I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer this week, which, when it comes down to it, is the central theme of this entire post.
If I am being honest, I’ve been doing a lot more thinking than I am praying. There’s a big difference between thinking and praying, the largest being that prayer requires trust and thinking does not.
When Jonathan was sick, a lot of people were praying for us. A lot of people were thinking of us too. I know this because many of them said “We’re sending good thoughts your way!” While I always appreciated this sentiment (because I know it is meant with the best of intentions) I wasn’t sure what it meant. How can we send good thoughts someone’s way? What does that really mean?
I believe some people who “sent good thoughts our way” were actually praying for us, but they just didn’t know who they were praying to, or if those prayers were being heard.
I find comfort in knowing that God hears all prayers, from all people, even when someone doesn’t believe in Him.
I’m reading through Ephesians right now with a bunch of girls, and last night’s discussion centered around Ephesians 3. If you haven’t read Ephesians before, the Apostle Paul is in prison but writes a letter of encouragement to the churches in Ephesus. In verse 12 he says, “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
Paul’s words, and the prayer he offers at the end of the chapter, remind me I’ve been failing to approach God with freedom and confidence. He can answer my prayers, but I haven’t been asking much of Him lately. I think this is partially because prayer requires my busy and anxious mind to slow down, but, I also wonder if I’m perhaps having a hard time trusting Him.
When you ask for something with confidence, like He tells us to do, you have to be prepared for an answer you may not like or want. When that happens, it can make me angry. It’s no wonder so many people only pray the easy prayers, or don’t pray at all.
In Gerald Torres’ sermon to Reality Church, he says, “Prayer is the one thing the disciples asked Jesus to teach them.” They didn’t ask how to walk on water, or turn water into wine (wouldn’t that be a great party trick!?) but rather they asked how to pray.
Torres reminded the congregation that he who prays much will pray more. That’s the secret. We can grow in our prayer life if we are willing to pray.
I am willing. I am trying.
How about you? Believe in prayer? Think it’s hard? Think it’s hocus pocus? The discussion is yours…