I think of the prayer requests that I’ve received recently. And I’m reminded of how fragile life really is. We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow.
There’s the one who lost his father from a tragic fall. There’s the child who’s having surgery. I think of the one who’s been unfairly accused and faces an uncertain future. Then there’s the one who has health issues that seem never ending. The one who recently started chemo. And another who’s finishing chemo and preparing for the next steps.
I think of the one who was in a car accident. And the family whose loved one is in hospice care. I think of the sister whose faith has taken a turn toward recklessness. The son who is fighting depression. And the daughter who is still struggling with health problems months after her accident. I remember the one who received a daunting mental health diagnosis. And the one who hasn’t yet received a diagnosis. And there’s the one who is struggling with health issues and is searching far and wide for relief.
Another one feels they must lie in order to avoid combative conversations. I think of the one who apologized for possibly offending another. I recall the one who has a bad attitude about their work situation. They all need to pray, and they need others to pray for them.
Her loved one is dying. He doesn’t have long to live. His days are numbered. She isn’t sure how to talk to him. She isn’t sure what to do. I said all we can do is pray. It sounded so helpless. But wait. Prayer isn’t helpless. Prayer is the act of turning over our troubles and concerns and struggles and needs to an Almighty, All Powerful God. It isn’t an act of weakness. Prayer is one of the most powerful acts a believer can do.
Never stop praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
I wonder why we use prayer as a last resort, instead of as our first line of defense. Or offense. God is always available. He is ready and willing to hear our prayers. Prayer is power.
Have the habit of prayer, turning your thoughts into acts by connecting them with the idea of the redeeming God.(Coleridge, Notes on the Book of Common Prayer)
Prayer. The act of talking with God. Sharing our concerns and needs and gratitude and praise. It’s a time to bare our souls and just lay out all our fears and desires. But we can’t forget to offer thankfulness. God is so good to us. He has blessed us beyond measure. He knows everything we will do and what we won’t do. He knows everything we need and everything we want. God can do more than we ask or imagine. We must remember to thank God for everything.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6
There’s the sinner’s prayer asking for forgiveness. There’s the prayer of thanksgiving. God hears our every prayer. He answers our prayers in the way he sees fit. For that, we should be thankful.
We should pray seeking wisdom as we make decisions. And for speaking words of truth. We must pray for discernment. And whether we like it or not, we should pray for our political leaders and for those in authority. We need to pray for those who are against us, not just for those who are for us. We must pray for others, and not just for ourselves.
We must pray. Because when we pray, we draw closer to God. We don’t pray to change God. Prayer actually changes us, even when we are praying for others. Prayer moves God to work in our lives. We can and must pray boldly, and God will hear us. We must not be afraid to pray for anything and all things.
And when those prayers aren’t answered in the way we want or expect, we must still cry out to God. We must still bring our requests to him knowing that he always hears us. God’s will is always accomplished. We must ask ourselves. Are we praying for God’s will or our own? Regardless of the answer or lack of, we must pray. Regardless of how long we wait to see heaven move. We still pray.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12