Faith: Prayer is more than talking to God
Praying is the most powerful and privileged way of connecting with the God of the universe — individually and corporately. Somehow, God, who is sovereign over everything and all time, chooses to enlist His followers in his grand plan with purpose and persistence. James, the half-brother of Jesus, tells us that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
While I don’t understand it, I choose to embrace the opportunity to align my heart with God’s and let Him use me to bring into fruition His will.
Too often we have reduced prayer to a list of requests as if God is our genie and we bring our list for Him to fix this, change that, give me …
God is concerned, compassionate and caring, He does want us to make our requests known unto Him. In Jesus’ teaching on prayer after the disciples asked Him to do so, Jesus said we should ask the father to give us this day our daily bread — meet our needs. However, our time with God should always start with and be seasoned by the reality that yes, we are needy — but He is worthy.
That is why Jesus’ teaching on prayer begins: Our Father, who art in heaven HALLOWED be thy name.
Prayer is talking to God, but it is much more. Prayer is the complete submission of my heart, mind, body and soul to Him. We are told that sometimes we don’t even know what or how to pray so the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groans and utterances.
Prayer is multi-faceted. We should pray alone, with others, silently, out loud — there is no one way to pray and the circumstances of life and the situations in which we find ourselves determines the mode of prayer.
The Book of Acts in the Bible recounts numerous large gatherings of believers who were praying together, smaller groups engaged in a close-knit “circle of prayer” and individuals’ testimonies of personal prayer. The Book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament tells the story of Nehemiah praying while engaged in a dialog the King — prayer is often a mental, silent exercise.
Prayer is also part of the battle plan. Our fight is not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, spiritual forces of wickedness in high places. Therefore, we are to be equipped with the armor of God — truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation and the Word of God — praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
You will read this after the National Day of Prayer. Hopefully you attended in person or online.
There is an upcoming event for men on Sunday, a time of Worship, the Word and Prayer. If possible, I encourage men reading this to attend. Several churches are banding together for this event at 6 p.m. at the Journey Church building, 1150 west 9th Street.
Regardless, I encourage you to pray and pray all the more as we see THE DAY approaching.
Len Browning is the lead pastor of the Journey at First Baptist Church, Craig, Colorado. He may be reached at email@example.com.
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