By Gladys McElmore
As Christians we pray often even when we do not understand the power involved. Most of us may not fully know all of the issues regarding our faith. There are probably many elements beyond our intellectual grasps. We may consider that praying often and fervently according to His will can let us know that prayer is powerful. Where would we be in our Christian walk without prayer? Without it our lives may be so different. As we read various Scriptures about prayer we can ask ourselves what main points do they all have in common concerning our relationships with God?
Jesus is our praying Messiah. In Luke 3, Jesus prayed at His baptism. While He was praying heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit came down on Him. Some other prayer times include:
• Luke 9:18 Jesus prayed alone before Peter confessed that He was the Christ.
• Luke 22:32 Prayer was offered as Jesus predicted Peter’s denial of Him as the Messiah.
• Luke 22:39-45 He prayed in the garden before His betrayal and arrest in Gethsemane. These are just some of the prayers Jesus offered to God the Father. He, the spotless Son of God, is without sin. Jesus who lived in perfect harmony with the will of God obviously had a powerful prayer life. Read John 17 where Jesus prayed for Himself, His disciples and for all believers. If Jesus needed to pray in order to deal with challenges He faced, how much more do we need God’s power?
Jesus Christ’s examples of prayer clearly prove how God is needed every day. It is difficult to imagine a relationship with God without praying often! Since communication with other people is crucial, how much more so in a relationship with God? Jesus gives us many examples and it is up to us to make the choice to follow them. How can we make prayer a central part of our walk with God? Can our prayers become consistent without distractions from the world? Sometimes we try everything except the one thing that can change our whole world: come before God and pray. It is good news to know that God is inviting us to seek His face.
Many testimonies may come from ourselves and others and grasp our attention as we struggle with the power of prayer. We may not understand ourselves so that God’s ways may seem unclear. We can claim Christ’s forgiveness for our sins. In many ways, or at various times, we are not trying to get God to move mountains, but to travel with us during the trials of our lives! Even though we know that can happen, instead prayer can cause the miracle of changing human hearts which will make all of us better people. Let us continue to pray for spiritual strength. It is not always easy to understand our prayer needs. Why ask God for something if He knows about it already? Will God not do something unless we ask for it first? Can our prayers really change what God will do?
Prayer is a way of connecting with God who knows what we need. After all, Jesus Himself said in Matthew 6 that, “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” While exercising our faith in God, we may become more dependent on Him as we realize His impact on our lives. We continue to seek Him because of our visible helplessness. Our needs depend on our relationship with God. Our prayers remind us that are not our own, but have been bought with a price and we need God as our way-maker. With these thoughts in mind, we continue to seek God in prayer and with ever increasing faith that He hears and will answer in His best possible way!
Because we do not ask we may miss blessings. Read James 4 and 5 and learn more about the actions of God and how prayer impacts our lives and our relationships with others. To answer all logical questions, we continue to go to the word of God for pathway – directions. We ask and He responds one way or the other. Perhaps a most important example must never be forgotten and that is to confess our sins for He is faithful to forgive us. This is a powerful link between prayer and God’s actions in our lives. Because if we ask and we admit a need, we comply by showing faith for better conditions for ourselves and for others.
One thing for certain, as Christians we know that anyone who prays consistently and fervently according to His will must say that prayer can and does change our lives. Prayers will continue to increase our understanding with accompanying appreciation of God’s impacting actions that remedy our human frailness! Let us continue to thank God for everything.
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.