Learning to Pray
Do you have one?
Are you comfortable praying out loud?
Have you set aside a special time to get alone with God...just you and Him?
Do you know what to say?
Do the words come easy?
Sometimes I think we make prayer out to be this arduous task, as if we are talking to a total stranger. I'll often stumble over my words or feel as if they should be scripted like something said repetitively as a child in order to be heard, but all God really wants from me is my submissive spirit; to just be still and tell Him of my love for Him. To offer up thanksgiving for the blessings and the trials.
I have to admit, there are days when it feels as if my prayers don't even reach the ceiling. Has God moved? Did He get tired of my constant whining? Does He not like me? What did I do? No, it's none of these things, for the Bible assures us that God is always near. Yet, there are times that I've moved. Maybe I've allowed sin to creep into my heart and cloud out His voice. Other times, He is choosing to be silent in order to teach me reliance on Him...to deeply seek the answers I'm looking for. Aaah!
There are those special moments I cherish when I fall on my face before Him and drink in His presence. No words...just companionship. I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and nearness to my Heavenly Father. Those are the times I sense His presence strongly in my life and feel completely His.
So how is your prayer life?
The Bible is full of great prayers and fantastic prayer warriors. Matter of fact, all the great men and women who saw the Lord move mountains on their behalf prayed, and prayed fervently.
Take for instance:
- Abraham prayed for the righteous ones in Sodom before their destruction by God (Genesis 18:16-33)
- Moses prayed for provision for the people (Exodus 14-15; 15:25; 17:4)
- Hannah prayed for a son (1 Samuel 1:10-11)
- Solomon prayed for wisdom (1 Kings 3:7-9)
- Elijah prayed for God to demonstrate His power and Lordship (1 Kings 18:36-38)
- King Hezekiah prayed for deliverance for his people (2 Kings 19:14-19)
- Queen Esther and all the Jews fasted (and prayed) for the Queen's favor before before the King, and for their people to be spared (Esther 4:15-17)
- King David prayed for forgiveness and restoration (Psalm 51)
- Jesus prayed...a lot! Prayers of praise (Matthew 11:25-26, Luke 10:21); prayers at the raising of Lazarus (John 11:41-42); prayers for God's glory (John 12:27-28); a chapter of prayer (John 17); prayers at Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-44, Mark 14:32-39, Luke 22:46); prayers on the cross (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34, Luke 23:34,46), etc.
- The early church prayed (Acts 1:14)
- Paul prayed for the Ephesians (Ephesians 3:14-20)
To sum it all up, God encourages us as believers, to "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:18), and in "everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present our requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
If you haven't made time yet today to pray, or maybe you're unsure of what to say, find a place to just be quiet before God and talk to Him as you would a friend. Believe me...the rewards will be great.