I’m going to be completely honest, one of the areas that I’m weaker in spiritually is prayer, so writing this was a good reminder of why it’s so important and why I need to work to get better on improving my prayer life and view on prayer.
When it comes to praying, we are to…
- Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- Go boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16)
- Give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Pray for our daily needs (Matthew 6:11)
- Pray for forgiveness of sins (Acts 8:22-24)
- Pray for God’s will to be done (Matthew 6:10)
- Pray for other Christians (Philippians 1:9-11)
- Pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44)
- Pray for strength (Matthew 6:13, 2:41)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”-Philippians 4:6
When I was younger I prayed to God about everything, I remember losing a frog that I snuck into the house once and praying to God that I would find it, I thought it was a miracle when that frog hopped across my foot a few seconds later.
I also remember thinking that I was the reason my sister Kathryn was my sister, because I had prayed for a little sister right before my parents told me they were pregnant with her.
A few years ago, my sister Kathryn prayed a prayer I’ll never forget…
We were having lunch and she wanted to pray for her food. We both were inside alone eating lunch since it was Saturday and I think the rest of our family was still outside working, she closed her eyes, bowed her head, clasped her hands and said with 100% seriousness: “God, thank you for my food, and please give us a second story, I really want stairs. I know you’re God and that you can do anything, so I know that when I open my eyes there will be stairs. In Jesus’s name, amen.”
Yes, she did proceed to get up and search every room of the house for that staircase.
It was something my family and I laughed about and still do occasionally, but Kathryn was onto something, she knew that God was God, and she trusted that He could make her staircase possible because with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). It’s that childlike trust and perspective, and aren’t we all supposed to be like children (Matthew 18:1-5)?
“I know you’re God and that you can do anything,”
I’ll be honest: sometimes I forget that God is God and that He can do anything.
“God is not a genie. or a vending machine.” I have found myself saying, and while that is true, I often forget that prayer still has power.
I forget that fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16).
I forget that God is a good Father who wants a relationship with us, and like any good parent, He wants us to talk to Him and go to Him when we are hurt, scared, or even joyful.
What happened to attitude of knowing that God was powerful and that we needed Him?
We grew up, we got hurt, we realized that this life was never promised to be easy, and that God doesn’t always answers prayers with a “yes”.
But have we forgotten the power of prayer? I know I have.
God will answer our prayers if we…
- pray as obedient children of His (Isaiah 59:2, 1 John 3:22, John 9:31)
“Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.”-John 9:31
- are righteous (1 Peter 3:12)
- pray according to the will of God (1 John 5:14)
- pray with faith (Matthew 21:22, James 1:5-7)
- have the right motive while praying (James 4:3-6)
- pray to God through Jesus (our mediator) (John 14:13-14, Colossians 3:17)
Maybe like Kathryn’s stairs, it isn’t always a yes, but that doesn’t mean God didn’t listen, or that the prayer wasn’t effective.
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”-Philippians 4:6
“Everything” the greek word here is “pas ” and it means each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything.
God wants us to pray to Him, not just for the big things, but for the small things, for all the things.
When I was four I prayed to God about frogs and baby genders because it was important to me and I knew that He cared about me, and I knew that He was listening to me.
Now I look up and find myself in the attitude of “what difference does it make?” at times.
That shouldn’t have changed.
“…the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”-James 5:16
We might not know all the ways God works, but we do know that He is good, that He loves us, and that prayer is powerful.