We Gotta Pray Just to Make It Today
Recently a pastor friend of mine posted on social media about the blessing of praying together with fellow pastors. Someone trolling for a confrontation commented, "No need to actually be doing something. Gotta love some prayer warriors that come together in prayer to accomplish everything inaction doesn't accomplish." Without attempting to take the bait for the debate, I simply replied, "Prayer isn't actually inaction. Plus, these pastors do work together to meet needs in the community, through food banks, homeless shelters, and so much more." The person argued with me and I didn't respond.
Prayer might not matter to everyone, but it sure matters to me. My family and I, and our church plant team, are committed to everything we do being birthed out of prayer and bathed in prayer as we continue forward together! I believe that a life of prayer is essential to knowing God, having peace and strength, and living wide awake. Here are 3 ways I have found this to work out in my own life experience:
In Prayer We Actually Have a Conversation With God.
Have you ever thought about prayer a conversation with God? Because that's essentially what prayer is - talking with and listening to the Creator of the Universe. Prayer isn't a wish list, or a magical "be with us" safety net. It is quieting your soul, resting your mind, softening your heart and entering into a conversation with One who is always present.
The voice of God probably sounds different to everyone. And few are those who hear an out-loud audible voice... like thunder... unmistakable... "DO THIS!" Usually it's more like a compelling sense that there's something to give, or share, or write, or to go somewhere with people you don't know and and do whatever it takes to engage people for who Jesus is not yet the subject.
Psalm 46:10 says Be still and know that I am God! Being still can be hard, but it's a key part of entering into this conversation with God. And even though, we need to learn to be still...
Prayer Is Often Us Crying Out To God.
What holds you back from crying out to God? He is there. He is listening. He does care.
The 2 biggest mistakes we make in prayer is that our prayers are often not specific, and our prayers are just small prayers: "be with us." What if we asked God for specific requests and had the faith to believe that He can do things that would be otherwise impossible? When you need peace, when you need hope, when you need strength you can cry out to God. It's OK, He wants you to!
Jesus said, "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."
When you cry out to God with big, specific prayers, He is able to do immeasurably more than you ask or imagine.When you pray this way, you will pass over dangerous and difficult places with assurance!
Prayer Connects Us With God And Each Other.
A dear friend of mine named James, who has passed on now, used to say, "It's hard for me to have a problem with someone I'm praying for."
Praying in solitude is essential to living a spiritually healthy life. But so is praying with others. Praying together connects us spiritually. That means spiritual matters begin to take precedence over physical, material matters. Fighting over things that just don't matter ceases as we pray together over the things that do!
Praying with others is also an act of worship. Prayer takes our focus off of anyone and anything else, and places it directly on the One who is worthy of all praise and worship.
Praying together is also a church congregation's key to being a witness of Jesus. When the people of God pray together for God to transform lives, God transforms lives! The church that is praying to bring people into the Kingdom of Love will bring people into the Kingdom of Love. When a church isn't seeing life-change happen, it's usually because the church isn't praying for life-change.
We gotta pray just to make it today! Pray in solitude. Pray in community. And if you're new to this prayer thing, start with 5 minutes of solitude today, and let your focus be on the God who loves you so much that He wants to talk with you.