Faith General

Prayer is You

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Ever notice how churches seem to have their greatest weekly attendance on Sundays? Announce a prayer meeting and a fraction show up.  Wonder why?  

Prayer, during my childhood, was relegated to meals and bedtime. Prayer during my teen years was minimal at best; of course, unless there was a test I wasn’t prepared for or a girl I was nervous talking to.  “Jesus, help me now!” 

College days taught me a healthier pattern of prayer. My Christian group on campus along with my college days church showed me a deeper value to prayer. Still, I did it if I felt like it or was in a bind. 

There may be something deeper, however,  to this issue of prayer.  Prayer is not something we do as Jesus’ followers, it’s who we are. Prayer is our identity. Prayer is indicative of our relationship with Jesus.

We were created for relationships; both vertically with God as well as horizontally with others. When my relationship with Jesus is healthy, my relationships with others will grow healthier too. 

There is something deeply spiritual in us that wants intimacy; to be seen, heard, known, and loved. How many times have I longed for the arm of Jesus around my shoulder, him drawing me near, having a conversation that speaks to the depths of my soul. 

“David, you are not abandoned. You are deeply known and loved by me.”  Jesus.

There is something profound that happens when we pray. God moves. We see him act. Life changes.

Recently, I was introduced to this idea:

When a Child of God

Prays the Word of God

By the Spirit of God

In the Name of God

To God

They receive a Move of God.

Let’s unpack this.

When a Child of God

A child of God is someone who has placed his/her trust in Jesus as their Lord and Messiah. They have a story of confession and repentance from their sin and a faith dependency on Jesus. A child of God is in an active relationship with him.

Prays the Word of God

The Bible is the written Word of God. Scripture teaches us that every word is ultimately from God. It is living and active. God uses his word to penetrate deep into our souls. When we pray Scripture back to God, we are speaking his words to him. It is music to God’s soul! He longs for his children to speak his word to him. 

For nearly 13 years I mentored a young man, from his mid-teens to his upper twenties. He and his bride wrote their vows. At the wedding, as he read his, there were several phrases he used in his covenant vows to his bride that came right out of our many discussions about life and marriage. My heart was thrilled to hear him say those words!  All of that time mentoring him paid off! 

That’s how Jesus feels when we pray his word.

Praying the word is asking God to bring those truths to bear on the issues and relationships at hand in our lives.  Think about how you would pray these verses from Psalm 16 to God.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;

    in the night also my heart instructs me. 

I have set the Lord always before me;

    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

By the Spirit of God

I cannot say that every time I pray it’s by the Spirit. Sometimes it’s a command performance; me telling God what I want instead of listening to Him.  To pray by the Spirit is not some wild demonstration or display. It’s a willingness to yield to him. To let His Word pour over us. To open ourselves to the supernatural promptings of his Spirit. 

Nothing. Absolutely nothing about praying by the Spirit will ever contradict what God says in his Word.

In the Name of God

By our will, we pray according to God’s will. We pray to align ourselves and our concerns with him. We pray in his name. Not ours, not in the name of the person we are praying for. We pray in his name, his truth, his authority.

To God

Prayer is always a conversation with God. I’ve heard of prayers that were more telling the listener a lesson than seeking the face of God. 

Think of it this way. If God was in the room with you, would you be speaking to the chair or the wall or others in the room?  You would be speaking to him.  Pray to God.

They receive a Move of God

God responds to us when we pray. He supernaturally changes hearts, refines attitudes, heals wounds, realigns perspectives, and changes history. He brings his kingdom to light.

The amazing part is we experience his presence!  God shows up! Joyfulness and gladness fill his people regardless of how dire the situation at hand may be.

Having a biblical theology of prayer changes us from seeing prayer as something we do to prayer being our identity.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing”.

Having an ongoing conversational relationship with Jesus is praying without ceasing; about anything and everything, 

Prayer knows no place.  

A story was told of a woman whose heart for prayer was attuned to God at work. She was shopping at Costco in Wichita and noticed a pregnant woman who looked miserable. She sensed the Lord telling her to go over and pray with that pregnant woman. 

“Mam, I see you are pregnant. Are you feeling ok?”

The woman responded.  “No. I just came from the doctor and he said my baby is breech. I feel so miserable.”

“May I pray for you?” she asked.

“Of course.” the pregnant woman replied.

She prayed for the woman and baby, that God would meet her, help her and if possible help the baby not be breech.

They exchanged phone numbers.

A few days later, the pregnant woman texted the woman who prayed for her.

“I saw the doctor again and my baby is no longer breech!”

Prayer is not relegated to a church building at a certain time of the day or hour. It can happen wherever you are as your heart is attuned to God in the situations at hand.

Instead of praying on command or in a crisis, consider that prayer is an indicator of your walk with Jesus.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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