Day 8: Persevering In Prayer
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36-38)
Prayer seems to be one of the most difficult commands given in Scripture, and yet, it is one of the greatest gifts God has given to us. We, through the blood of Jesus, have access to God’s ear! But we often take it so lightly. We are too busy in our minds to pray. We are too busy in our hearts to pray. We are too busy in our bodies to pray. We are too busy. We are just too busy. Our behavior says that we believe that all of our activity is of greater importance than spending time with the Creator of the Universe who just happens to love us greatly! Something is wrong with this picture!
Here are just a few of the many promises God gives us in His Word relative to prayer:
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
Pray continually. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3)
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (Psalm 105:4)
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. (Psalm 145:18-19)
The Bible is filled with examples of prayer! Abraham was a prayer warrior, David was a prayer warrior, and Paul was a prayer warrior.
Even Jesus was a prayer warrior:
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
Jesus was always going off to pray. If it was important enough for him to do it, how much more important it is for us! His prayer life was so effective that His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray.
How do we make practical application here? While I am no expert, I have found the following helpful in my own prayer life:
- Praise and glorify God for who He is–omnipotent, omnipresent, all knowing, slow to anger, abounding in love.
- Praise and thank God for His goodness–He is pleased with our gratitude for all of His blessings.
- Seek to empty yourself of any bias so that you may sincerely ask for His will in all circumstances.
- Pray Scripture back to God. There are some wonderful prayers by Paul in
Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians (as well as many other places in Scripture).
You can actually insert people’s names and circumstances into the prayers.
- Persevere! I have been praying for some things for years. I continue to pray
as long as something burdens my heart! God does not weary of my voice; I know
He likes me to call on Him.
- Be totally open–God knows your heart! You can share all that burdens you.
God already knows your heart; he is simply waiting for you to talk to Him!God will never make you feel small or silly, his desire is to bestows on you unbelievable peace, joy, and contentment.
These are only a few practical prayer tips. The main thing is just to take time to pray. God isn’t as concerned with your words as He is with your heart. God already knows your heart; he is simply waiting for you to talk to Him! Nothing takes Him by surprise. Persevere in prayer, and like Anna, you will see God’s hand move!
Take It to Heart
“In prayer, it is better to have heart without words, than words without heart. Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer. The spirit of prayer is more precious than treasures of gold and silver. Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.” (John Bunyan)