Do You Pray?
What is prayer? Simply put prayer is communication with God. Prayer should be your first approach and strategy to everything. Some of you are a little too seasoned to still be calling your family and friends as a first resort while making God the last resort. The Bible reads in James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” You may have heard or seen this scripture plenty of times but the question is do you believe what is says and are you doing what it says you should do. Your prayers matter to God and there is power in prayer. God is not a man that he shall lie so if we will be willing and obedient we will have what the Bible declares is so for us. Yes, you are a good person and you do good deeds but are you praying. Do you have regular dialogues with God? Are you giving people to the Lord in prayer? Are you praying that God would meet the needs of those around you? Do you pray for lost family members…that they would discover Jesus? Do you pray for the sick and homeless? Do you pray for your husband or do you nag him about his flaws? Do you criticize the character imperfections of others or do you pray for them…that God would deliver them from strongholds present in their lives such as but not limited to jealousy, envy, hate, strife, division, addiction, laziness, gossip, bitterness, grudges etc. Or, do you take the opposite approach and just complain about how jacked up the people of this world are?
It’s effortless to call things as they are a HOT MESS! But, will you be willing to call it how God sees it? Will you declare some changes into the atmosphere? Will you speak life into someone that is battling a sickness or disease? Will you challenge yourself to pray for someone new each day? Will you make a prayer journal and log the requests you have made to the Lord? Then, track them as this will build your faith and encourage you. When God answers a prayer log it in your journal…write down exactly how he answered your request. A prayer journal will also help you stay focused on the things God has shown you or given you a desire to pray for. Maybe, you are drawn to pray for students, couples, teen moms, single women, widows, cancer patients, unbelievers, government, etc. We can all intercede in prayer for someone.
By now someone is thinking but I don’t know how to pray…that’s the pastors and them other folks job. Nah, that’s your job too. God has given you spiritual eyes to see and discern what to pray for. In Mark 16:18, it talks about how “believers shall lay their hand on the sick, and the sick shall recover.” Well then if you are believer then this is you too. Pray for your sick co-worker. Maybe, you don’t have the courage to actually lay hands on them but guess what you can pray in private that God would heal them. While you are at it you can pray that God will give you the courage and boldness to ask them if can pray with them about the sickness. God has not given you the spirit of fear…and when that feeling of fear tries to grip you do it anyway. Someone once told me you overcome fear by facing it, “do it afraid if you have to but just make sure you do it”.
Here are some other thoughts that get in the way of prayer: But, what if I get it wrong? I don’t know what to say. And, the truth is that we all start somewhere and if you never get started you will never improve. A muscle cannot grow if you do not exercise and train it. You have to develop your prayer life by actually praying. Some of you are well beyond the season of phoning a friend or calling grandma with all your prayer needs. It’s time for you to step up to the plate and pray. You have watched others way too long. It’s time for you to activate your own personal prayer life. The funny thing is that so many people hate for other people to speak for them or on their behalf but don’t have an issue with that concerning communication with God. Yes, we all experience seasons and days when we need to phone a friend or call grandma and say “pray for me”. But, that’s not an everyday approach to prayer that’s more like an every now and again way. God wants to hear your voice in prayer daily….he will answer you just like he answers your friend and grandma.
Some of you desire children, a spouse, new home, healing, financial breakthrough, and entrepreneurship. The key to some of these things manifesting in your life is prayer. You may need a God given strategy for whatever you are believing for that will only come through prayer. God will give you a plan to become debt free. God will give you the business plan to launch your new business. God will give you the strength to let Bozo go so you will be available and ready for your Boaz.
Many of you are establishing goals for 2019 and I challenge you to make praying earnestly one of them. God loves you and wants to communicate with you personally and on a daily basis. But you have to make communing with God a priority or it will never happen. One of the keys to praying with confidence is knowing what the Bible says God’s will is concerning the matter. Let the scriptures guide your prayer requests. Pray about everything and pray without ceasing!