Tag Archives: Pray

Faithful in Prayer

Never stop praying.

Two ladies were discussing their lives as they were at the laundry mat. They were both married, and they had much in common.

While they were waiting on clothes to wash, they were both mending a pair of their husbands’ pants. “Things at home are stressful. My husband is grouchy and always a ball of stress,” the first lady said as she mended the butt of her husband’s pants.

As she mended the knees of her husband’s pants, the second lady said, “My guy is usually in a good mood. Things are going really well.”

It has been said the biggest fear of the devil is our prayers. He fears nothing from prayerless efforts, and trembles at prayer. The Bible encourages Christians to never stop praying.

“Be joyful in hope. Patient in affliction.” Romans 12:12 encourages, “Faithful in prayer.”

Faithful in prayer.

Jesus illustrated the power of prayer. He spends a great deal of time praying. The disciples admired his prayer life and hoped they could model it. Jesus prayed about everything.

How do we do? Jesus encourages us to pray and never give up. Remember, the Lord does hear our prayers, and praying is just a conversation with him. Spend some time talking with him today.

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Praying is the Answer

“You got to keep on praying.”

The lyrics say, “Give it back,” and this song is a reminder for the power of prayer.

Back to God by Reba McEntire creatively reminds us to pray.

We may be facing many challenges. The world may be facing many challenges, and the answer can be found in the Lord.

2 Chronicles 7:14 states, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and I forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Unashamed & Persistent

The preacher thought she was drunk and scolded her for showing up at church under the influence of wine. Hannah quickly explained she wasn’t drunk. She was just that involved in her prayer. She said she was pouring her heart out to the Lord.

You and I have wants and needs. We struggle with the challenges of life. How well do we pray about those needs, wants, and challenges? Embarrassment or fear may stop us from praying, but the Bible reminds us there is no need to be embarrassed or afraid when talking with our Heavenly Father. We can be unashamed and persistent.

An Illustration

Talking about prayer, Jesus tells the story of a man who had an unexpected guest in the middle of the night. He runs to his refrigerator and its empty. He checks the pantry and only finds dust on a shelf. He has no food to offer his guest, so he runs to the neighbor’s house.

He wakes the neighbor at midnight by banging on the door. “Give me some food,” he says. “I’ve had an unexpected guest and have nothing to offer.” The man inside yells back, “Go away!”

But he keeps banging and banging until the man gets up and gives him what he needs for his guest.

Be Unashamed and Persistent

Jesus says in Luke 11:8, “But I tell you this, though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.”

You and I can be unashamed and persistent in our prayers.

Unashamed

The foodless man in Jesus’ story is unashamed to announce his problem. He has no shame in telling his neighbor what he needs. Nothing is hidden. The man lays everything before his neighbor in a shameless way.

Do you approach prayer in a shameless way? Do you lay everything before the Lord?

This can be hard at times. When we do something good, we have no problem talking with the Lord about it, but when we make mistakes, we’d rather not discuss those with our dad.

Talking about imperfections is hard. No one wants to admit he was a jerk. No one wants to admit she was cranky, but the Lord already knows. He knows you and I are not perfect, and he wants to help us grow.

“Dear friends, now we are children of God. We have not yet been shown what we will be in the future, but we know that when Christ comes again, we will be like him,” 1 John 3:2 reminds us.

Nothing is hidden from the Lord. Since he knows everything, you and I have nothing to hide. We can be unashamed in prayer. We can be honest with our feelings and ask the Lord to help us in every situation. Prayer is a safe place. Our Heavenly Dad desires to hear from us and will not be upset if we are unashamed in our conversation.

Persistent

The foodless man did not accept no as an answer. His neighbor told him to go away, but he continued to knock until the man answered his request. His persistence paid off. He received food for his guest.

“Keep praying,” Jesus encourages.

“So, I tell you continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will open for you. Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find, and whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them,” encourages Luke 11:9-10.

Don’t give up. Our Dad answers prayer in his timing.

Hannah was unashamed and persistent.

