This week I find myself struggling with what to write about. I have thought about the spiritual disciplines that I talked about the last couple weeks and the only thing I can come up with is prayer. Now, without a doubt prayer is an important topic. On the other hand I feel like most of you have heard pastors talk about prayer until they are blue in the face. Here at NOCC we have several ways for you to connect with us in prayer. But, I keep hearing that voice in the back of my head telling me to talk about prayer. So, I will.
My first question is: What is prayer? I have all kinds of ideas and thoughts going around in my head about what prayer is, its our lifeline to God. It’s our chance to step into the presence of God. It’s our time to ask God for guidance and to ask questions about what to do in our lives. With all these ideas running around in my head, I did what everyone my age would do, I Googled it. As I scrolled through the results of my search one caught my eye. It was from billygraham.org, and the very first paragraph summed up everything in running around in my mind beautifully. It says “Prayer is spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him. Prayer to God is like a child’s conversation with his father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs.” I felt a little strange Googling what is prayer, but after reading that I am very happy I did.
Then we look at how to pray. We look no farther than the words of Jesus for this answer. Found in Matthew 6:5-15. The Lord’s prayer pushes us to pray for God’s will, for forgiveness, and for people that have hurt us. There is a lot more to unpack in these verses, people have spent years studying, and written whole books on these verses. I encourage each one of you to spend a little time in study of these verses.
The last thing for this week: When to pray? The answer is simple, ALWAYS. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. If you do this, it will affect you in ways you won’t expect. Every time something good happens, lift it to Jesus in prayer. Every time you need answers, ask Jesus in prayer. Every time you have a big decision to make, ask the Spirit for decrement through prayer. Here’s a big one, if your mad, turn it over to Jesus in prayer. Last one, someone makes you mad or hurts you somehow, pray for them. This isn’t a list of the only times we should pray, but I feel like it’s a good start.
So, if you feel like pastors have preached about prayer till they are blue in the face, here’s one more, but my face isn’t blue and I will talk about it again and again. I’ll even pray that everyone has a powerful and meaningful prayer life. As we pray for the church and our congregation and our nations leaders, I remind everyone a prayerful church is a powerful church.
Until next week, God bless