Many people have a difficult time developing a strong prayer life in their Christian walk. Sometimes prayer is stronger when things are a struggle. If that is true, then we should be a praying people right now! The concept of prayer is fairly simple. Someone once said, “I don’t feel like praying”. Their friend said, “Well, why don’t you talk to God about it.” Prayer is simply talking to God. If you are struggling with your prayer life, I want to encourage you that God hears your prayers.
- You do not have to pray in any specific way, using holy words or repeating any religious phrases.
- You do not have to pray in any specific place, any place you spend time with the Lord is holy ground.
- You do not have to have someone else pray for you. No one is more important to God than you are.
- You do not have to pray a long prayer – the Lord’s prayer is rather short.
- You do not have to pray a beautiful prayer – just speak from the heart.
Ultimately there is no perfect prayer because we are not perfect people. The important thing is that you take time to pray. This is a time for prayer.
Let’s spend a few minutes looking at what the Bible says about prayer. Let’s begin with one of the most familiar prayers in the Bible – the model prayer – often called the ‘Our Father’ prayer or The Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.Matthew 6:9-13, NKJV
Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
That prayer is precious to us because it is a prayer that is taught to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. This prayer teaches us about our daily prayer life because it teaches us to pray. We join Jesus in the school of prayer when we pray this prayer.
- It teaches us to pray to our Father – he is our Father – not a remote, uncaring person. He loves us and cares for us as his children.
- It teaches us to pray to our Father in heaven – he is as close as he can be, but he is also in heaven – outside of the temporary world in which we live. So we are taught the comfort of nearness and the power of God.
- It teaches us to praise God. Hallowed is Holy – God’s name is holy and we worship a holy God. This acknowledges how awesome God is and that we want to serve Him every day.
- It teaches us to desire the kingdom rule of God in our lives. As people of faith we have given our life to God and He is our Lord, our Ruler, our Sovereign.
- It teaches us that we seek for God’s will to be done on earth – in our lives, and in the lives of others.
- It teaches us to trust God to supply our daily bread – our daily needs. Sometimes that can be hard, but Jesus taught us to pray about that. We should also pray for those around us to have their daily bread as well.
- It teaches us to seek God’s forgiveness – something all of us need every day. It also reminds us to forgive others. We cannot enjoy the forgiveness of God while holding grudges and a bitter spirit toward others.
- It teaches us to reject the temptations to sin that we all face, and be devoted to God. It reminds us that there is an enemy who tempts us and he does not love us like God does.
- It teaches us to honor God as truly more powerful and glorious than anything else we know.
- It teaches us to say Amen – let it be so.
It’s not a very long prayer, but it is so powerful.
Prayer is something that some feel intimidated by, but you never have to be shy or hesitant in your prayers. The Bible tells us that we can come to God in prayer with a confident spirit.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.Hebrews 4:16, NLT
Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].Hebrews 4:16, AMP
Prayer is meant to be a time to find true help from a willing Father who is able to give us what we need. At the throne of God we will find two essential things that give prayer such great power. Grace is God’s favor that we cannot earn. To pray is to come before the ‘throne of grace’. Mercy is what God withholds that we really do deserve. We are so thankful for his mercy toward us.
Do you need to pray about something?
- You or someone you know or love is COVID-19 positive and needs healing?
- You or someone you know or love has lost their job and is struggling?
- You or someone you know has become fearful and anxious in this pandemic?
- You or someone you know is struggling mentally and needs help?
- You or someone you know is lost and needs the Lord?
- You or someone you know is hurting because their kids have left the Lord?
There could be a thousand reasons why you need to pray. Listen to the Bible and come to the throne of grace to find help.
Psalm 50:15 says, “Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
Think about your greatest need right now as we go to God in prayer. He hears us right now. This is a time for prayer.
An invisible virus has caused distress around the globe.
Many are struggling to find hope. They are living in discouragement.
The troubles of loneliness, anger, stress, pain, disappointment, and addiction are leading people to lives of despair. Yet there is one thing I know … when we can give all of this to God who hears and moves, we can experience peace.
Listen to the Word of God talk about how prayer blesses prayerful people:
Give All Your Cares to the Lord
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.1 Peter 5:6-7, NLT
I have to keep on giving all my worries and cares to God!
We do this in prayer – we lay them all at His feet and ask him to relieve our worried hearts.
Are we praying about this virus? About our community? About our families? This is a time for prayer.
Experience Peace From God
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7, NLT
Ask a prayerful person about this verse – they will tell you. Everything we worry about should become a prayer. When we turn it over to him and thank him, something amazing happens. “Peace that passes understanding” will guard our hearts and minds. Dr. Charles Stanley said, “We can be tired, weary, and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power and strength.” We may not understand where that peace comes from, but we know that this promise is that God can give it to us. This is a time when we need peace. This is a time for prayer.
Keep On Praying.
Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, NLT
We may be tempted to stop praying if…
- We see nothing happening as a result.
- Things even get worse than they were before.
- Too much time goes by and the request seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
Three Answers for Prayer:
YES! All I know i s that when I pray, coincidences happen; and when I don’t pray, they don’t happen. — Dan Hayes
NO! Not every prayer is in our best interest. Even Garth Brooks knows that some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers!
LATER! God knows what is best and he knows WHEN is best. He doesn’t ask us to answer our prayers – he asks us to pray.
“God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.” – E.M. Bounds. Is God shaping your world by prayer? Our world sure does need His mighty power to battle this virus and all the struggles that go along with it.
One more encouragement to pray- it teaches us to lean on the Lord.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT
This is a time for prayer indeed.