Summary: This is a devotional on prayer and encouragement to just do it.
God has placed within my spirit the desire to teach a little about prayer tonight. I say a little because there is only so much teaching on this subject you can do, though the resources are unlimited, what we really need to do is just do it!
Lets begin with 1 Thessalonians 5: 17, “pray without ceasing” It is a simple little verse amongst the things Paul is writing the church and telling them things they ought to be doing. Prayer is important for many reasons…
· It is the way we communicate to God.
· God responds to our prayers.
· Through prayer we understand God and ourselves better.
· Prayer helps us to trust God.
· Prayer helps us to worship God.
In Matthew 18:19-20 God promises to both be present when we pray, and to answer when we pray. He may not always answer the way we want Him to, but he does answer in the best way.
Throughout the Bible we are given reasons why we should pray, even instructions on who we should pray for, for example…
· In 1 Timothy 2:2 we are told to pray for those in authority.
· In 2 Corinthians 1:11 we are told to pray for ministers.
· In Psalms 122:6 we are told to pray for the church.
· In James 5:14 we are told to pray for the sick.
· In Matthew 5:44 we are told to pray for our persecutors
The list could go on for several pages..
Oswald Chambers says that the correct way to think of prayer is “the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues without ceasing.” We cannot live without blood or breath and I suggest to you today that we cannot live spiritually without prayer. Not only will we die spiritually without prayer as individuals, but as a church as well. We need to be a praying church if we are to survive and thrive and accomplish what God has called us to do in this area.
If you look at the reasons why prayer is important, surely you can see why the lack of prayer is so detrimental.
· If we are not praying we are not communicating with God, if we aren’t communicating with God then how will we get guidance and direction for our lives.
· If we aren’t praying, how can God respond to our lack of prayers, or lack of interest.
· If we aren’t praying we have a lack of understanding of
God and of ourselves.
· We won’t trust or worship God if we aren’t praying
I was in a book store today when my phone rang. It was a friend who was hurting because of a thoughtless act by one of his friends. I told him I would pray for him and then looked for a card to send him that would offer comfort and ran across a card that caught my attention. This is what it said on the front of it…
Prayer is something that has always been a part of me. I prayed when I needed to hear my Father’s heart, when I was baptized by John, when I chose the twelve, when I did mighty works, when I broke bread, and when I blessed the children. I prayed when facing my darkest hour, and I prayed as I gave my life upon the cross. I prayed in public before others, and I prayed alone. I prayed in the daytime, and I prayed at night. When I prayed with my disciples just before I was arrested in the garden, you were included in that prayer. When I taught my disciples how to pray, it was for your understanding as well. I know that I am not physically present with you today as I was with my disciples so many years ago, but my heart of prayer has not changed. I am praying for you now because you are mine. My love for you today is great, and my heart for you is full. I pray peace over you and blessings upon you. I pray that your life will bear much fruit, that you will grow in grace, that your faith will increase, and that you will stand strong until the day that I see you face to face. (signed by Jesus)
The most important reason of all to pray is because Jesus, the son of God found it important, how much more should we pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing” I urge you to pray, for it is what keeps us alive spiritually. Prayer should be so much a part of us that like breathing, it just comes naturally.
One more thing I want to add and that is when we pray, don’t worry about what we will say or how it will sound to others. Pray to your Father in heaven, and pray from your heart. When Kristopher, my 4 year old foster child prays, his prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving and worship when he says, “Thank you God for this day and I hope you have a good night.” My friends, I am sure, God hears this little one’s prayers and as he grows and his prayers mature he will be drawn closer to the one whom he prays to. Can the same be said of us?
Let us now pray: