How much do you pray? Seriously. Out of the 24 hours in a day, how often do you talk to the Father? How often do you ask His help? His mercy? His grace? His power to be made real in your life?
How often do you pray for those you know that don’t know Christ? Do you pray for the words to say to them? Do you pray for them at all?
How often do you ask Him for something unbelievable? Something beyond your power? Something truly miraculous? Do you even believe He does that anymore? Do you even believe…?
I ask this because we had a great conversation over dinner tonight at my in-law’s house about the power and necessity of prayer. My father-in-law pastors a small country church, and he’s seen the effects of prayer in recent days in the life of his congregation. In big ways, he’s seen the effects. God is moving.
In my church, we made it a point to pray for the names of friends, loved ones, family members that didn’t know Christ leading up to Easter Sunday, and God moved in a major way that day, changing the lives of a large number of people. The next week, many of those same people that gave their lives to Christ were baptized, making a public profession of their relationship with Jesus.
Prayer changes things, the old saying goes. Yet, do we really live like that? I tell you, I’ve been very convicted lately that I don’t pray near enough. Not even close. Paul said to “pray without ceasing.” I cease a lot. But God moves when His people pray. Take this famous verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14 :
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” ESV
Why don’t I pray? Why don’t many of us pray? I think part of it stems from the fact that we think we “got this.” In the West, on a day-to-day basis, we think we can get along just fine without God. Oh, we may not say this, or even think it consciously, but I believe we think it just the same. But the first action on our part in the verse above is to humble ourselves. That means realizing that you don’t “got this.” It’s realizing that, in the blink of an eye, it can all unravel around you and that the Maker and Creator is the only One who’s “got this!” True prayer starts from a place of total dependence on God.
Next, we pray and seek His face. Man, I know I don’t do this enough. When was the last time you truly sought after God? Apart from a time of great crisis? Oh Lord! Let me be like David who said:
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63, ESV)
Do you often use language like that when you think of your relationship with God? Shouldn’t we? He is EVERYTHING!!! Yet, most days, He’s an afterthought. Oh Lord, help!
And don’t forget God’s part of 2 Chronicles 7:14. When, and if, we turn, seek, repent and pray, GOD HEARS! The maker of the universe hears US when we call!!! And He promises forgiveness and healing! He promises us!
So tonight, on the verge of a new week, I ask you: got prayer? Because we certainly don’t “got this!”