by Brandon McCurdy
So often we as pastors admonish those that attend our churches to pray. To many prayer is an antiquated idea that went out years ago. We now have more than enough to provide for our needs without suffering through the process of humbling ourselves and asking God for it. We think that we just need to work harder or smarter to solve life’s problems or wait for a windfall of money or good luck to bail us out of our current predicament.
The Bible gives many illustrations of men and women who felt the practice of prayer was unnecessary for their situation. Every single story ends with one of two responses: 1) God failed me or 2) God answered. People throughout history have struggled to come to terms with the fact that the only prayer that goes unanswered is the one never uttered. Perhaps you, like people throughout the Bible, have “tried out prayer” and it didn’t go the way you wanted it to. Perhaps you have sought out others to pray for and with you but the answer you were looking for never came.
Prayer is not an act of “forcing God to see it our way” but rather a practice of asking God to teach us to see it from His perspective. The Bible says, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. Prayer changes people and God’s power changes situations for our good and God’s glory. When we classify a prayer as unanswered or unheard by God we are dismissing His perspective of our situation.
May I encourage you today to continue to pray in faith knowing that the God of heaven hears and answers prayer. It may not be the answer you wanted and it may not come when you want it to but prayer reminds us that we need God and reminds God that we realize our dependence on Him. Perhaps you have not prayed in years and don’t even know where to start, let me help you with a simple prayer to get the ball rolling. No magical words here just a conversation starter between you and God.
“Heavenly Father, today I need you. I have no idea what the day holds but I do know the One who holds the day. May I live according to your will and walk according to your plan. May I seek your way and not my own knowing that your supreme love for me wants only the best for me. May I learn to trust you more today than yesterday and love you more tomorrow than I do today.” I think you can take it from there. Just open your heart and speak as a trusting child to a loving God. He’s longs to listen whenever your talking to Him.
by Brandon McCurdy
Original article can be found here.
Amen brother. Thanks for this. Most Christians- pastors included- pray less than 5 minutes per day. EM Bounds committed his first 4 hours EVERY MORNING to prayer. For years I’ve given 1+ hours and working on more. All “ministry” without prayer is in the flesh and yet so many don’t care. Pray for a revival of prayer my friend!!