Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons God has given us, and I believe it has never been more important for God’s people to be on our knees. I love the verse from Luke 5:16 because it shows that just like you and I, Jesus needed a break from the demands of his busy life at times to recharge his batteries and spend time with his Heavenly Father. We need this very same thing today. The life of Christ is intended to give us examples we can follow and learn from. So, even though he was God incarnate, Jesus didn’t draw on his authority as the Son of God regarding facing life’s challenges. Instead, when he was exhausted or burdened or in need of spiritual refreshment, he would “slip away” to pray — plugging into the power that can only be found in God’s presence. But knowing how to pray is not always easy, at least not for me.
Don’t get me wrong…I have made daily devotionals and prayer time a practice in my life for decades now. I have even started making “lists” of things to pray for after seeing the movie, “The War Room”. But, I know prayer time with God is still a weak link in my spiritual life. Studying the Bible is a true passion of mine, I absolutely love getting lost in Scripture. But, during my prayer time, my mind tends to wander…”did I remember to turn off the oven?’, “what time is my dentist appointment?”…..my faith waivers at times….”Lord, are you really listening to me right now?”…. and I often walk away feeling unsatisfied with the prayer I have just lifted up to God. I seldom feel like I have covered everyone and their needs. Guilt and a sense of failing, falling short, typically describes me and my prayer life.
However, today God has brought Colossians 4:2 alive to me. “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving”. So, I am encouraged to pray not just once in the morning after my devotional, not just before eating dinner…and then just before falling asleep at night. I am going to do what Paul urges us all to do. Pray consistently and often, every day. When I take the time to sit still and allow God to reveal His voice to me, I am always blessed. However, I don’t always have to be on my knees to pray. I can be driving to work and asking Him for help during my day or driving home from work, praising Him for what He has done for me that day. I can be sweeping the floor, cooking a meal, washing dishes, or taking a shower.
The point is, God wants us to pray. He wants to have a conversation with me and I need to have one with Him. When I am constantly looking for opportunities to pray, I am led to true devotion and worship. I read somewhere that “true worship is not a task, true worship is a response.” Isn’t that what prayer really is? A response to not only what God has done for us but what God can and will do for us. We serve a truly wonderful God and if we desire to know Him and be intimate with Him, he will bless our endeavors.
I think I realize now the most important key to a satisfying prayer life is to understand my spiritual authority in Christ as explained in the Scriptures. The only way to do that is to become intimately familiar with the Bible. Even a few minutes a day in the Word of God adds strength and authority to my prayers. I know it will for you, too.
Luke 5:16- “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.”
Matthew 6:9-13- The Lord’s Prayer
Linda Jackson is a White County resident. She contributes monthly to The Sun Times. You can reach Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org