How often do you pray? This question is not asked to make you feel guilty or condemned. It’s a question that can make us all stop and think. And why do you pray? What kind of things do you pray about? Does it make a difference to pray? These types of questions have been on my mind over the years.
I grew up in church so I learned at a very young age that it was important to pray. I learned the common way to pray. A – Affirmation C- Confession T-Thanksgiving and S-Supplication. This blog won’t get into the specific ways we can all pray but it will discuss the validity of prayer.
Does it really make a difference? If we truly believed that it did, we would probably all prioritize it. Sometimes it feels like prayer is similar to pulling up to a drive through fast food establishment. I begin verbalizing my list of things I want. If this is the way I am praying, it is understandable that it is unfulfilling. Yes, God wants us to talk to Him about the things we want and need but that isn’t all prayer should involve. Why pray for others? Does it really make a difference how someone’s outcome will come about? Does it help to pray for world peace, Israel or the neighbor who has cancer? Again, if we truly believe it doesn’t; our prayers will merely be a gesture out of habit with no power.
Let’s find some scriptures that can remind us of some facts. Jesus said in Matthew 6, “When you pray, pray like this.” He then taught us the Lord’s Prayer. Therefore, if Jesus prayed it must be important. He also led by example by sometimes rising early in the morning to spend time in prayer with His Heavenly Father and sometimes getting alone at night to pray. He prays for wisdom, guidance and strength. Yes, He prayed for Himself, as well as others. You see a vivid example of this act in the Garden of Gethsamane.
He prayed for protection. (John 17) He understood that there was a real enemy that had a distinct purpose. That purpose is to deceive us, encourage evil choices that will hurt us and others. Why? Because we are God’s children and the scriptures say that darkness hates light. He specifically doesn’t want us to be fulfilled or influential. And He certainly doesn’t want our faith to be strengthened by participating in prayer and experiencing peace and victory.
He prayed for others. He knew that there was power in prayer. He knew that His Father had the power and capability to do anything. He saw it as a privilege to lock arms with God and together make a difference in someone’s life through prayer. It was a partnership. It is a partnership. We pray and He performs miracles. Would He do it if we didn’t pray? I believe so because He loves the people we are praying for even more than we do. But He loves us enough to want our involvement. We get to lock arms with the God of the Universe and participate WITH HIM through prayer.
First and foremost He wants us to know Him. He wants us to be assured that we are in a true relationship with Him. He wants us certain of our standing with Him. He doesn’t want a relationship out of fear or condemnation. He says in John 17 in His own prayer. “Father, you granted the Son authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, who you have sent… For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them…Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one….I say these things so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them…Protect them from the evil one…Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth…I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.
To Be Continued…
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