I’ve been studying prayer again these past few days and I am amazed at how much I am learning this time around. I have studied prayer in the past and have even done a Hebrew/Greek word study. Boy, that was amazing. It was during my intense time of affliction that I came to realize that prayer is an exercise, not an appetizer. When I was in agony, on my bed, with the heating pad on full blast, I began to pray.
And not just for myself.
I realized then that God had me in that time of suffering for the express purpose to pray for others. I was already not able to do anything physical, but I could do something that only required my mind and my heart.
I was blessed.
I was (and still am) able to climb into the Father’s lap and have instant access to His ear.
What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to Him? Deuteronomy 4:7
My experience with Jesus is the true meaning of this verse. Nothing compares to my God. And, more importantly, He is there for me. He does not condemn me – oh, our enemy does that and he does a pretty good job. However, God is sitting on His throne and He is completely for me. He is waiting for me to enter into the throne room. To chat with Him. To praise Him. Worship Him. Ask Him to make me more like His Son, Jesus. I believe that is a prayer that God will always answer. So, if you are feeling like your prayers are hitting the ceiling, try asking God to make you more like Jesus. You will have the satisfaction of knowing at least one prayer is getting through. How can I be so confident?
I often wonder what God and Jesus talk about. While on earth, Jesus always talked about the Father and the Father always talked about the Son and even told all how proud He was (and is) of His Son. So, I believe that they talk about each other. And, then, there we come with our praise and worship, and they ALWAYS listen, hear and love us, unconditionally.
But what does prayer mean anyways? I believe that prayer is many things. First and foremost, I believe it is talking with God, our Father. He wants a relationship with us. He wants to talk about my day. My dreams. He wants to shine His light in the dark places of my life so that there will be healing, but He will not go in the uninvited. But that does not stop Him from reminding me of the grudge I hold, the hurt I have not let go, the unforgiveness that I harbor in my heart. So, while I believe that God wants to work in our lives and to address issues, I think God just wants to talk. And talk. And talk. And talk. He enjoys me.
And I enjoy Him.
Have you ever been around a 2-3 year old who loves to just talk about what he is doing, thinking and carries on a running conversation? God wants this running conversation with me. He wants to hear about my day, my thoughts, my plans. I enjoy letting my praise fall from my lips. This happens most often when I am out in nature. Our road is a mile long and we have four neighbors. So, lots of space between farms. I am overwhelmed a lot when I am out on a walk with God’s creation. Have you noticed how green green is? Or the clouds all piled up like frosting? Not counting the smell after it rains? Or to hear the little peepers singing with all their might? Or the bleat of a lamb or the crow of a rooster? His creation speaks out in praise. Oh, my God is so good.
That, in a nutshell, is prayer. It is a natural communication about life. Communing in my heart my love for Him. Even talking to the Father out loud in times of desperation. And in times of intense worship. I have shouted from the rooftops, “You are God”, I have shouted from the pit, “Where are You, God?” Both are prayer. How can that be? Both are the real me. The real me talking with my Father.
As Paul writes,
I am to devote myself to prayer. Paul wrote that to the Colossians who had never met him. In this letter he explained that Jesus is Supreme, He is the image of the invisible God. He also spelled out what our life should be like – one that dies to self and lives for Christ. So, on the heels of these teachings, Paul tells them to continue in prayer, devote themselves to prayer. To continue means to have already been active in that very thing. The NIV says, “devote” yourselves to prayer, but I like the nuances of keep on keeping on, to continue.
In light of this, I have a call to action for you.
Maybe shake things up a bit if you have some rote prayers going on. Invest in a prayer journal if need be.
Use Voice of the Martyrs to pray for missionaries.
Pray for our National Staff:
Continue in prayer. Devote yourself to prayer. Spend some time in the throne room with God. Have a nice long chat over a cup of coffee.
Remember.......this is a marathon, not a sprint. God is at work in you. He is not finished with you. As you talk with Him, talk about what He is doing to make you more like His Son, Jesus.
Humble yourselves and pray.