Prayer … Take it Seriously!
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)
Our Lord was constantly praying–He could be found both rising early as well as praying through the night. He certainly prayed prior to or at every major event of His life–His baptism, His choosing of the disciples, in the garden prior to His betrayal, and even on the cross–setting forth for us an example that we would all do well to follow. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians:
Pray continually. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
It is God’s desire for us to have continual communication with Him in the midst of our daily living.
In our verses for today, Jesus was telling His disciples how they would stay in touch with Him after His soon to be departure. They would derive power from Him through prayer after He left to go to His Father’s side. They would send forth their prayers and Jesus would communicate to them by the Spirit.
The Bible tells us that that Jesus is our great High Priest who sits at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us:
But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:24-25)
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Take It to Heart
Here are a few tips that I have found beneficial in my prayer life and they may be helpful to you! I find that there are many ways to offer prayer and all are necessary and important.
First of all, it is essential to have a time alone with the Lord, pouring out our inmost thoughts and concerns. It is simply a matter of letting Him know of our deepest heart matters.
It is also important to pray with others. I find it helpful to pray with someone as soon as I receive a request from another or desire a request myself. This keeps me from forgetting to pray as well as giving me the privilege of corporate prayer. Again, Jesus tells us in God’s Word:
“I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:19-20)
At other times I simply pray throughout the day as thoughts come to me. Perhaps it is to praise Him or thank Him, perhaps He brings someone to mind for me to pray for. I seek to respond quickly to this, though sadly I often fail. I am sure that I neither praise nor thank the Father a fraction of what He is due.
King David proclaims:
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever. (Psalm 145:21)
I also seek to pray God’s Word back to Him. He is always faithful to His promises. Hiding His Word in my heart helps keep it always at hand. Scripture is full of promises to pray for ourselves and for our families.
Remember to thank God for His answers. Unfortunately, it is easy to take things for granted. God enjoys it when we are thankful for what He gives us.
Journaling your prayer requests is an easy way to keep up and remember all the ways that God is answering your requests and also to record all of the things you are thankful for.
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)