Posted by Chris:
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. – 1 John 5:14-15
An intimate relationship requires cultivating. Nothing grows in dead dry ground. Prayer is one of the key components to cultivating the soil of our relationship with the Father. And it’s not about being fancy with words – I don’t believe God is concerned with how well you can articulate your prayer – only that you seek for Him to mold and grow the desires of your heart to be His desires for your life. Jesus truly put it best when he taught the disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9-13:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Our prayer should to recognize that the Father’s name is holy. Our prayer should be that the desires of our heart yearn for the Father’s will. Our prayer should be for sustenance – that He would give us all that we need for the day. Our prayer should be for forgiveness and to be forgiveness. Our prayer should be that the Father continue to draw near to us so that we would not give in to the assault of Satan and temptation.
I’m sure there are many of us out there who can relate that prayer is something that easily escapes our faith walk. There are plenty of excuses as to why we allow this to happen – but I often wonder if the true culprit is a lack of faith in the power of prayer. Let’s be completely bare and honest for a moment – When we don’t receive an answer to prayer, or at least we don’t perceive to receive an answer, we allow it to manifest into questions of whether God hears us or there must be something we’ve done to deserve God’s silence. Maybe you fall into the category of consistently being inconsistent in your prayer life – often going for days, weeks, or months without an honest heartfelt prayer. Then one day it hits you how lacking your prayer life has been and so you beat yourself up about it and vow to do better – only to fall back into the same inconsistent cycle.
I’m guilty of it. And one glaring side effect of a dead prayer life is a dead faith. I’ve experienced first-hand feeling as if God was distant from me. The truth is, it was my own doing. If we aren’t constantly drawing near to the Father, we in turn are not allowing him to draw near to us. Prayer is powerful and I’ve seen it do powerful things. I’ve seen it break chains of anger and resentment. I’ve seen it bring physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. I’ve seen it make impossible things possible.
I want to challenge you today to truly trust in the power of prayer. We believe that God’s promises are true and that He is faithful. Let your prayers reflect that truth and they will continue to cultivate your relationship with the Father. The deeper you go, pushing the roots further into the soil, the more your faith will stand unwavering against the strongest winds of doubt and fear.