Was it last night? Was it last month? Was it last year? (Obviously this last one isn’t too literal since last year was only a few days ago.)
If you are the casual person who prays every once and a while, this post is for you. Yes, you made it to the right article.
But the reason I’m writing about this is because I would like to make 2018 the year I pray more. And of course, every year after that. It’s a “resolution”, I guess, I call it a faith goal.
When I think of praying, three things come to mind. It’s either your prayer is a request, asking for forgiveness, or thanking God. Thanking God seems to be the more usual one.
You actually probably say “Thank God” on the regular, yes? That’s a prayer. A short and not-so-well thought out one but a prayer, nonetheless. Thank God! I found my keys. Oh thank God, you’re here.
Truly, God is to be thanked for well, everything. But that’s not where I’m going, I’m asking you: when was the last time you really prayed?
There’s this great guy in the Bible named Nehemiah who was considered the man of prayer. He loved to pray like errday all day, it was his thing. He actually holds the record of having the longest prayer in the Bible AND the shortest one, too.
Man, to be like Nehemiah.
But let me tell you something about God first so we can level with each other (this might get lengthy):
- God is limited by nothing
Whether you’ve been looking around the last 30 minutes for your keys and you finally find them and go, “Thank God!” Or you were able to finally pay off that beautiful house your keys belong to, and you somberly thank God for His provision, let me just say: God is the God of the small and the big. When you rely on Him even for the most seemingly insignificant things in your life or are on your knees every night pleading for something that means life to you–God has no limit in hearing, in providing, or in taking away.
2. God doesn’t need you, but He wants you
When I think of the entire Earth and everything on it, I also ponder on how God could simply (this is going to sound brutal) destroy it in the snap of a finger. It makes me feel REALLY small. If God is the Creator, then technically His creation is up to Him and what He pleases to do with it. But for some remarkable reason, we spin on a perfect axis, we breathe the right amount of oxygen into our lungs, and we stand on solid ground due to this thing called gravity. But God doesn’t need to do that, He gains nothing from us. And for some even more remarkable reason…He does all this simply because He love us
3. God’s mark of grace is on everyone
I was talking to my friend one time and the convo went something along the lines of, “Why is it that people can still be nice and forgiving and honest even when they don’t acknowledge God?” And he gave me a mind-blowing answer: Because God is grace, and the mark of His grace is on everyone. Simply put, since you were created by God, you were made in His likeness, and He wrote His law in your heart so that even in the denial of Him, you still can’t escape Him. All the good things that come with God: love, patience, virtue, morality, anything that is considered GOOD is from God. And it really has nothing to do with you. You simply can’t be any of that without God’s grace.
So how does prayer relate to this? Let me try to make the connection.
- When you think of how limitless God is, He can grant anything you’d desire, yes anything. But that doesn’t make Him a genie.
John 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in my name.
See, the Scripture has a funny way of being written: there’s always a catch! The first part is here you go, the second part is but look here first. “I will do whatever you ask in My name” sounds AMAZING, but “so that the Father may be glorified in my name.” What does that mean?! Maybe your request isn’t really going to glorify God? God will grant the desires of your heart, according to His will. That’s something you should probably pray about.
2. When you think of God and how much He loves you, I can name 5 things you should thank Him for right now.
You woke up. You probably ate something today, perhaps it was good? You can name at least one person who loves you, I don’t know, your mom. You can name maybe two people that you know you definitely love. You’re reading this article right now which means you can probably see…and well, read. Great. You should pray about that.
Read ANY psalm, and you’ll find something to be thankful for.
3. When you think of how God’s mark is on you, that good thing you just can’t escape being; whether it’s you can never lie, you always feel the need to help, or you somehow manage to just let people be and understand them, don’t kid yourself—that’s God’s grace. Again, all good things come from God.
So if you’re still in denial but you’ve reached this point, don’t stop reading.
There’s this famous Scripture that goes, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” That’s Romans 10:13.
Calling sounds a lot like communication. Communication with God is well only one way, through prayer. But who exactly is God? Who is Lord?
The answer is simple. Jesus.
Again, there’s this famous Scripture that goes, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” That’s John 14:6.
I will be very frank and say you are not praying genuinely, if you are not praying to Jesus or in His name.
So when was the last time you prayed? Maybe now is the time. Salvation is by grace through faith and if you genuinely feel that the Lord has touched you, that is His grace. The first step of faith is prayer. Faith is relying on God for anything and everything, your very existence, even. A prayer of faith is also asking for the forgiveness of your sins and thanking Him for saving you.
You may have never known God until now. You may have heard of Him before but simply shrugged Him off. You may have once been close to God but then drew away. Perhaps, those were times in which God was calling to YOU. You may be wondering what prayer is for, and hopefully this helps.
You are a mark of God’s grace, He loves you, and He wants you to fully be His so that all will work together for the good in your life according to His purpose. He already knows what you need or what you’re dealing with or what you’re thankful for, but would like to hear you say it. That is the secret of prayer. That is the power right there. The small getting larger. And the large becoming smaller, as you get to know God a little more each day simply by talking to Him.
For all my fellow Victory peeps and CCF-ers, we’re approaching one week of Prayer and Fasting that I know will result in many breakthroughs and ultimately, joy and gratitude. Let’s do this!