If you have a best friend, how do you stay connected? By talking to them. Staying in communication with someone is how you really get to know them and build a strong relationship.
Praying is simply a way of communicating with God. One can communicate with God directly through one’s thoughts, or by talking out loud. Through prayer, one can invite God into the situation and into one’s life.
Prayer is inviting the God of the universe into our lives, and into our situation. As prayer unfolds, lives begin to change.
Why Can We Pray?
Because of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection on the cross, we can freely come to God.
Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Because of God’s grace by sacrificing His son as a lamb, we can be seen as righteous and clean to God. Right now God has given us the Holy Spirit as a comfort and guide to us, and we can freely come to God the Father.
We can be real with God. Share your heart with Him. Prayer is His gift to us and can be put into practice. One day Jesus will come back as a Lion, and we will see Jesus on the throne, but right now through faith, we can talk with God.
God wants us to talk to Him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
Paul the apostle wrote these verses to the early Christians to pray to God about everything. When we pray to God, it shows that we are seeking Him. God says to seek Him continuously.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!1 Chronicles 16:11
God doesn’t care about fancy words or phrases.
God cares more about you coming to Him behind closed doors without people watching, then pretending to sound good in front of others. We must remember that God already knows what you need or want. He is simply asking you to show up. He wants a relationship that is personal between you and Him.
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.Matthew 6:5-6
However, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want you to pray with others. In fact, God says when two or more are gathered together in His name, He will be present. When more people gather together and pray out loud, the enemy has no choice but to flee.
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.Matthew 18:19-20
Obedience and Power in Prayer
When we seek God and obey His Words, we will be built like a house on a rock.
When a house is built on a solid foundation, and a storm comes, it will stand firm. If the foundation of your life is built on prayer and seeking Him, you will be able to get through the hard times in your life.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.Matthew 7:23
Where there is prayer, there is hope. God gives us this gift to see lives transformed by the Gospel of Christ. Prayer is possible through Jesus. Through Him, we get to call God, Father, and through Jesus, our lives are restored.
Jesus is our example.
Not only did God send Jesus to be the sacrificial lamb on the cross, but He sent Him to also teach us how to live.
A disciple actually came to Jesus in Luke 11:1-13, asking Jesus to show him how to pray. We should want to learn to pray. It is a discipline that needs to be ever-growing. Our spiritual life comes down to prayer.
How then should we pray?
First, we should start by saying, Father. Put God first. Then you can tell Him your needs. Follow this P.R.A.Y. acronym based on the Lord’s prayer that can be a helpful resource on how to approach God. We can look at the model prayer Jesus gave us.
Praise for who He is – for what He has done.
- Jesus shows us that we should start by praising the Father
- Find somewhere quiet if possible, where you can be still and focus on God
Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy.
Repent of sins I have committed, of commands I have neglected.
- Before asking anything, we must humble ourselves & ask forgiveness of sins we may have committed or feel convicted of.
- Think of the things God hates and examine yourself. For example, pride is a major sin that can often creep up on us, something God hates, and it can come in different forms.
- In order for God to forgive us, we must also forgive others.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Ask for the needs of others. For my needs.
- Write down a list to stay organized and to even look back on.
- Some things you can ask God for are: wisdom, counsel, strength, fear of the Lord, protection. Pray these things over yourself – pray the amour of God over yourself every day, and the Lord promises He will give you these things.
- James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
Give us today our daily bread… And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Yield my will to God’s will. My agenda to God’s agenda.
- It can be easy to come to God with preconceived notions of exactly how you want a certain situation to play out, or maybe you want God to give you direction right away.
- We have to remember it’s God’s plan we are living out, not our own.
- We must not only be open to what God has but actually be willing to submit to it.
- Sometimes God may not give an answer right away, and sometimes He has a whole different plan then you could have imagined.
- It’s okay to be patient and actively serve Him while you wait.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Consistently praying to God is not supposed to be easy. It can be frustrating and rewarding. God wants us to persevere when life feels good, and when life feels impossible.
Powerful Prayer in Bible Character’s Lives
Look at pretty much all of the characters in the Bible who were used by God – they didn’t even necessarily expect it, they were just willing to be used by God.
Or they were praying for something or promised something for years, and in God’s timing, it happened.
- Abraham and Sara… lost all capabilities of producing an heir, and then Isaac was born.
- Joseph was sold to Egypt as a slave and then was elevated to a position next to Pharaoh himself.
- Moses murdered an Egyptian and ran away as a fugitive, then he brought Israel out of bondage.
- David, the youngest of 8 sons, would never be in a ruling position, and then he becomes the anointed King of Israel.
- Saul persecuted the church then became Paul the apostle to the Gentiles.
Did these people sometimes doubt what God would actually happen? For sure.
Sara laughed out loud when she heard that God said she was going to have a baby at her old age.
Moses probably never dreamed that God would use him, who had a speech impairment, not only to talk to Pharaoh but also to demand that his requests be met.
Saul, before his name got changed to Paul, was first hated by Christians and he himself hated Christians. Then his life got turned around and he gave his whole life up for the gospel.
God is at work at all times.
God works in conflict often, before resolution is even in sight.
Even when Jesus went to the cross, He went through extreme anxiety before it got better. It was so bad, that it was an actual medical condition. The capillaries of Jesus’ head were mixing with his sweat glands and blood drops were coming through, the capillaries bursting.
Through anguish, Jesus prayed more fervently.
We have to come to a point where we realize that our lives are not our own. We are crucified in Christ and He dictates every aspect of our life for His good.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.Galatians 2:20
Jesus is our strength.
We must realize this, and remember the covenant we have with God. God promises to take care of us every step of the way. We are not meant to do life alone.
This is why we pray in the name of Jesus.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.John 16:33
Jesus has overcome the world. His sovereignty gives us assurance not only that he hears our prayers, but also that he is powerful enough to answer them.
Jehovah is my strength and my shield… He hath heard the voice of my supplications. Therefore my heart greatly rejoices. With my song will I praise Him, and he is a stronghold of salvation to his anointed.Psalm 28:6-8
Don’t run from God when times feel impossible – in those times it is crucial that we sprint to Him. God majors in reversing situations we feel are irreversible.
We are on earth to represent the Kingdom of God.
When you pray, you will be transformed and people will notice a difference in you. Be reminded that Jesus is our example, and God can use you as an example to others.
What are you holding back from God today?
Make Him the first person you go to in any situation or time of day, and become a person of prayer – seeking God with everything you’ve got.
Want to be praying for more people to come to Christ, but don’t know where to start? Start with this 30-day challenge of praying for the unreached all across the globe. https://bethanyinternational.org/prayer/
You can start by helping fulfill the Great Commission through prayer right now.