What do you think of when he hear the word prayer? What images are conjured up within your mind? Do you see yourself lighting a candle reciting comforting words with a safe yet generic message? Or, maybe to you, prayer is state of mind verses an actual action.
I don’t know what you think of when you hear the word prayer, but I can tell you what I hear and more importantly what I believe to be true…
Picture yourself as a little child reaching up to tell your Father or other trusted adult an important secret. You are filled with anticipation as you know that these words are going to be heard and your heart will be encouraged to share this special moment, simply because this person loves you so much.
That is the image I see when I think of praying to my Father in heaven. We are His children, He loves us completely and wants to share the deepest secrets of our heart. He wants us to trust Him with our vulnerabilities as well be willing to share even when we can’t possibly understand.
What is prayer? Simply put, it is a conversation between a trusting fallible human being and the perfect Father God. He doesn’t require fancy words dancing off your tongue, or long drawn out speeches making ourselves feel important. The Lord God already knows what you need, he just wants you to be honest and bring it to him.
The other beautiful thing about prayer that many people don’t recognize… it’s a two way conversation. Many of us get caught up in the Vending machine in the sky kind of prayers… God I need…. Yet we forget to look at the many things He has already provided for us.
When was the last time you thought about the breath in your lungs? The intricate way your body works together to keep the blood flowing and all the cells doing what they are supposed to do? Honestly, I don’t even understand a cell never mind understand all of its functions within the body.
Its easy to call out for help when we are in trouble or sick, but when was the last time you thanked God that you were healthy and that life was going smooth. When Jesus said He wanted to be Lord of your life, He wasn’t just talking about the difficult times. Yes, He meets us at those times, but try looking at it this way…
What if your closest friend only called you when they were in trouble, only to cry on your shoulder and lean on you for support… Yet this same friend never called to share in the beauty of your day, the good times, the fun times, never actually invited you along? I can’t speak for you, but I’m pretty sure I would start to feel used and neglected. I want to be part of the whole relationship, sharing in the good times as well as walking through the valleys.
When Paul wrote the Philippians he told them that “he was praying in great faith for them”. He was not just uttering words to a deaf idol, but he was praying and believing in the One who would hear and answer. And look at the coming encouragement, He was fully convinced that God was at work and would complete the work that He had started.
The beauty of Pauls prayers, they flowed two ways… to God, and wait for it… From God. God not only answers prayer through his intervention, He also speaks to His children. We just have to learn to be quiet long enough to hear him.
I believe that God primarily speaks to His children through His Word… the Bible. But I also believe God speaks in multiple ways when we learn to turn our eyes, ears & heart towards Him. I have heard God speak to me through crashing waves on a beach, through the rustle of leaves on a mountainside, as well as through a beautiful sunset or sunrise. I know people that hear God when they paint, or jog or driving to work. God is always present, its us that needs to be open to him.
We do this through the practice of prayer. The Bible tells us to pray continually or constantly… how do we do that if the only way to pray is within a particular ritual such as; candle lighting, on your knees with head bowed and hands folded, in a church, or through another person. None of these are bad things on their own, in fact they are all beautiful acts of worship, but the truth is … impossible to do continually.
When God says to pray constantly at all times, I believe He means to keep Him at the forefront of your thoughts, that way when anything happens; good, bad or somewhere in between, You are always before him to praise Him, thank Him or cry out to Him.
Let me speak from experience here, establishing a solid prayer life is the most rewarding and exciting time you can have with the Lord. You will literally begin to feel His presence with you. You will sense both His approval (which is wonderful) and His disproval (which helps you get back on track quickly).
If you find prayer awkward, don’t worry you’re not alone… I was there. A number of years ago, my wonderful Husband announced that we were going to join the prayer team at Church. I very quickly responded “go for it, but I am not… I don’t pray for people”. Yet, I sensed God pulling me onward, and although awkward and uncomfortable at first, God quickly taught me what a beautiful communion it was. I have come to Love praying with and for others, holding them up to the Father… what a beautiful opportunity and gift. I’m so glad this sheep learned to hear His voice and follow him… Hope you will join me
I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ! Philippians 1:6 TPT
Thank you for Your Word. Thank you that, although Your Word is eternal and never changing, how it speaks to me in my life as my life changes, applies differently to me. I Love how personal it is Lord.
Thank you Lord God, as I sit today with my journal basking in the warmth of the sunshine, I am reminded again Your faithfulness to us. The warmth I feel on my skin, penetrates into my very soul…what a gift Father, Thank you.
Lord, as I ponder some of the deep prayer requests that I’ve been bringing to Your throne room; A new heart for a young Mom and peace for her daughter as her Mom must now stay in the hospital until/if this heart is received. Strength for a family as they receive the 3rd Cancer diagnosis among their 4 adult children within the last 3 years. Finally, my beautiful Sister-in-law with her metastasizing Cancer now moved into her brain.
The depth of these concerns can’t help but put the fragility of our own lives into perspective. We never know when we may receive a Cancer diagnosis or our body stops working in the ways it should. But, we do know from Your Word, that You will continue the good work in each of us, until You call us home or Jesus returns… Praise the Lord for that.
You choose to use us in ALL faucets of our life, and You continue calling us forward to follow Your good and perfect will for us… regardless of the circumstances these earthly bodies and the trials we go through, You Lord continue to work within us.
As this young Mom has been on this tumultuous journey with her heart for these last number of years, those who know her and strangers praying for her have had their faith strengthen by hearing how You are bringing peace and assurance to her. In seeing her trusting in You, we have been strengthened.
As I watch my Sister- In-law, in spite of the unknown, move from being ministered to… to be the one ministering to others out of her weakness, and sharing her faith with any that would listen. I am blessed to witness You at work within the storm Jesus.
Even in our own life Father, although ours is not the mortality of our bodies (at least at this point), but the death of a business and any financial security for our future. You have shown us Your faithfulness and we are able to experience Your Word in action, and those in our sphere of influence are strengthened as we stand firm in faith.
“My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me”. This has become one of my favourite verses, as it is so simple yet has such promise and strength in it. You remind me that I Know Your voice…I will hear You speak to me. You remind me that You Know Me… I’m real and significant to You. It doesn’t say You are aware of me but that You actually Know Me, and in that You know everything I am going through.
Thankfully as beautiful as this is, You don’t leave it there… You conclude the verse who when we are known by You … we WILL hear and we WILL follow… Praise You Lord, for this profound promise for Your children, so much assurance in ALL of our times of adversity.
It gives me strength to Listen for Your voice, no matter what the circumstances; heart transplant… face of Cancer…financial ruin… or any other worldly situation. Continue speaking to me Lord, train my ears to hear and to listen and my eyes to follow You ALL the days of my life.
In Jesus name ❤️Amen
What images did you think of when you heard the word Prayer? Did they feel cold and distant or rather were they inviting and warm? Do you believe God hears you or even that prayer is necessary? There can be a lot of confusion with the simple word Prayer. Much of it depends on your vision of the Father.
If your vision of God is Old with a long white beard on a throne, your image of prayer likely feels cold and distant… maybe even unworthy. Yet, if your vision of God is tender and Fatherly, forgiving and gracious, you will be much more inclined to experience the warmth and closeness of prayer.
Your vision of God tends to come from what you believe about Him. Is He vengeful and full of wrath and anger because of our sin? Or, is He Righteous, Truth and the Way for us to be delivered from Sin, through His Son Jesus Christ.
My vision is the latter, although He is a God that demands Righteousness He also knew we mere humans were not able to achieve it on our own. He Loved us enough to send Jesus so that we could have a redemptive way back to Him.
I am so incredibly thankful that God in His power and wisdom, did not leave me or you, to our own devices because I can promise you this, we would have messed up… If I have trouble thinking what I should pray about, I start right there… all the places I messed up. Then I can see more clearly the many ways He has forgiven me, helped me and guided me… this leads to a heart filled with thankfulness and I just want to express that to him. He could have left us lost in our sin, but by His Love for us He paid the ultimate price… the cross.
As I re-read my Prayer above, I am reminded of the humility that honest prayer requires, for those of you following and reading my Blog weekly, you will have read last week as I talked about these 3 prayers I was lifting up more than a year ago. shared previously in “Lord be my bridge”. All three if these prayers were answered, just not necessarily in the way we had hoped. The young mother waiting for a heart transplant has fully recovered, Praise the Lord, many more prayers will continue to be lifted up in the coming years I’m sure. The family with 3 adult children with cancer also recovered, yet another tragedy fell upon the family with their 4th sibling having a severe stroke, again the prayers continue for this family, just in a new way. And my beautiful Sister in law, God granted her an additional year that we are so incredibly thankful for, yet this past Feb, He chose to give her the ultimate healing by calling her home. Our hearts ache but we continue to pray, thanking God it was just days prior to Covid and we were able to be with her right to the end, and celebrate her life with family & friends prior to lock down.
Praying doesn’t guarantee you will receive what you want. Praying simply says ‘God, this is bigger than me, we need help and I trust Your outcome with this”. It would be easy to get stuck on the fact that God only gave us 1 year more with Tracey, its a choice to look back and say Thank you Jesus, we don’t understand but we trust in Your plan.
So what can you pray for today? I world around us is in Chaos… Covid, politics & Riots are the headlines of the day for the last 6 months, that’s a pretty good place to start. How about who? Pray for our politicians, regardless of your opinion and/or choice it is God that puts people in places of power so that His will would be done… All through History God allowed good as well as evil to rule, so that His plan could be achieved… would it be any different today.
Yet we are now on this side of Grace, we understand the sacrifice He made for us, therefore we understand His great Love for us. He calls His children to be a people of prayer; to grow closer in communion with Him, to learn from Him and follow His will rather than our own… to Love others (we can love them by praying for them) to care for the afflicted and incarcerated (again we can care by praying for them).
When I think back to all of those that I have had the honour of praying for over the years, both Big prayers and Little prayers, I am so thankful, that He chose me to intercede before Him in someones life… that my friend is an honour like no other on earth.
Blessings ❤️ Janet. Journey4Jesus
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