Prayer is a discipline that we all need in our lives, but one that is difficult to master. Mastery has nothing to do with the eloquence of our prayers, but rather with the dedication and humility with which we approach prayer. Many people pray only when there is a 911 emergency. Regular and fervent prayer prepares and strengthens us for each day whether joyful and smooth or grief-filled and tempestuous. When we spend time with God we hear His voice even when we are in the midst of chaos and confusion. Each day there are many plays made for the throne of our hearts. We choose whether Jesus will be on the throne of our life or whether our selfish will wins out. Prayer keeps us in check and helps us win the daily battle of the wills…my will or God’s will.
Hb 4:16, 12:2; Phil 2:9-11; Mt 26:37-28, 39, 41, 44; Js 5:13; Lk 22:39, 44
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hb 4:16) Are you having troubles? You should pray….(Js 5:13)
Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane gives us insight into the way we should pray. Jesus is overwhelmed and desperate. He asks God to make this go away, but with each plea he submits to God’s will by praying, “I want your will to be done, not mine.” His motive is pure and there is no hidden agenda. Jesus prays for His followers. He asks God to give them strength to endure and carry on when He is gone. He is focused. Jesus prays privately. Praying with others is powerful, yet we need frequent time alone with God, bowing before Him, falling on our face in His presence—time to be humble and fervent. Jesus asks repeatedly for what he wants. All of him (body, mind and spirit) plead before God. He sweats great drops like blood. Jesus does not get what his humanity desires, but God’s will is accomplished. Jesus receives strength and power through prayer and is able to face the road of suffering ahead. Even when our prayers aren’t answered the way we want, we receive God’s power in prayer.
Do you have a prayer place? Do you have a prayer time? Do you have a prayer list? Are you disciplined about praying daily? Do your prayers mostly reflect 911 needs or do you also offer prayers of thankfulness? When you tell someone you will pray for them, do you? Do you continue to pray about something until you get an answer? Would your children say you are a person of prayer? Did your parents model prayer? How did they do in teaching you about prayer?
Make a prayer list. Include praises for your blessings and for who God is! Set aside a few quiet minutes each day and pray through your prayer list. Even 5 minutes may seem like a lot at first. Work toward spending a little more time each day praying and listening to God. Keep track of how prayers are answered.
Prayer – The Lord’s Prayer (Easy-to-Read Version)
Our Father in heaven, we pray that your name will always be kept holy. We pray that your kingdom will come—that what you want will be done here on earth, the same as in heaven. Give us the food we need for today. Forgive our sins just as we have forgiven those who did wrong to us. Don’t let us be tempted, but save us from the Evil One.
For Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.