Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Power of Prayer

on April 6, 2014

“Prayer works.”  “Prayer is powerful.”  “God answers prayers.” “Pray for God to….”  “Pray for God to stop….”  “I pray every day”   “I pray at meals”

So many people in life have said these words – believers and unbelievers alike. I wonder how God feels about us using him as a prayer “vending machine”, where we go before Him and deposit our “good works”, punch the buttons of our prayer request, and hope that we have enough “good” in our lives to earn His favor and receive a “YES”?

So often, we walk through life feeling “satisfied” with our attempts at getting the “God-thing” right, by going to church on Sunday, singing some songs and listening to a message – and then going about our independent living for the rest of the week. God is on Sundays.  Back to work on Mondays.  Sure, we’ll pray when things are rough.  We will pray when things are difficult. When someone is sick.  When someone loses a job.  When things are falling apart.  When we really need to make the mortgage this month.  When we can’t find work.  When we need a raise.  I can speak to this, because I was that person.  For a long time actually.

I prayed.  When I needed something.  I prayed.  When I wanted something.  I prayed.  When I lost something or someone.  I prayed.  When things got tough.  But, I can honestly say that I never even used to consider praying when things were good.  I never considered prayer as a way of life.  I never looked at prayer as a time of communicating with our Sovereign God.  It never even crossed my mind that God longed for me to come to Him in prayer, all day long – every single day!

He actually wants to be a part of every aspect of my life, and prayer is the channel through which I invite Him.  I didn’t know that.  I honestly didn’t.

I didn’t realize that prayer didn’t have to be a formal dance with God, where I had to be a dressed up in my best dress, hair done, makeup on, wrinkles ironed to perfection!  I didn’t know that He loves me just the way I am, wherever I am.   I didn’t realize that I could go to Him about anything at any time, and He would be there.  I didn’t know that I could address Him as Father, God, Lord, Savior, Abba, Yahweh, Majesty, Creator and so many other wonderfully beautiful names, and they all referred to the One who Loves me completely. I didn’t know that He passionately craves a relationship with me!

And any relationship – at least any successful relationship – requires communication.  Constant communication.  Consistent communication.  Formal communication.  Informal communication.  Raw emotional communication.  Honest communication.  Vulnerable communication.  Communication is an essential element to all healthy relationships.  Why would a relationship with God be any different?  Why would communication with the God of the Universe be on any level lower than our human relationships?  Would we consider communicating with our spouse or children just once a week for an hour or so? Would we consider it acceptable to only communicate with them in the morning and then briefly before a meal and before we go to bed at night?  No way!  Then why is this acceptable when it comes to our relationship with God?

Is it because we think He’s too busy or doesn’t want to hear from us?  Do we worry we might bother Him, or that our problems are too small to worry Him – or that perhaps He can’t handle hearing from us on that same topic again?

I am here to tell you all something.  This is how I used to think.  Thank God I can say used to think.  Someone once told me that prayer with God should come as natural to me as breathing.  Someone once told me that God loves me so much that He knows every single hair on my head, and He summons me by NAME.  Someone once told me that God longs to hear from me all day long!  He longs to be invited into every aspect of my day, my week, my month, my year, my LIFE.  Someone once told me that when I started to place my relationship with God above everything else in my life, that prayer would become an entirely new experience for me, and I would begin to long for Him the same way He longs for me.  Let me tell you, that someone was right.

My prayer life has changed exponentially.  I no longer wait for a “reason” to pray.  I no longer have to have a “request” for God in order to communicate with Him.  We just talk.  I tell Him how much I love Him.  I thank Him for all that He has done, is doing, and will continue doing in my life.  I let Him know where I am at each day.  I ask for His guidance in all things.  I ask for His direction in all things.  I pray for His will to be done.

It is amazing to see the true power of prayer unfolding in my life today. It isn’t about whether or not my prayers are “answered”. It is about having Faith that the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, the ALMIGHTY MAJESTIC CREATOR, loves me enough to sit with me every single day, and communicate with me!  That is an amazing reality that eluded me, until I finally stopped trying to figure out how to do it perfectly, and just started talking.  Seriously, I just started talking.  Sometimes I have requests, sometimes I don’t. In fact, one of my favorite prayers is one I say in the morning when I awake. It goes a little something like this: “Good morning God.  Thank you for waking me up today.  I pray your will would be done in all things during this day.  Use me and my life as you see fit, Lord.  In Jesus I pray.  Amen”

God is not a prayer “vending machine”, ready to dispense a “YES” or “NO” answer to our prayers based on the amount of “good works” we deposit.  That isn’t the heart of prayer.  The heart of prayer, a prayer that truly honors God, is one in which we honor Him first, praise Him, thank Him, and surrender to Him.  The answers to prayer come as God sees fit, and in His time.  I have learned that I don’t have to lay a list of prayer requests at His feet in order for prayer to be answered.  He already knows my heart, and everything that is on it.  Through actively engaging in prayer all throughout my days, I can be certain that He is aware of each and every desire of my heart, and has already made a plan to accomplish what needs to be accomplished in the life I get the beautiful opportunity to live here on this earth.

We serve a really big God, and He is interested in the really small details of every single one of His children.  Have you talked with your Creator yet today?  If not, you can start right now with a simple, “Hi God….I love you”

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One response to “Power of Prayer

  1. Great post Sister! I loved the section on communication!

    God bless you 🙂

    Jennifer- I Give God All The Glory

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