Here we are, post number two of our little mini-series about what prayer is. I’m feeling very blessed because so many of you really liked the first post. God is working, no doubt!!
We’re going to jump right in today.
In the first post, we learned prayer is:
- about a relationship with God
- simply talking to and with God all day
- an incredible force
How empowering was it to learn that prayer was all of those things? I know it helped me better understand that even though God is omniscient, my prayers show him I long for and want a relationship with him.
Well, hold on to your hats, because today we’re going to learn just how prayer is all of the things we’ve already learned and a WHOLE LOT MORE!
What Prayer is
There are days when I sin. Sometimes I recognize it, sometimes I’m less aware. I think I pay really close attention to the BIG sins (the Ten Commandments) but am less conscious of the small sins (gossip, doubt, envy, lust, etc). It isn’t that I believe those sins are any less than the big ones, but somehow, through the norms of society, those smaller ones just seem, well, normal, for lack of a better word.
I can be going through my day, talking with God, and feeling good about what I’m doing when a co-worker and I will start talking about something going on at work or about what another co-worker is doing. Make no mistake, I’m a willing participant in the conversation wholeheartedly putting in my two cents worth and it isn’t until much later I realize, oops, I was a part of a gossip session.
There are also many times when others do things that harm us or hurt us. In essence, we get caught up in their sin. Many of us hold grudges and refuse to have any dealings with those who have hurt us, whether once or repeatedly. We are called to forgive. Just as our sins are forgiven, we are not meant to hold on to past hurts. It took me a long time to realize forgiving someone is less about them and more about freeing myself from the chains of anger or resentment that unforgiveness can create. Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts(sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors (those who sin against us).
Thankfully, we have a God who understands our humanness and who had the foresight to put in place a way for us to deal with our oops moments. It’s called prayer. When we pray about our sins, whether those we do or those done to us, we are letting God know, through our faith, we understand he is a merciful God. When we pray for forgiveness we’re letting God know we have faith in his mercy. Wow, that’s a great thing to know.
Prayer is expressing our faith in God’s mercy
Part of being in a relationship is taking the time to be sincere. It’s sharing those things that matter most to us. We want others to know us. What we like. What we want. What our short-comings are. How we are strong and where we are weak. It’s being vulnerable to those we are closest to.
Our relationship with Christ is not any different. In fact, no matter what we bring to him, he will always listen and rejoice in our sharing. Giving God our most sincere wants, needs, desires, hurts, etc. is exactly what he wants from us. He wants us in the most sincere place we can be, our hearts. He placed all of those things within us and he wants to know all about them. The only way to share the things of our hearts with him is through prayer. 1 Samuel 16:7 Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
Prayer is sincere
So many times we pray because we think it is what is required of us, not because we genuinely seek to be in relation with God. In those times, prayer can seem hollow and meaningless. Our prayers seem fruitless and unanswered. In seeking time with him in prayer it is vital we are being the most genuine us we can be. Taking the time to trust and know he will and wants to take care of us even when the answer to our prayers is a no.
God always has a higher yes for every no to our prayers. 1 Peter 1:6-7 tells us In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. He genuinely cares for us and in our prayers, we need to be genuine in whatever we take to him.
Prayer is genuine
Life is hard. It takes us on a roller coaster ride every single day. We have ups, we have downs and most of the time the unexpected happens frequently. In every moment, God is stretching us in our faith. We dream, but our dreams can be small. We fear and our dreams can seem big. In everything, we are promised that what is impossible for us, is completely possible with God. Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible
Life is a lot of waiting. We wait in lines. We wait at stop lights. We wait for a miracle. We wait and wait and wait. Every morning we wake up, we know there will be waiting. There is one time where waiting is a good thing. There is one worth waiting for. There is one thing we can be sure of because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him (Lamentations 3:22-25)
In all of this waiting and wanting and dreaming every morning when we wake up we can count on God and his love for us. We can count on his ways to lead down the right paths and when we take a wrong turn, we can count on him to show us the detour we need to get turned back around. Psalm 143:8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
Prayer is trusting
My prayer for you as you go about your today is that in everything you do you find the ability to express your every desire, hurt, joy and care in a genuine and sincere prayer life that pulls you into the atmosphere of placing all your trust in God who can do immeasurably more than you could ever imagine or dream.
Blessings my friends.