God has been working with Pastor G and me to ponder prayer, so this is the beginning of a new blog series that I pray (pun noticed!) will benefit you, too. There is so much to prayer that the series will probably be lengthy because I want to address one or just a few points at a time so that you can ponder along with us while growing and perhaps changing your prayer life.
First, we need to define what prayer is: it’s us connecting to and communicating with God. Sometimes, prayer contains petitions for other’s circumstances or our own for God to bless or change according to His will. Prayer also contains praise for God as the creator and sustainer of all there is. It also contains our thanks, prior to and after, God intervening in a life or situation.
God teaches us how to pray and even takes up where we leave off. That really makes sense, since we are flesh and are limited in perception, vision and scope, and God is spirit and is unlimited and sees things we sometimes can’t see or know about. Note that Jesus’ disciples saw a difference in how they had been taught to pray and how He prayed. They asked Him to teach them how to pray just like John the Baptist taught his disciples, and we are blessed with His model prayer in scripture. One version is noted below.
11 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
Note that communication varies from time to time depending upon needs and circumstances. So does prayer. Scripture doesn’t say, but I wonder whether the disciples noticed how spiritually refreshed and recharged Jesus was after spending time with the Father. Prayer does refresh, and it changes our perspective. In essence, prayer helps us really know and believe that even though we ourselves are incapable of handling a situalion or challenge, God makes what is impossible for us happen. Scripture also teaches us that God the Holy Spirit takes up where we leave off in prayer and literally labors in prayer for us. He utters “groanings”.
So, let’s pray: Father God, thanks for helping all who read these words improve and enhance their prayers to You. May they be transformed by Your love and all that prayer does for every one of us. May all yield to Your leading, guiding and, yes, Your voice in moving forward spiritually like we never have before. May prayer become as natural as breathing to us, for it indeed is a spiritual life connection. In Jesus’ name, amen.
One more thing: be sure to ask God to guide you into what He wants you to know about prayer. Then please share it with us all.
copyright 2015, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved