I’m sitting here staring at a blank screen — wanting to write …needing to write …write about prayer and wondering where on earth to start. I don’t have a formula to share or 3 outline points and a song — just my heart, which usually flows out in pieces that seem to fit together like a puzzle by the end of the story.
It seems that more and more there are situations in my life that just plain can’t be “fixed” in my normal mode of operation — which sounds very funny to me as I see my own words in print: “my normal mode of operation”. My normal mode of operation is always (and I mean always !) to try to find a solution to the problem or problems at hand and put that solution into motion …quickly ! Most of the time this quick-fix approach has just as much to do with my own comfort and happiness as it does with the others who might be involved. So often my hurry-up-and-get-it-done-and-out-of-here attitude is because I don’t like tension or conflict and that out-of-control feeling. Funny thing is, most of “real life” is totally out of my control but I’ve humored myself into thinking I might have a little say-so in my immediate realm I call “my world”. The truth is, “humoring myself” is really a less indicting phrase that more accurately is ”deceiving myself “.
Life happens. People are messy. Change is inevitable. Not everyone’s happy. Moods swing. Disaster strikes. Ropes end. Money runs out. Emotions run hot. Tempers flare. Hearts cool. Problems surface; some are buried. Words fly. Memories land. Opinions form. Feelings crumble. Energy wanes. Hope waits.
Then prayer enters — that simple, honest, talking things over with my Father in heaven. I vent. He listens. I sob. He comforts. I pour out. He pours in. He speaks. I listen. We walk together as friends.
Life still happens. People are still messy. Change is still inevitable.
However… Perspective changes. Heart attitudes change. Love happens. Faith believes. Hearts soften. Peace comes. Burdens lift. Stories are redeemed. Broken are restored. Truth revealed. Needs met. Confessions unearthed. Sins forgiven. Grace sowed. Healing begins. Holy Spirit fills. Peace reigns. Joy returns.
And God reminds me so vividly …prayer just has to be a part of my everyday life and fiber of existence!
”Prayer first; prayer before anything else or there isn’t anything else.” (words with annvoskamp.com and holleygerth.com)
The real battle is not with messed up people like myself; the real battle is in the spiritual realm.
”For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
This is new territory and the weapons needed are not of this world . And with the needed equipment for the day’s journey– truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God — we pray through and press through and praise God through it all.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Ephesians 6)
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (HCSB) Pray constantly.
My Mom always told me — “Pray about everything” — and I’ll add to that for my children — “…and pray all the time!” It is the “thing” to do ! It’s the best thing to do! It’s having ongoing conversations with God about situations that only He can fix anyway. My “mode of operation” needs to change. More of life happens in the spiritual realm than we realize and prayer helps me enter that realm where Jesus reigns. I enter into that sweet place of worship and rest and fellowship with confidence …and ask for His mercy and grace to help me in my time of need once again.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
And, while I love just talking to God all by myself and for myself …praying with others and for others is a must-have accessory in this walk with Jesus.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
This can’t be a “chunk prayer” at the beginning of every day or a “closing prayer” at day’s end. I have to call Jesus on the phone in the morning and keep the line open all day and even into the night. This is cell phone service at a whole new level ! At any given moment in the day I might pull the phone out of my pocket and say, “Jesus ! Did you hear that? She’s hurting badly! What do I say? What do I do? Please help her.” Or I might need to take a long walk while on the phone with Jesus as I sort through words spoken that wounded me or someone I love …”How can I love that person, Jesus? Help me to love them in spite of what they said. Forgive them, Jesus, for they don’t realize the pain they’re causing. Give me your heart for them — mine’s not very pretty right now ! And when I don’t know how to pray, I’ll pray like You taught us and leave the “fixing” up to You…
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’