Why is everything that is good for us, so annoying to do? What is the fruit of prayer? There are those who live their whole life never considering prayers spoken aloud, as essential to the human experience. Some think praying is hoping for good things to happen, wishing someone well. Others think prayer to be a “moment of silence”. Prayer can be a moment of silence, if one uses that moment to pray. But the act of just remaining in a thoughtful silence is not necessarily prayer. It has been said that the average Christian prays less than 5 minutes per day. Yet other faiths, are known to pray up to 20 minutes a day, 5 different times a day, no matter where they are or what they are doing!
Christianity is one of the few religions where we serve a living God! The one who created all time and space! Talking to someone of his caliber, is an impossibility unless we learn to pray. But to those who persevere into the world of prayer, God’s divine healing presence, gives back an infinite pleasure. Even though he remains a mystery, still, having a relationship with someone who knows it all, and doesn’t spout off his knowledge 24/7 is a joy;)! Instead we learn to treasure every bit of knowledge we receive from him. As precious, hard won, and established, only by spending time with him. Martin Luther got a revelation on the importance of prayer, and then wrote a statement that has become beautifully historical, “To be a Christian without praying is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
Prayer is beautiful to those who pray, and daunting, to those who don’t. To pray takes up time, then gives back time, that would be normally spent worrying and striving to fix things. Things that are impossible to fix, even with great effort, skill or by force of ones will. But God can. And knowing the difference in the things that we can or cannot change is the very heart of the serenity prayer. This is why we pray for serenity, for peace, for hope, for faith. The very hopefulness, that God can fix a situation, when we can’t.
I remember when my son was a teenager and I grew concerned about something, as all mothers of teenagers do. I began to pray very specific prayers, concerning the matter. During prayer, I would speak in faith, concerning the very thoughts that I wanted him to think. Of course I never let him, or anyone hear, what I was asking God for. Because quite frankly, had my son known, he would have made sure, that particular prayer was never answered;). Not out of spite, just out of a bid for his own masculine independence! I understand. I know what it feels like to be raised in and under the front church pews.
I knew that for the prayer to be answered, my son would have to change everything about the way he was thinking on the subject. A daunting task for any worthy parent! Obviously my understanding and wisdom concerning the matter was unwelcome and undesirable!! So that I would have to pray for his very thoughts and opinions to change, concerning something he was adamant about. This was challenge of epic proportions! So I prayed daily, in secret, at a volume so low the Lord had to basically read my lips. One day, about 7 months later, my son was talking to me, and shockingly, stated (as his own thought) one of the exact same sentences, I had been quoting over and over in prayer word for word! You want to know something? I could NOT believe my ears!!
Basically I would have been thrilled had my son said anything even close, to what I had been praying about! I was watching for the answer to my prayer 24/7, doing a 360, looking for my miracle! And I was ready to dance for joy, if he even got close enough for me to read between the lines. I’ve certainly done that a thousand times while praying about stuff!! But when God let him say the EXACT same sentence I had been praying?! Now that was just crazy! How in this world? I stood there stunned. I could not take it in…. for days. The Lord had to patiently wait to receive the praise he deserved!! Because I could not believe it had happened. I did manage to say “Thank You God!!” but was literally still so staggered, that I couldn’t fathom it!
God letting my son say the exact words I had prayed continuously, is something I will not forget in this lifetime. It was the Lord, in whose presence I had wept, hour upon hour, day upon day, he had me know that he had heard EXACTLY, what I was asking for. Being a wise parent I never even told my son he spoke the exact words I had repeated daily in prayer:). He still believes he thought it up on his own. And I am content for that to be so. But what that did for me was priceless and something I will never forget. That present was from God… to me. A gift from a prayer life.
Welcome to the world of prayer! A world where “coincidences” become so common and so frequent that they are no longer coincidences. There is no question to the person praying, that only God, could make that many “coincidences” happen. Sometimes an answer to a prayer is so shocking, so unbelievable really, the circumstances so difficult, that when he fixes it, we stand there with our mouths hanging open. Not because we didn’t believe that God could do the work. We knew he could! But because the chances of it happening were so slim, the circumstances of it happening were so odd, so impossible, and then it happened. In awe we marvel at the way in which it God brought it all together. The miraculous. The barely fathomable. It’s at these times that words from the Bible come to me, “Their hearts were filled with awe”, and they “pondered” these things in their heart.
Those who walk in prayer can bear witness. It is addictive. The power of church services, when a congregation is praying, is on a different scale. There is so much more depth, passion and the responsiveness of new people, toward God so much more frequent, that you can never go back to church as usual.
Prayer like most things demands discipline, but it delivers such a beauty to life. To be a Christian and not pray everyday is truly missing out on much of the joy of the Christian experience! If you haven’t begun praying daily yet, I encourage you to do so. Remember effective praying incorporates the word of God. It’s easy to pray in fear, sorrow, grief, and anger and leave that prayer meeting still upset!
I have learned through experience that when you are praying on a subject in which you are emotionally upset. Crying out to God is a great relief! But in order to build up your own faith in order to be able to believe for a change to occur you must incorporate the word of God into your prayers.
Take the time before your prayer time or after you have cried out to God for help, to find scriptures concerning the situation you are in, or the need you have. The more scripture the better! Then form the prayer around all that scripture. Write it out. You may ask why I say, write it out. I will tell you my experience of why.
Today you may be so burdened that crying out to God is all the relief you need. But tomorrow you may realize you can’t carry the pain, the hurt and distress of the situation to that emotional level again. Yet you know it’s essential that you still pray about the issue! So now the prayer with scriptures added, worded in a positive faith filled manner that you wrote out, is your best ally! It saves you time and hurt. Without this prayer you could easily become very upset again. But with this word and faith filled written prayer, now you can pray without becoming emotional. The written prayer where you are praying scripture all around your problem, is helping your faith gain strength to ACTUALLY believe! Not faith by force of will (We need that too! It starts the process.) but the faith that grows strong by the knowledge of the scripture! We understand we must fight the fight of faith either way. But when we look at impossible situations with people and the human will involved, we also are praying to build up our inner faith. So that without seeing anything visible we have that inner knowledge that the work is being accomplished. And with that comes the peace that passes all understanding.
If you have a prayer in which God did a mighty work feel free to share it with me under this post! I love testimonies. We will marvel together on how great is our God! Or maybe you have a question concerning prayer, feel free to post it below and we can work together for the victory! And may we all pray without ceasing for this is the will of God concerning us!