Hannah was so emotionally involved in her prayer she was accused of being drunk. 1 Samuel 1 records Hannah having a rough time in life. She was not afraid to talk with the Lord about her problem. She became so physically involved in her prayer it was thought she was under the influence. When questioned, Hannah explained, “I’m pouring my heart out before the Lord.”

Hannah was shameless and persistent in her prayer. How well do we pour our hearts out before the Lord? We do not have to be embarrassed or fearful before our dad in Heaven.

Our intimate conversations with him can be private. In fact, Jesus encourages us to pray in the closet. Pouring our hearts out before God can be a freeing, but vulnerable, experience, so we can do it in a private setting.

Acting

Are you angry? Tell the Lord.

Are you struggling? Tell the Lord.

Are you embarrassed by something in your life? Tell the Lord.

Anything else? Shamelessly tell the Lord. Persist in prayer.

The lyrics of an old hymn say, “What a friend we have in Jesus. What a privilege to carry everything to him in prayer.”

Want an Additional Resource?

Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado is a great resource on prayer.

 

How can I help?

You don’t have to read into the newspaper far or watch the news long before you see someone in need. You don’t have to get far outside your home before you run across a friend or neighbor having a hard time. Sometimes, the person needing help is right inside your home.

You long to help, but you don’t know what to do. The tornado ravaged a neighboring town, but you cannot do construction work. Your friend just received an unwanted diagnosis, but you do not know a cure. Your dad’s health is slipping, but you do not know how to help. Your daughter just had her heart broken for the first time, but you don’t know what to say. The situation is not within your control, but it is within God’s.

You and I can always help by praying, and there are times, that is all we can do. In those situations, remember our prayers are powerful and effective.

We can always help by praying.

Jesus taught the disciples it was good to pray for one another. Notice his words.

“Give us today the food we need,” Matthew 6:11-13 says, “and forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who sinned against us. And, don’t let us yield to temptation but rescue us from the evil one.”

By his choice of words, I believe Jesus is saying, “Pray for each other.”

You and I don’t have to feel helpless when we see someone hurting. We can pray for that individual.

1 Timothy 2:1 says, “I urge you, first, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”

When the neighboring town is devastated by the tornado, we can pray for the citizens. When our friend needs a cure, we can request wisdom on behalf of the doctors. When our daughter is heartbroken, we can ask the Lord to heal her pain. And, it may not hurt to pray that we’re not overwhelmed by the urge to afflict pain upon the boy who is responsible for the heart break.

Acting

Take a moment to pray for those who need the Lord’s help, and don’t be afraid to ask others to pray for you.

Please share this post with people you believe would find it encouraging.

Want an Additional Resource?

Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado is a great resource on prayer.

 

 

Can you help me?

Can you help me? This was the plea of many people in the Bible. Jairus asked for help to heal his daughter. The beggar who was blind and sitting along the road asked for help. Lazarus’ family asked for help. Many people asked for help, and the Lord never chased them away. He helped them.

In teaching his disciples about prayer, Jesus reminds us it is okay to ask the Lord for help.

Luke 11:3-4 says, “Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”

In other words, “Lord, can you help me?” We have permission to request help.

In an ever-changing, chaotic, imperfect world, we can ask the Lord for help.

When…

When our morning is off to a bad start, we’ve overslept, kids fighting, and waffles burning, we can ask the Lord for help. He will help us.

When we are feeling overwhelmed and stressed at work, we can ask the Lord for help. He will help us.

When we are forced to decide and every choice seems wrong, we can request the Lord’s help. He will help us.

When we become impatient or angry too quickly, we can put in a change request with the Lord. Our Heavenly Dad knows we are not perfect, and we still need to grow, so he is more than willing to help us.

1 John 3:2 says, “We are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears but we do know that we will be like him for we will see him as he really is.”

When we’re wrestling with guilt from yesterday’s mistakes, we can ask the Lord to take it away. He will help.

Psalm 103:12 says, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

When you and I are struggling just to make it through another day, we can call on the Lord, and he will help us.

When we have little issues or life-changing events, we can say, “Lord, can you help me?” He will help us.

The Lord helped David.

