The Bible says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
We like the “don’t worry about anything” part of that verse, and the “tell God what you need” but we often neglect the “pray about everything” part.
Life can be hard and there are not always answers. Sometimes we don’t know what to pray or maybe we just can’t pray. It’s comforting to realise that prayer didn’t come naturally to the disciples. “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’...” and he taught them the prayer we call The Lord’s Prayer.
Through his example Jesus taught us what to pray for.
“When he was at the table with the disciples, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them.” Reminding us to give thanks to God who is the source of everything we have.
Before Jesus was arrested and crucified, he prayed for his disciples saying “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.” He knew their mission was not going to be easy and he asked God to bless them with perseverance, unity and spiritual satisfaction as they witnessed to the world. Reminding us to pray for others in need.
Jesus prayed for us. That’s right. He prayed for each and every one of us, and has never stopped praying for us, even though it would be millennia before we would be born. He said “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.”
Jesus also encouraged the disciples to pray together. He said “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” God’s presence in prayer can provide comfort and unites us together to become aware of the needs of others.
Activities of the day want our immediate attention and pull us in many directions. Have you ever thought or said ‘I find it hard enough to do the essentials so how can I be expected to find time to pray?’ Jesus may have felt this way. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” When his ministry began to accelerate, “in the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” On another occasion, “he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God.” Jesus prayed alone and suggested that “when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.”
Jesus prayed, alone, with others, for others, for thanks, and for us because he could do nothing without God, and neither can we. It is important to spend time in prayer.
Maybe we do..
we pray for our family and friends,
we pray for our own life circumstances,
we pray for wisdom in the decisions we must make,
we pray to intercede on behalf of those who don’t,
we pray for big things and small things.
But when was the last time you prayed and said ‘Thank you’?
Can I challenge you this week to pray? Imagine what changes could be ushered in through your prayers!
Is there a community dilemma? Pray about it.
Is there a person that rubs you the wrong way? Pray for them.
Is someone under some pressure that is trickling down to you? Pray.
Is there someone or something that worries you. Pray.
But don’t forget to say ‘thank you’ for all he has done. Pray.
If your thinking ‘I don’t know what to say’ then remember ‘In prayer it’s better to have a heart without words, than words without a heart’.
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” but he likes to communicate with you through prayer. I wonder if his heart does a dance when we go to him in prayer. I bet it does. And I bet he’s waiting for you right now. If you find it heard to pray then pray with someone else, or ask them to pray for you. Go ahead. Reach out to him in prayer today.
Feel free to ask for prayer request and let us pray for you.