“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” – Psalm 107:28-30
Prayer is that discipline that I feel like is so important, yet strides often seem so elusive. That thought or question often pops up when the subject of prayer is brought up: Does prayer change anything? “What if [my prayer] doesn’t do anything?” It may or to may not, but we need to remember that God ordains the end and the means. One of those means is prayer.
The reality is that we may have a very limited view of the purpose of prayer if we wonder if communicating with our Heavenly Father changes anything. Some people see prayer as nothing more than a grown-up version of a Christmas list. We go to God with a list of our needs and our wants, but we don’t consider why God asks us to pray. Prayer is not about changing the circumstances, it’s about changing us. If we prayed for a reconciliation with a child who has severed all ties with you, that relationship can be healed if God has ordained it to be so. If the relationship stays frayed, does that mean our prayers were in effective? Absolutely not.
Prayer isn’t complicated. In fact, God makes prayer an incredibly simple, yet powerful gift for those who have chosen to follow Him. We can pray at anytime, anywhere. Remember Jonah? Jonah prayed while in the belly of a great fish Prayer helps change the way we think. When we focus on God, our hearts can’t help but align itself with what pleases Him. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:7-8)
We can pray about anything. That means anything from needing strength to forgive or help getting through traffic without turning into a madman or madwoman. If it matters to you…it matters to God. We can never ask more of God than what He can provide. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Our hope is that our 21 days of prayer will rejuvenate and refresh your prayer life for the remainder of 2016.
- Since God knows all about you and what he is going to do before you ask, what do you think might be some reasons God still wants you to pray to Him?
- What are some reasons why Jesus had to pray? What do those reasons tell you about why you need to pray?
- How is it possible to have confidence and be satisfied that God will answer your prayers?
- What are some needs you are lifting up to God in prayer right now? How might your prayers change for each of these needs if you also prayerfully sought God’s direction for being the solution?