Each morning after I’m done my bible reading for the day, and again before I do any writing (including this blog) I like to say a prayer. After my bible readings I ask God to open my heart and my mind to his message and to give me wisdom to understand the truth of his words. Before I sit down to write, I ask that he guide my words and message, so that what I am sharing is his will, and because I always try to remember that in him I can do “infinitely more than I can ask or imagine”.
If it isn’t already obvious, today I’d like to talk a bit about prayer. How many of us incorporate prayer into our daily lives? I willing to bet that there are lots of people out there who would say that they believe in God, but a lot less that actually speak to him on a daily basis. But, that’s what prayer is, it’s our way of talking to God.
There are so many passages in the gospels, but especially in the gospel of Luke that speak of Jesus going off by himself to pray. There are lots of passages about this because this was something Jesus did a lot.
Now let’s look at this from a couple of different angles First of all, Jesus was the son of God. It makes sense that he would want to stay in touch with his Father. Talking with people, with our parents, is part of having a relationship with them. It is through conversation that we learn about the things happening in their lives and share things that are important to us.
Of course God already knew what Jesus was doing. So do my parents. They know I’m driving kids to school, making lunches, writing comics. But it is in that active communication, in Jesus specifically setting aside time to have a meaningful and heartfelt conversation with his Father, that the relationship is nurtured, that he is nurtured.
And that’s the second point I want to touch on in this post. That prayer is nurturing. Yes, Jesus absolutely was the son of God, but he was also human. That means he had all of the same emotions that you and I do. He had moments when he was tired and emotionally wrung out (image having people clamoring for you to help them all the time) I know that sometimes trying to meet the needs and demands of my family can be emotionally exhausting – but being surrounded by people wanting a miracle, needing a miracle or a sign or to expose your weaknesses….
I’m sure at also times that Jesus was frustrated and angry, imagine having the Pharisees constantly picking at him, trying to undermine who he said he was. But it wasn’t to his disciples that he downloaded those feelings. He gave them to his heavenly Father. He gave them to God. Jesus used time with his Father, in prayer, to restore himself.
I want you now to think about times in your life when you are feeling tired and wrung out and stressed. Of course there are times when we unintentionally download those feelings onto our family and those we love. But how much better if we turn to our Father in heaven and give him those feelings.
Prayer doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to sound like your preacher or priest for God to listen, you just have to reach out. David (my husband) and I have talked about this and he confessed that he felt like he didn’t really know how to pray. The disciples didn’t know how to pray either, but when they were ready, when they asked how, Jesus taught them. Luke 11: 2-5
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
May of us already know the Lord’s Prayer by heart. I recommended that Dave start there, just taking time to really say it, to think about what it is saying and what he was praying for and to try to make that a daily habit.
Many people will tell you (and it is what I was taught) that the Lord’s prayer was really Christ giving us a pattern for how to pray. First we give glory to God and thank him for our blessings. Then we present our petitions, (for strength, freedom, peace, health), we ask for forgiveness and pray for others and then ask for protection from falling away, or being led astray.
I used to think of prayer as a chore, something that I was supposed to do. Now I find myself reaching out and talking to God throughout my day. In fact, my day wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t talking to him multiple times. He is my Father and he loves me so very much, he was just waiting for me to reach out to him so that he could show it.
I guess today’s challenge is prayer. Try reaching out and developing that relationship with your Father in heaven. I can promise you will be glad you did.
Here’s a rocking song to inspire you today!