King David needed the Lord’s help in his life. We know David made many mistakes and spent much time dealing with adverse situations. He was not afraid to ask for help, and the Lord helped him.

David writes in Psalm 86:1-5, “Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer. Answer me for I need your help. Protect me for I am devoted to you. Save me for I serve you and trust you. You are my God. Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly. Give me happiness, O Lord, for I give myself to you. O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.”

We can ask our Dad for help. He will not be upset with us for needing help. He will compassionately and graciously help you and me.

Acting

Is there an area in life you could use the Lord’s help? Ask him to help you. Share your experience in the comments.

Have a friend who would find this post beneficial? Please share it with him or her.

Want an Additional Resource?

Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado is a great resource on prayer.

 

Can I ask for what I want?

Clutching his dad’s hand, the wide-eyed boy was walking through the toy isle. He noticed every toy on the shelf and asked for most of them. “This is only $10. Can I have it?” “Wow! Can you put this on my Christmas list?” Trying to convince his dad to buy another toy, the boy said, “We could play with this together, Daddy.” The boy tried all the tricks to get a new toy, but the dad’s response was the same.

“Maybe another day,” the dad calmly replied, “not today.”

This scene plays out in toy isles everywhere. Kids want many things, and they are not afraid to ask for what they want, and parents hear their requests. Likewise, our Heavenly Father allows us to ask for what we want in prayer.

We can ask for what we want.

Prayer is a conversation between us and our dad, and like all kids, we have a lot of wants and needs. We do have permission to ask for what we want.

  • John 14:13-14 says, “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.”
  • “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it will be granted,” Jesus says in John 15:7.

It is okay to make requests of God. We don’t have to worry he will become upset with us if we ask for something. God hears and answers us, and his answer always comes at the right time. God answers us in his timing.

God answers us in his timing.

If you’re like me, you pray for something and want it immediately. We didn’t ask to wait. We asked for the answer, but God delays. He does not provide the answer the same day or even the next day. We keep praying and God keeps delaying.

“Is he ever going to answer? Is he ever going to respond,” you and I wonder? We believe it is time to receive the answer to our prayer long before God knows it is time. Jacob’s family can relate.

Jacob’s family can relate.

The Bible records a severe famine causing everyone to run out of food except those listening to Joseph, Jacob’s son. God put Joseph in place before the famine to prepare Egypt and save Jacob’s family. Because of Joseph, Jacob’s family was able to escape the famine in Egypt where they enjoyed a peaceful time until Pharaoh’s death.

A new Pharaoh came to power who did not know Joseph and was threatened by the size of Jacob’s family. Israel finds themselves enslaved to the Egyptians. They are forced into hard labor, so they cry out to God. They cry out to the Lord day after day, but day after day, they are still working for the Egyptians.

Meanwhile, God was preparing Moses to lead Jacob’s family out of Egypt. In his timing, God answered their prayer.

Exodus 2:25 says, “He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.”

When It’s Time

God did not answer Israel’s prayer for years, but he did answer. God may not answer our prayers today or even tomorrow, but he will answer. Perhaps the Lord is preparing the answer just like he was for Jacob’s family.

Meanwhile, we keep praying with the hopeful knowledge our dad answers when its time.

Acting

Make a list of requests you are waiting on God to answer. Entitle the list When Its Time and pray often for these requests. God will provide the right answer in the right time.

Please share this post if you know someone who would find it helpful or encouraging.

Want an Additional Resource?

Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado is a great resource on prayer.

 

 

Fancy Prayer Not Required

Do you ever stumble over your words when you pray? You hear other people offer eloquent prayers. You hear these well-crafted masterpieces and compare your own prayers which you believe are anything but well-crafted masterpieces.

“I’m not eloquent enough,” you and I think. We tell ourselves, “My prayers are just not good enough.” The Bible says differently though.

Jesus, in teaching his disciples about prayer, shows us prayers do not have to be fancy. Eloquent words are not necessary. Well-crafted masterpieces are not required. We can just be ourselves in the conversation of prayer.

We Can Be Ourselves

Prayer is a conversation between our dad and us.

