It’s not easy watching an unsaved family member suffer and it’s not easy, knowing that the Lord can help them yet they refuse Him, or their time to acknowledge Him has not yet come. ‘We are four born again Christians in this family, shame on us that we don’t pray for him…’ these words rang in my head long after I read them. How true are these words? How sad that it reveals the truth. I have been saved, I have the testimony, I have the tools and I see the urgency to pray and I don’t.
Shame on me!
As Christians, we have a few responsibilities and one of them is prayer. This is not for God’s benefit but for ours. I’ve often thought, ‘if the Lord knows our prayers and He will answer them, what’s the point of praying at all?’ I later realised that our prayers (if we pray) reveal our hearts and motivation. If we have nothing to say, something is missing in us. If we only pray for ourselves, it shows where the eyes of our hearts lie. If we pray in the same manner and the same words, we’re a little bit religious.
Prayer also brings us closer to God, what’s the point of having a relationship with someone if we don’t talk to them? It’s the same with the Lord, what’s the point of having a relationship with Him if we don’t pray to Him? We’ll just be people claiming to live for someone we don’t know – intimately. Prayer gives us the privilege of being a part of the plan of God. What an honour to see someone saved, knowing we’ve spent hours praying and fasting for that person. Or, when a Christian event goes well and many lives were touched and we were lucky enough to witness that victory, knowing all the 5 am wake up calls were not for nothing. It’s a joy watching the plan of the Lord unfold before our eyes and it’s an even greater joy when we’ve played our part in it, even if it’s ‘only’ prayer!
Prayer is important; it’s special and can be so exciting. I believe that prayer defines us; shows us who we are, and what we really want out of our relationship with Jesus. We all hear great revelations from pastors and elders; I know for sure that it comes from many hours of prayer. Prayer encourages us! I know there are times in my life where I start praying feeling confused and finish praying feeling renewed. Prayer is precious. It’s only a few minutes or hours of our day.
What I love about prayer is that there is no ‘right way’ of praying. I always thought that when you pray, it has to be formal, sitting up straight, and saying the right words with the right sentence structure. Prayer like that then became a burden to me. But, when I heard that prayer is just us talking to God, it changed everything! I found myself lying in bed talking to Jesus or walking about in my room or out in the streets talking to God, I could even tidy my room and know that I can speak to Him. I realised that although He is my Lord and Saviour and I should treat Him as such, I can still turn to Him as a Friend. That alone, overwhelmed me with more joy and respect for my God.
How wonderful for us, to have such a great and big God, who allows us to come before Him as we are, and to speak to Him in the simplest way. How comforting is it to know that He does hear our prayers; to have that assurance He will answer us in His perfect time, and according to His perfect will; having that certainty that His plan will be accomplished in our lives. What a privilege that we have the freedom to speak and spend time with Him and to get to know Him a little more every time we pray.
The Lord is great, and He has given us a tool to know His greatness and to know Him personally. I repeat, prayer is so precious, I pray that this may be revealed in all of our hearts and that we make the effort to get to know our Saviour who knows us so well.