Devotional

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” – Jeremiah 29:12.

Listen to what Jesus says about prayer in John 14:13-14: “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”  Whoa. That is a heavy statement and if true, then the most awesome power in the world is prayer. Basically, we have been given an open door policy to God. We can reach out and have an audience at any time and any place with the Creator and Ruler of everything that is. So why don’t we pray more? Why are we are not tapping into that power? Why are we hesitant to pray?   

Maybe you don’t pray because you don’t know how to pray. For those who are new to their faith, prayer can seem daunting and overwhelming. How do I talk to God? What does that even mean? Are there things I’m supposed to say? Are there things I’m not allowed to say? Is there a set prayer or do I just make one up?  You don’t know what words to use. I can’t pray those wonderful poetic prayers like the person in my small group does. Even for those who have been in a relationship with the Lord for many years, prayer can still seem challenging for a whole host of reasons. It can get stale, feel useless, fall to the wayside, or just seem to lose its power.

I’m convinced our Heavenly Father cares little to nothing about the slickness and organization of our prayers. I think He loves us exactly as we are, regardless of how our prayers look and sound, He loves to talk with us. It doesn’t matter if we start with “Yahweh, we come humbly and boldly to the throne of grace this evening…” or we simply say, “Lord, I need your help…”

Consider this: Before Jesus did any of the work He’s known for (before He healed anyone or taught anything or gathered disciples), He was baptized. During His baptism, Jesus heard the Father say “…You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” (Mark 1:11)  The Father doesn’t love Jesus because he accomplished a bunch of great things. The Father loves Jesus because Jesus is God’s Son.

We too are sons and daughters of God. And His love for us isn’t moved by our performance—  not even our performance in prayer. God doesn’t need you to get this “prayer” thing right, He just wants to talk with you. He’s not grading you, He wants a relationship with you. So, if you don’t pray because of worrying about using the right words, remember that God is lovingly listening to you. It is like listening to our children. When our children are small their vocabularies are very limited. But they can tell you what is on their minds even with their limited choice of words. So it is with you and your Heavenly Father.

I hope the message this week will motivate you to pray more often to your heavenly Father. He Loves you and nothing that you or anyone else do can change that.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the main reason we fail to pray as often as we want or should?
  2. What is the first step in establishing a prayer life?
  3. How do we deal with distractions?
  4. What can we do this week to make prayer an every day part of our lives?