Take it to the Lord in Prayer
It’s really been on my heart this week to share with you the importance of prayer. I’m not talking about the little “Lord’s Prayer” or the little half thoughts we shoot off, “Father please help me” whatever. I’m talking about a prayer where you talk to God. I heard a sermon this past week, where a pastor had done a survey of his mega-church, and less than 5% of those people prayed for 5 minutes a week, let alone a day. I was devastated. Surely, people must not understand the importance of prayer. Or, like in my previous post, we need to change the way we think about it. So, let’s take a moment to discuss.
In all the gospels, as the apostles are following Jesus, listening to him, watching him heal, watching him feed the thousands, turn water into wine, raising people from the dead….When they have a chance to ask Jesus what they want to learn, they say, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1) Why? Because they could tell, of all the incredible stuff that Jesus could do, his praying is what was special. Truly special. And, let’s think about it for a moment. Our ability to pray, wherever and whenever we want is truly special. Before Jesus came, we needed to make sacrifices before an alter, and a priest had to pray for us, or we needed to be cleansed before prayer. It was this whole big thing. Obviously, we’ve been struggling with prayer for a long time. But, Jesus came, and then showed us, that we just needed to talk to God. Now, he does in turn, give us the Lord’s prayer as a “pattern” to pray. Which, I could go into here, but you could just search patterns for prayer, like ACTS or PRAY. There’s lots of helpful information out there for these, but I’m going after something different today. We need to pray because God needs to hear us, and it’s our opportunity to hear God.
When you have a friend, you make time for coffee or phone calls. You have time to discuss details of your life, and get advice and give advice. Use this same concept to talk to God. Prayer is time for you and God. Get alone. And just start talking to him. Talk to him about whatever. It’s not a one-sided conversation either. Once you really start talking to God, you’ll start seeing his answers. That’s also why I started my Prayer box. So, I could start recording his answers to my prayers. I’ve only been doing it for a couple years, and I already have close to 100 answered prayers… And, those are just the ones I remember to write down. Now, I want to take a minute to give you this word of caution. When you start praying, Satan will attack. It’s inevitable. There is nothing he hates more, than someone who is doing the most powerful thing we can do as Christians, PRAY. But, let me share this with you to encourage you to pray anyway, and to know that you’re not alone. 1 Peter 1:3-7
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed . (NIV)
James 5:13 says:
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
So, what does that mean? Pretty self-explanatory. Are you suffering? Pray about it. Happy? Thank God for it. Pray all the time. Always praying. Take the time to pray. Don’t know what to pray about? Get alone with God, and pray scripture over your life. Here are some of my favorites:
Isaiah 61:1-4 – very powerful scripture about being restored and anointed and coming out of the ashes
Deuteronomy 28:8 Pray for blessings over your storehouses (financials)
2 Corinthians 5:20 Purpose – being an ambassador for Christ
Matthew 5:16 Being a light for the Lord
Colossians 3:12-15 Everything it means to be a Christian
Open your Bible and speak his words to him. Call out to him from the heart. If you don’t practice talking to God on a regular basis, you won’t think to talk to him when you need it. God wants to talk to you, but you have to start the conversation. He’s a gentlemen. If you don’t have his words remain in your heart, where are they going to be when you need them the most? You can’t rely on his promises if you don’t know what they are. You do not receive because you do not ask. (James 4:2) You have to get down on your knees and ask God. Ask him to come into your heart, your life, ask him to show you which path to take, where to meet him, what to put down, what to pick up. What’s life all about? What’s your purpose? Ask him! He’ll tell you! He’ll show you the way. He’ll give you the strength, the wisdom, the understanding, the fervor, the Spirit. He’ll give you the words you need to ask, and the answers you’re seeking. He’s right there!
I’d like to take a moment to pray for you:
Dear Heavenly Father, I’m bringing this person to you right now. That they may know you better. That they may take time this week to have words with you. That they may open up the inner-workings of their heart to you and let you into their life. That they may be so moved by your Spirit this week, and see you at work in their lives. That they may cry out to you Father in all your glory and your goodness. I pray that they feel you in their Spirit and in their lives. That they may feel your love. That you may guide their steps and guard their hearts. I pray that you pour out your blessings upon them, and show them that they are the head and not the tail. I pray that you soften their hearts Father. Give them a heart of flesh, for you Father. That they may be a light to those around them. That you renew their strength, and forgive them of any and all sins, as you’ve forgiven me Father. That they feel your healing touch in their lives, whether it’s in their bones or in their relationships. You are the great healer. That you reach into them and bless their soul. That they feel this great connection to you, that they may have never felt before, or that they just need to feel right now. That they know that you have them Father. You’ve got it all in your hands, and that we can all rest assured in you. That we can be washed over in your great peace and understanding that surpasses all understanding. That you’ve got great plans for our lives and that our prayers will be answered in all your goodness. I pray that you protect them, heal them, give them peace, give them joy, bless them in their walk, and keep them close to you. That they remain in you, and you in them as they go about their week. That you keep them in all that they do. IN JESUS NAME. AMEN!