Prayer is the soul’s desire uttered or unexpressed,
the motion of a hidden fire that trebles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye when none but God is near.
Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice and cry: Behold he prays!
James Montgomery (1771-1854)
Throughout Jesus’ life on earth, He could be found many times praying to His Father in heaven. His disciples asked that he teach them to pray too. And with that Jesus said, “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 day by day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Luke 11:2-4
We have grown up reciting this prayer in school and in church, but it can be prayed any time, anywhere. In fact Jesus likes to hear from us in whatever we are doing. This prayer provides a pattern for all to follow:
i) honour God
ii) submit to His will
iii) depend on Him to meet our needs and forgive sin
iv) ask for strength to forgive others, and
v) to resist the evil one, being Satan.
Why do we leave praying aside until some problem, catastrophe, or disaster strikes? Praying doesn’t have to be formal or perfectly recited. As long as it comes from your heart and is sincere, Jesus is listening. He wants to know our needs, our heartfelt needs, not a grocery list of items. Make it a conversation with Jesus.
“Be anxious for nothing [don’t worry], but in everything by prayer and supplication [humbleness], with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippiians 4:6-7
Being at peace with yourself is a direct result of finding peace with God. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous person avails [brings forth] much. It can save the sick and forgive sins committed. It can be a powerful tool in your day to day life, if you have faith and believe that God will answer.
Be patient and leave it with Him. Remember though, our time is not God’s time. The answer may not be immediate but it will be answered when He sees fit.
Evil has a way of making you fear many things, but through prayer God can take that fear away and calm your heart and mind. He provides strength to overcome. Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. ” …though a mighty army marches against me, my heart shall know no fear! I am confident that God will save me.” Psalm 27:3
The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has no one to thank.
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Psalm 53:1
To Pray Without Ceasing
“Whatever arises, let me dwell in the secret place of the Most High. Let there be a place of stillness in the midst of turmoil. Let there be a place of ease amid disease. Let there be a place of order in the chaos. Let there be a place of love and beauty in the midst of fear and ugliness. Let my presence be a beacon of enfolding radiance in every circumstance.”
You don’t need a cell phone to reach God. We should always pray and not lose heart. When we kneel before God, we can stand before men. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
And do the wishes of my heart go with the words I say?
I may as well kneel down and worship gods of stone, as offer to the living God a prayer of words alone.
Nor will he to those lips attend whose prayers are not sincere.
Lord, show me what I need, and teach me how to pray;
Nor let me ask thee for thy grace, not feeling what I say.
John Burton, Jr. (1803-1877)