The last few months I have been at times enjoying, and at other times slogging, my way through the prophets of the Old Testament. Today’s reading hit home with something I have been thinking about, and hearing a lot about over the last few weeks; Prayer. Some people pray out loud, and they are really good at it. I’m more of a pray in my head and heart kinda girl. I find I’m more able to really express what I’m feeling and thinking that way. My prayers are often as varied as my moods. They range from petitions about my family, or work to pleas for help, and relief from feelings of unworthiness, or sadness.
Some people, maybe you are one of them, might question the point of prayer. I would say that, in the grand scheme of things, I can’t, off the top of my head, think of a prayer that I have prayed that God hasn’t answered. Sometimes those answers come almost immediately, sometimes they take weeks, months and even, in some cases, years. I’ve had people challenge me about this. How do I know that God is answering my prayer, and it’s not just a coincidence? When you pray a prayer, and months later you get an email that almost word for word responds to that prayer…I’d have to say that comes from God.
But, having an active prayer life doesn’t mean that you always get what you want. Early on in my prayer life I went to God with demands, and ultimatums; “If you want me to believe in you”…kinds of things. But as my relationship with my heavenly Father has grown, as I see His hand in my life more clearly, and on a daily basis; I am more easily able to give up my need for control. To trust that God has a plan for me, and to pray that he puts desires in my heart that are in line with his purpose for my life.
We have all been given a precious gift in the midst of the covid-19 crisis…time. This is not just time we can use to reconnect with our families, but also time we can use to reconnect with our God, to spend time in his presence, to make Him a part of our daily lives.
And this brings me to the verse in the ninth chapter of Daniel that resonated with me this morning.
“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”
I will never be “good enough” to deserve to have God answer my prayer. My answered prayers are because God is merciful, and He loves me… and He calls me His child.
This week is holy week; the week during which the Son of God, Jesus walked toward his ultimate purpose, death on a cross for all of us. Prayer was an intricate part of Jesus’ life and if you have read, or read the gospels you will see that he often went off on his own to pray. If prayer is something new to you and you are unsure of how to start then I offer you the prayer that Jesus gave his disciples when they asked him how to pray.
OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME.
THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.
AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US.
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL.
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER AND THE GLORY
FOREVER AND EVER.
Everything you ever need to say to God is found in this prayer.