Let’s start with – What is prayer?
Simply put, it’s a conversation, a way for creation and creator to communicate. It’s a vital part of our relationship with God.
As a christian, life without prayer is like getting married and after saying your vows never talking to your husband again! It’s like dialing a number on your phone and not hitting the call button, or sending all your phone calls to voicemail.
Prayer is the way that God chose for us to communicate with him, the only way. We mark out time to meet friends and family for coffee or dinner, we text, call one another, facebook message one another – how much more should we be marking out time to spend with God?
When we have faith that the Bible is the word of God, inspired by him, formed and planned by him then we have faith that what is says is true and relevant. When we look at the new testament and see Jesus, we have a direct picture of who God is, what he looks like, acts like, how he loves us – and how God the father loves us.
There are so many times in the NT that Jesus retreats to pray and no doubt there are countless times during his life on earth that he prayed, more than we will ever know. More than that, being part of the trinity and being God himself, he is in constant conversation.
Did you know that God prayed for you? Jesus talked about you to the father before you were even born, before your greatest of grandparents could’ve even imagined you.
In the garden of Gethsemane, before he was betrayed, Jesus tells his disciples to sit a while as he wanted to pray, shortly after that we read about the sweating of blood as he prayed to the father, laying everything before him Here’s John 17:20-25:
If praying was important enough for Jesus to do, and we are called to be more like him it has to be important for us too – we need to spend quality time praying. Praying specifically, strategically and worship-fully.
I often send what I call ‘arrow prayers’ to God throughout the day, usually when I’m talking to someone and I’m not sure of advice to give, or when I just need help in a situation – arrow prayers are like sending God a text message, they’re those quick messages asking for help, thanking and praising God.
They are important, but so is spending time to pray, list, request and plan out, and just to spend time listening and getting to know our saviour. He wants to be in every part of our lives, tuned into our thoughts too.
There’s no emotion that God is not familiar with and hasn’t felt so when we pray, we can come before him openly, we can be vulnerable, we can share whatever we are feeling, even when we’re angry, find a situation unfair or are confused with what God is doing.
Spending time with God in prayer helps us to know him better, and when the disappointments come help us to react differently.
When you spend time with someone you begin to get to know them and to understand more how they react to things. Knowing someone well helps you identify when a reaction doesn’t sound like the person too. Imagine a friend tells you that your best friend is saying mean things about you to other people, if you know them well enough you’d know whether that was true or not, you’re more likely to brush what someone has said aside if you know from your heart that it cannot be true right?
It’s the same with God – get to know him and suddenly the things you feel and think, you can identify if they’re from him or not. When your know how much he loves you, you know that he isn’t responsible for the hurt you feel, the times when you’re down on yourself are not from God.
We forget that hurt, rejection, feeling a failure are not things that God imposes on us, they’re not feelings he wants for us and he definitely doesn’t tell us we’re failures or cause negative feelings such as hate and pain. The devil however loves to use these tactics to turn us against the ones that love us.
Recognise the attacks you’re facing and kill that attack with prayer, when you think that your prayer hasn’t been answered don’t stop praying, that’s what the devil would want right? He wants to kill your conversation with God to try and weaken your relationship with God, go back to God in prayer, listen and press in, surround yourself with people who will pray for you too, there’s an answer there, just perhaps not in the solution that you imagined.
We watched a film recently in housegroup called: The War Room. It’s a great watch, I really recommend it. It’s a movie written by the Kendrick brothers and it’s all about prayer, and praying strategically. Check out the trailer below – I’ve got the DVD if you want to borrow it too!
Remember: God loves us in our messes, loves us despite what we think of ourselves. We are defined by who He is not by who we think we are. So get talking to Him, he’s listening.
Much love x