Luke 11:2 says, “When you pray, say, ‘Father….”

It is impossible to realize the full potential of our prayer life unless we understand who God is and who we are before him. Understanding this can relieve the fear of not being fancy enough in our prayers.

Who is God?

God is our father, our dad, our daddy. He has our best interests at heart and wants to provide for us. He is a caring, loving dad who has already given us his son. This shows you and I how deeply he cares for us.

Who are we?

We are God’s children.

Romans 8 says, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

Being God’s kids means he is going to look out for us. He will open doors needing opened, and close doors needing closed. He will take care of us.

So What?

Since God is our dad and we are his kids, we do not have to worry about the words we use when we pray. Dad doesn’t mind if we stumble a little. He doesn’t mind if our sentences are not always cohesive. Daddy doesn’t mind if we do not pronounce every word correctly. He doesn’t require eloquence.

God is thrilled when we talk with him. We do not have to let of how well we do it stop us. He just wants to talk with us.

Acting

Try praying as if you are having a conversation. Don’t worry about being well-spoken. Just talk. Share how it helps your prayers in the comments below.

Know someone who would benefit from this post? Please share it with him or her.

Want an Additional Resource?

Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado is a great resource on prayer.

 

No Need to be Overwhelmed by Prayer

“Lord, teach us to pray,” was the request of the disciples. They understood the importance of prayer, and how powerful of a tool prayer is for the Christian. So, they wanted Jesus to help them develop a better prayer life.

I too would like to have a better prayer life. Prayer is important and powerful but can be overwhelming especially if our faith is new to us. I’m glad the disciples asked Jesus for this lesson, so you and I have his answer to help teach us.

Here are some tips Jesus gives us in his prayer lesson, assurance God hears us, and 3 reasons why we should pray.

Why should we pray?

We should pray because…

It gives us a chance to talk with our dad.

Prayer is just a conversation with the Lord. It gives us a chance to talk with him about everything. The Bible says God is our Dad and he desires to hear from us. We love talking with our children, so why wouldn’t the Lord love to hear from us?

It gives us a chance to request what we need and want.

Matthew 7:7 says, keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.”

It is a powerful tool for us.

James 5:16 says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”

Does God really answer our prayers?

Yes, we are assured the Lord answers us.

Matthew 7:8 says, “For everyone who asks, receives, everyone who seeks, finds, and to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

The Lord hears our prayers, and he does answer us. Sometimes, the answer is no, but God does always answer us.

An Answer Model to Follow

Here is a model which helps us understand how our prayers are always answered.

  • If our request is not best for us or its not time, God says, “No.”
  • If the request is right for us, but the timing is wrong, God says, “Wait.”
  • If we are not ready for the request, God says, “Grow.”
  • When the timing is right, the request is right, and we are ready, God says, “Go.”

Like a caring parent, God will always give us what is best.

Matthew 7:11 says, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”

A Lesson in Prayer

A young boy asked his parents for a baby brother, and seeing a perfect opportunity to teach their son a valuable lesson on prayer, the parents said, “Alex, if you pray each morning and evening for one month, you will get a baby brother.”

Alex was all in for a couple weeks. He didn’t miss a prayer time. Each morning and evening he prayed for a baby brother. About the third week, Alex was tired of praying and stopped, but he didn’t say anything to his parents.

The month ended, and Alex’s mom left for a few days. When she came home, she called Alex into her bedroom. Alex entered the room to see his mom sitting on the bed holding her newborn sons. The couple had twins.

“Look at your baby brothers,” mom said. “Aren’t you glad you prayed for one month?”

Alex thought for a moment and responded, “Aren’t you glad I stopped after only two weeks?”

5 Tips to Remember When Praying

Here are 5 tips to remember when praying.

Acting

Think of prayer as if you were talking to your mom or dad or friend. Have a conversation with God just like you would one of them. Share your experience in the comments below.

How has the Lord answered your prayers? Encourage us by sharing in the comments below.

Please share this post with a friend who would find it helpful or encouraging.

Want an Additional Resource?

Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado is a great resource on prayer.