite. Your prayer does not have to be fancy. It just needs to come from a yielding and willing heart.
- Put on some praise and worship music. Often times, the lyrics are taken right out of the Bible and can truly lead you into prayer. Get quiet, allow the spirit of the music to bring you into his presence.
- Make time. I know it feels like you don’t have time for another thing. But prayer is probably more important than anything on your to-do list. Prayer needs to be a priority and doesn’t have to take up a lot of time.
Prayer works. Prayer has, does, and always will work.
Scriptures to Reference:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“This, then is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:9-13
So tell me, what is hindering your prayer life? What do you need to implement in your life to make more time to pray?