This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
This week, I was overwhelmed again by the amazing gift we have in the ability to pray to our God. We are privileged to be able to speak to the Creator of the Universe! Isn’t that amazing? I am humbled by this gift. But have we learned to really use it? Or is it a gift that is only used for special occasions?
I just want to remind us of the promises in His Word about using this gift. So often, in our anxious world, we worry instead of pray. We try to solve problems by ourselves, and not take the time to “consult” the God of Heaven’s Armies.
I want to encourage us to come boldly and confidently. Hebrews 4:16 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. What better time to use this gift than when we are struggling or facing a need? In my distress I called to the Lord, I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice, my cry came before him, into his ears. Psalm118:6 NIV We need not be afraid to come to him in whatever state we find ourselves. When we are in trouble, Satan does not want us to pray, but to complain, lament and whine. But we know a better way. James encourages us in chapter five, verse13: Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray.
What a blessing we have been given in the ability to pray for each other. When we are burdened down with not only our own cares, but with those we care about, we can go to him, asking for his intervention. I am so grateful for our small group, because when one person faces a problem and needs prayer, they don’t have to do it alone. As we join our faith together, the burden lessens, faith and hope arise and we find solutions. Again, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20 NIV I know sometimes we feel embarrassed to admit we have a need so we try to go it alone. We need others.
The gift of prayer, when we follow the Holy Spirit can help us get our eyes off ourselves. So many places in scripture we are exhorted to look up and pray for our country, our leaders–spiritually and governmentally. It isn’t hard for me to remember to pray for our pastors, but I do struggle in praying for our governmental leaders, even though as Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 2: 1-4 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. I really like the idea of living a peaceful and quiet life!
If prayer is hard for you, take the time to remember who you are praying to. Think about Jesus, our Savior and His father who sent him. Ponder the great love that took to bring our salvation to pass. This is to whom we ask, seek and will find. He loves to answer prayer. We do not want to be those who have not because we ask not. It is a relationship he seeks with us, what a gift!
Take time to sit with him. Prayer isn’t all about asking for needs to be met–but it’s about building a relationship with our Heavenly Father. As we do so, our prayers will become bolder and larger, because we begin to see him as he is! A God who hears, sees and cares. Don’t look at the problem, look at the Problem-Solver.
Father, I thank you for your amazing gift of prayer. Forgive us when we struggle and do not make use of this gift. We ask you to teach us how to pray, this day in a more fruitful way, in Jesus’ Name, amen.