“Prayer,” as a word, doesn’t communicate great things. It’s tragic. The fact is, you and I hear that word, and we think (1) I don’t do it enough; (2) dull prayer meetings; (3) does it even work? Prayer as a concept engenders guilt, boredom or failure.
Today is the National Day of Prayer. Prayer, in reality, is THE strongest weapon in our arsenal in spiritual warfare (Eph 6). It is THE doorway to a life of fulfillment, meaning and purpose. And it is THE vehicle by which God gives us peace in all things (Phil 4).
Moreover, think about this: If you can talk to God, he can talk to you. Prayer is THE conversation between you and the Living, Eternal, Gracious, Majestic, Holy & Kind God. It’s the two conversation. Your heart to his heart. Your mind to his mind. Your will to his will. Your mouth to his ear, and his mouth to your ear.
At this morning’s Prayer Breakfast, Pastor Anthony Lawson noted three things about prayer:
It is Talking to God. Think about the person in history you’d most like to talk to, or have a conversation with. I’m fascinated with John F Kennedy. I think it would be a blast to spend the afternoon with him. Or, Henry VIII. Or, Mother Teresa. Or, Martin Luther. Why? Because these people are historical figures, they have mattered, and have accomplished things or witnessed things. How much more so is God. Prayer is that ‘afternoon spent with the famous person’. Do you think of prayer like that?
It is Getting God’s Wisdom. How many times in life would you have made a different decision, taken a different course, said a different word… if you had just that one more piece of information? We see it in hindsight, but we didn’t see it in the moment. Prayer is getting that piece of information, that God-originated wisdom for our moment. “In all your ways acknowledge him (ie., look to him, seek him, pray!), and he will direct your paths.” (Prov 3:6). You can hardly find a clearer promise in Scripture for our daily lives. And yet, so many of us go from Sunday to Sunday without really praying.
It’s Accessing God’s Power. When a 2 year old cries out for help to her dad, that dad jumps into action. That dad brings his 200 pounds of muscles and strength to protect that little 35 pounds of weakness. That dad puts his life experience, his financial resources, his authority and his loving heart into action on behalf of his daughter. Don’t you see? That 2 year old ‘prayed’ to her dad – called out to him. And the did responded. “Call on me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you, and you will glorify me” (Psalm 50:15). It just doesn’t get any clearer than this.
This National Day of Prayer, may God’s gracious gift to us of calling out to him, and talking to him, and learning from him be our theme all day long.
Lord, we love you, and rejoice that you invite us to talk to you, praise you, ask of you, give thanks to you, and give ourselves to you. Help us to pray. Teach us to love talking to you, and banish all thoughts of guilty, boredom or failure. You are worth it! Find us on our knees often today and every day, we ask in Christ’s Name.