Popcorn Prayers and Wrestling Matches
Prayer is the simple act of worship where we, as believers in Jesus Christ, can speak boldly and confidently to God from our heart. When we pray through the lens of a believer, God hears our prayers (John 16:23). But an unbeliever's prayer will fall on deaf ears (Hebrews 11:6). As believers, we can thank and ask God for anyone, anything, anytime, anywhere using our own heartfelt words.
Other times, our prayer life can seem like a wrestling match. So many thing vie for our attention that our minds wrestle with staying on the task of speaking to God. Interruptions, time demands, deadlines, grocery lists, washer or dryer buzzing, kids fighting all distract us. Our prayers may travel down many unrelated tangents until we give into our demands and stop praying. Satan is perfectly happy keeping us distracted from conversing with God.
Then, too, we can simply be too busy and we forget to pause and take time to listen for God’s reply.
God’s reply? YES! God communicates back to us through his Holy Word, the Bible.
When we devote even short amounts of time on a daily basis to be reading his word, he can give us the instruction and comfort we may need to handle the circumstances he sees heading our way. When we read bible stories and the way God’s people of the past reacted and handled situations in their life, we become better prepared to face life with the peace only he can provide. He loves us and he wants to prepare us, interrupt us and sometimes rearrange us to protect us from our natural, sometimes sinful, responses to our circumstances. When we spend time in our bibles, our hearts are better prepared to deal with our daily lives.
A favorite bible story is about Jesus on a 40 day fast, alone in the desert, when he is visited by the devil in the beginning verses of Matthew chapter 4. Satan tempts Jesus three times. In each case, Jesus used God’s word to fight off the temptations he was facing. Jesus knew God’s word well enough that he was prepared to use it.
As we dig into God’s word, he too will prepare us to face our days. We can pray God’s word back to him and be strengthened.
How powerful would it be to:
- Pray for your husband and ask that God would keep his mind sharp and focused. That his thoughts would not be conformed to this world, but would be transformed and renewed by the power of God. (Romans 12:2)
- Pray for your children and ask that no unwholesome talk would proceed from them, but only what is good for building others up. Pray that your children would always speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15, 29), that they’d be quick to flee from temptation, to turn away from evil, and to faithfully pursue wisdom, righteousness, peace, love, and truth. (2 Timothy 2:22; Psalm 34:14; Proverbs 4:5-7)
- Pray for a hurting friend and ask that they may humble themselves under God’s mighty hand, so that he may lift them up in due time. May they cast all anxiety on him. Help them to be alert and of sober mind. May they resist the roaring enemy lion and stand firm in the faith. Remind and encourage him that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings (I Peter 5:6-9).
- Pray for a boss or coworker to give victory over seeking the praise of people. Help them to be ready to give to the Lord’s work without expecting any recognition from others. (Matthew 6:2)
- Pray for your pastor and ask the Lord to help him to proclaim the kingdom of God and teach about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance (Acts 28:31).
- Pray for yourself or bible study friends Psalm 86:11 that the Lord would teach us his ways so we may rely on his faithfulness and that he would give us an undivided heart, and that we may fear his name and that as we draw closer to him, he will draw nearer to us. (James 4:8)
You can spend time praying and meditating on passages that touch you, journal your thoughts and prayers and jot down how God answers them. And don’t worry if at first all you hear is silence. Keep sitting at his feet. He is faithful and will draw our hearts out of the chaos of our lives into the sweetness of his presence. Pray Jeremiah 29: 12-14.
Prayer is powerful. Join us at 5pm this Sunday, January 31st in the church basement to watch the family friendly movie, War Room. See how Ms Clara changes the lives of a family through her prayer life. Pastor will be available for questions and pizza will be served. (rs)