October 20, 2010
PRAYER- conversation with God- in praise, thanksgiving, or intercession
We've all done it. We will all continue to do it. Sometimes it's to thank God for answered prayer. Most of the time, it's to ask for something. We ask for safety, we ask for blessing, we ask for forgiveness, we ask for guidance, we ask for peace, we ask for healing.
I have been praying a lot lately for intercession on behalf of someone else. Okay, I've been begging. I just don't know how to do this. Every time I think about this situation I pray. I have no idea how God is going to answer my prayers. I feel desperate. I am afraid that I'm not praying correctly. Maybe I'm not worthy for Him to hear me. (Crazy, right?) I wonder, do I need to keep praying ALL the time for the same thing over and over again? If I ask once, doesn't God know the desires of my heart? Am I being like a little kid begging for that piece of candy before dinner who won't take no for an answer- "Mommy please can I have some candy? Please? Please? Please? Please?" Until mommy snaps in frustration and annoyance. Has God's mind already been made up in regards to how this is going to end? Or can we intervene if we all pray enough for the outcome we are hoping for?
There have been times in my life where I can absolutely remember that there was constantly a prayer on my heart. I never ceased to pray to God. I gave it as much thought as I did to breathing. And I prayed not only for intercession, but also in thanksgiving and praise. I prayed ALL THE TIME! Then, at some point, I became skeptical I guess. I'm not sure exactly what happened or didn't happen. Maybe my prayers were not answered in the way I wanted them to be or in the time frame I was hoping for. But, I'm sure I began to think that it didn't really matter what I asked for because God was going to fulfill His will regardless of what my will was. It's not that I stopped praying altogether. It's just that I lost the energy and the confidence, I guess, to be faithful, diligent and constant in prayer.
I do know that God takes care of us. I do know that God loves us. I do know that God wants the best for us. I just don't always know what "the best" is.
I am obviously being convicted in the area of my prayer life. My heart wants to be obedient. I want to be someone who has favor with God. You know how some people seem to have a "direct line" to God and when you need prayer, you always ask them to intervene on your behalf? Well, I want to grow into that person. I admit that I probably haven't been praying enough recently. I need to come to God more often in repentance. I need to come to God more often lifting Him up in praise for all that He gives to me and all that He spares me from. I need get back to the place where there is constantly a prayer on my heart without me having to even think about it.
"But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, if you are pure and live with complete integrity, he will rise up and restore your happy home. And though you started with little, you will end with much." Job 8:5-7
"And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you. When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don't be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!" Matthew 6:5-8
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
"Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful." Romans 12:12