Prayer is one of the most fascinating and amazing parts of being a follower of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, I think that many people see prayer as a task and not as a privilege. Honestly, I used to feel that same way about prayer. I would say a prayer before I went to bed every night, just to be able to check it off my mental to do list. I realized though that I was treating prayer as if I was following a religion, and not following faith. I was not following the freedom that God has given me. So, I soon started praying multiple times daily, I prayed not as a task but with my full heart. From then on, I noticed what a blessing seeing prayer as an opportunity could be.
Prayer is power… how you might ask? We must realize that when we are praying we are literally standing or kneeling before God… the God of the whole universe! Not only are we standing before Him, we are able to speak to Him. The best part is that we don’t have to get permission to speak to Him, He is constantly listening and constantly waiting for your voice. What an honor it is to get to talk to the Lord of all. “The Lord is near all who call out to him, all who call out to him with integrity.” (Psalms 145:18). Come close to Him and He will come close to you, prayer is the best way to reach Him!
He not only hears our prayers, but He answers them too. “I took my troubles to the Lord, I cried out to Him and He answered my prayer.” (Psalms 120:1). We must understand that He ALWAYS answers every single prayer. It is just that the prayer may not be answered in the way you planned it too. God answers every prayer and sometimes it is simply a no, but there is meaning behind that no. God does not shut doors without opening others. It is true that when He says to be patient or when He says no, He has something else planned. His plans are much greater than our own. “As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9). His understanding of us and our lives is much deeper than we could imagine.
Prayers do not necessarily have to be a cry for help… prayer can just be a happy everyday conversation with God. Simply talk to him… If you notice a beautiful sky on your way to work, let Him know that He makes such amazing things. If you see someone racing down the highway texting and driving pray for them to get to their destination safely. You can even just tell Him about how your day is going, good or bad. “Seek the Lord and His Strength; seek His face always.” (1 Chronicles 16:11). He is just waiting to hear you. Talking to Him and reading His word is how we are able to get to know Him and in turn how we get to know ourselves.
Pray without holding back who you are. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He knows everything about you, so you can not hide anything from Him. He knows what is truly in your heart and He knows your needs. “…because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.” (Mathew 6:8).
Now I know many times it is difficult to stop and pray, many times we think we are just too busy to pray. I want to offer you this theory, maybe its not our lack of time that causes us not to pray; maybe it is the lack of prayer that causes us to feel like we don’t have enough time. “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything.” (Philippians 4:6). Maybe if we could just take the time in our busy schedules to stop and pray, the day wouldn’t feel so busy anymore.
Prayer eliminates anxiety; it puts your responsibilities and your worries in someone else’s hands. Not just anyones hands, the hands of God… The one who controls the outcome. So, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7).