2 Chronicles 7:14
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
What is prayer to you? Is it something you do because you are a Christian? Do you only pray when you are in need as a desperate, last call to God? Are your prayers more like a routine, right before bed? Whatever your prayer life is, God is calling you to step it up. I attended a meeting at church today and the speaker discussed how in the “olden” days people came to the church early to pray before the service and they prayed before the Bible studies and things HAPPENED during the services which followed. How have we strayed? Has church also just become a routine in our lives? What IF we prayed continually? What if we entered the church EXPECTING something to happen while we were there?
Would we become overloaded and overwhelmed with the process? Would we grow tired of praying to God over and over again??? Well, let me the first to tell ya, being on my knees and face in prayer is where it all happens. God has pulled me out from the mess I had gotten myself in and it was not for the lack of my praying (screaming) to God when things were at their worst. Perhaps He would have assisted me sooner if I had decided to surrender my situation for Him to take care of instead of hoping it would change on its’ own. Nothing I can do to change that part of my life, but when things began to grow less dim for me was when I began to pray continually.
Now, praying continually does not necessarily mean completely stopping what you are doing, finding a quiet place, folding your hands and closing you eyes and then speaking this eloquently prepared prayer. Sometimes prayer is singing a song while you are in the midst of a trouble. Prayer can be in your head (or heart) where no one else even knows you are praying. Praying can be saying a few words of healing when you see an ambulance drive by. A prayer can be a simple act of looking towards heaven and saying , “Help me.” I think sometimes we have this idea that prayer takes up too much of our time, perhaps it is because we are trying to be too formal about it or put it into parameters, kind of like when we put God in a box. Other times we feel awkward in a setting where others are involved and we lack the freedom to really pray to God like we need to.
I challenge each of you to discover what is hindering your prayer life. There is no 101 on praying except for the Lord’s Prayer as taught by Jesus to the disciples. As that prayer alone is a start and very powerful, sometimes we need to ask God directly for what we need and then we need some knee time to talk to God. God is going to hear you no matter what, yes we need to be quiet to hear God’s still, small voice, however He can hear us loud and clear no matter where we are at the moment. I used to be the kind of girl who prayed before I went to sleep as my head lay on the pillow, where soon I was fast asleep before I could finish my prayers. Now I just pray all the time.
I pray at work when I am frustrated. I pray in the car for those who cut me off. I pray each time I hear sirens blaring around me. I pray at the grocery store when I see a situation I just know in my spirit needs attention. I pray when I read a status on Facebook. I pray on my way to work for my co-workers. I pray on the way to church and let God know I am going expecting something awesome. I pray when someone asks me to pray, not waiting until later. I find being in continual prayer is like a continuous conversation with God.He listens while I ask for my needs and He answer accordingly. Recently I have found myself stuck to floor face down in surrender and then WOW God begins to answer the big questions in my life and shows me He is at work on my behalf.
Whatever your goals are in 2012, add continual conversation with God to that list. Things happen when we pray. Healing begins. Family situations are mended. Minds are renewed. Blessings flow. God is a wanting a relationship with each of us and prayer is the beginning. Let’s commit to a stronger prayer life in 2012 and see what happens. God longs to move in our lives but if we don’t ask, He cannot provide. What if each of us began today praying at least two more times than usual? Do you think that is achievable? I do. In the beginning of my increase in prayer, it was uncomfortable, but the more I practiced it, the easier it became. You can do this! I have faith in each of you! One thing you will discover is that you are more at peace knowing God is answering your prayers, and the more you are at peace, the more you feel like you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.