Prayer is the optimum antidote to every challenge. It is the acknowledgement of God’s loving presence in our lives and a genuine invitation for his divine intervention.
Philippians 4:6 tells us “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus”.
Prayer time is one of those rare occasions when we show up as we truly are. There is no ego, no emotional defence or mask wearing; purely the coming into a quiet, sacred space in which to reach for and receive attention from the omnipresent Creator.
When we regularly open our hearts and minds in prayer we feel cherished by God and our self worth grows. We know we are becoming tighter with him when our worldly worries greatly diminish. We are able to relax in the knowledge that all our concerns are being addressed – often in ways we may not necessarily expect or understand.
Through prayer our life purpose aligns with God’s will for us, since we are allowing him to show us the way after having surrendered all our fears over to him. The practice of prayer requires a lot of faith and patience. There will be occasions when we do not know what is best for us and so we are invited to trust in God’s outline for our lives. Whatever oppressive personal dilemma we may be in the midst of he will always act for our highest good.
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11.
The most important things to remember about prayer are to engage in it often and to always pray in Jesus’s name. Jesus instructed all to pray this way to guarantee the bond with the one true God of heaven and to keep us from the danger of idolizing false gods and deities. He said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me”. John 14:6. We are also reassured with his words “If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it”. John 14:14.
Jesus encouraged his followers on The Sermon on the Mount to pray the following prayer, commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer” as documented in Matthew 6:9-13. Note the beauty of this prayer in the use of the word “us” rather than “me” as we are asked to care for the wellbeing of all humanity.
“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 sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Additionally here is a simple prayer for newcomers to faith who may feel unsure as to where to begin:
Thank you for loving and accepting me just as I am. I surrender all my challenges to you and trust in your guidance. I allow your holy presence to lead me in every area of my life. I allow you to work through me so that I may bring your teaching to others. I ask for your help with (insert your current personal petition).
In Jesus’s name. Amen.
Before long, your own words will flow naturally to God. It does not matter too much how we pray, whether we are eloquent or not, whether we are in a peaceful mind state or an agitated mind state, it is only the connection from the heart which is important. Each and everyone of us are heard and comforted. No matter what we have done in the past, no one is ever turned away for God’s love is unconditional.
“Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. Isaiah 41.10.
Pay attention to what action God is leading you to regarding your prayer requests. Your answers may come through God’s own voice, through strong thoughts or feelings, through meaningful dreams, through the words of other people or through information appearing for you just at the right moment. Be prepared to follow up signs.
God’s communication with us will be always be clear. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace”. 1 Corinthians 14.33.
I pray for anyone in need of healing each Sabbath so please look out for my reminder posts on Fridays.