You all probably know that there is power in prayer. But do you experience that power on a regular basis?
Prayer is often called a Spiritual Discipline, which means we should discipline ourselves to do it. The act of prayer certainly deserves to be in that category. Yet fitting in this category insinuates to many that prayer is merely a task or a duty or just one more thing to do today.
But prayer is the difference maker in the lives of the greatest achievers in the Bible. Jesus modeled it perfectly Himself. In the lives of those both present and in the past who lived intimately with God, prayer is the first response, like a habit, not the backup plan. It’s the first thing that comes to their mind and the first words out of their mouths when chaos strikes. They pray in power and in friendship with God. They pray with passion and with authority and with transparency.
Daniel prayed as if nothing else mattered. Moses spoke with God as a friend. David was honest and open with God. Esther prayed and fasted as if her people’s lives depended on it….as they did. Paul prayed in song in prison celebrating what God had done in and through his life. Jesus prayed through agony and sweat drops of blood. We are instructed to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions” (Ephesians 6:18).
How did they do it? How did these people alone make prayer their go-to-tool? Praying in all occasions is great in theory, but difficult without careful discipline. What must we do to make prayer our first instinct? A few things we must do is first be free of known sin. Sin stands in our way. Get rid of it! And that isn’t something you can do on your own. Being honest with God and asking for forgiveness is the only way to get rid of sin. Secondly, be filled with the Spirit. Ask the Spirit to lead you, to come into you and show you how to be more like Christ. And we must also keep our focus when we get bombarded with worries, hurts, and distractions in our daily lives.
Most importantly, I think we need to change our attitude about prayer. Prayer isn’t just another thing on our list to do today. It’s not just something we have to do to please our God. No, prayer should be a want. I want to pray to my God. I wantto talk to my Father. I want to know what He has in store for me. I want to follow His will, not mine. We should be so hungry to be in prayer with God, that when we miss it, it’s no longer guilt that we feel, instead it’s a missing out feeling, sad that we missed that opportunity today.
A Bible teacher once asked her students whether they would show up at a certain address every day if they were guaranteed a thousand dollars a day for themselves and anyone they brought with them. They all responded YES!!! And we would too! And yet indescribable power, comfort, and spiritual riches are offered new every morning and go unclaimed for ourselves and our loved ones because we are distracted, prayerless, and faithless.
In John 15:7 Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” That is the most awesome news any of us have ever heard. Abide in Christ today. Let His Word abide in you. Then feel free to ask boldly and receive God’s best for yourself, your family, your church, and your world. He’s waiting. Are you going to make Him continue to wait or are you going to take Him up on His offer of a beautiful love and relationship?