Let's Talk About Prayer Baby
The moment has arrived at the end of the Bible study. There was great conversation in which you participated (so proud of you, btw, you did amazingly). Not only did you volunteer to read a passage out loud, you also made great points today. What you felt the Holy Spirit telling you through the scriptures helped someone realize a truth that they had been missing out on for years. Truth was spoken to you that was a serious game changer in the way you interact with other moms in the pick up line. But the study is wrapping up. As you put away your Bible and your journal and check to see if there's any coffee left in your cup, the group leader stands up. While pumping her double barrel shotgun she asks, "So who wants to volunteer to stand in front of the firing squad today?". Okay, so that's not what really happens. Really she closes her Bible and asks a very simple question: "Would any of you like to close us in prayer?". The answer is obvious and we all squirm in our seats until someone who is NOT ourselves volunteers. Even when we are comfortable in our personal prayer life, we don't always want to pray aloud in front of others. We have a personal relationship with God and a personal way in which we talk to Him. There is always an intimidation factor when we are asked to pray out loud in a group, an inner and mostly irrational fear that they will immediately judge our relationship with God by how we pray to Him. Maybe this does not describe you in any way, but I believe that it describes a vast majority of us. For those of us whose hearts are crying out SAME right now, let me ask you this. Have you ever considered that in hearing you pray someone may judge you as having a deeply personal relationship with God and desire the same thing?
God is a father to all of us, and as a parent of multiples I can attest that there is no favorite. Now, I am in no way comparing my multiples to God's multiples or even my love to His. I only have three children and the measure in which I love them is shameful compared to God's love for His children; His love for each of us. But I understand that a parent has a different and unique relationship with each individual child. Of course we judge our siblings' relationships with our parents and believe that our parents love them more. But that simply is not true of our parents and neither is it true of God. Just as I have a unique relationship with each of my own children, each of us have a different and unique relationship with our Heavenly Father, and, therefore we each talk to Him differently as well. There is no right or wrong way to talk to God. He created us simply for the fact that He wanted to be in relationship with us and that is exactly what prayer accomplishes.
Our prayer style matches our individual personality given to us specifically by God the Father. We shouldn't let someone else's relationship with Him hinder ours by comparing the two. After all, comparison is the thief of joy. So whether you have cleared out a closet and created a war room that you pray in for six hours a day, or, you seize any moment that you may have to yourself in the midst of a crazy day raising your kids to throw your hands up praising God for blessings but begging for help; whether you have a prayer language that you use frequently or you count on the Holy Spirit to translate your tired moaning; regardless of what it looks like in your life, pray.
If this is an area that you struggle in, well, what can I say? Practice makes perfect. In this weeks podcast, Amanda paraphrases an excerpt from one of her favorite books on prayer that describes it as stepping into a river. Getting your feet wet, walking in, wading in a little deeper, getting comfortable with the current and eventually finding yourself in deep waters. Whether you are still sticking your toe in or you're
wading out, I promise you the water is FINE.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1John 5:15
Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. Psalm 145: 18
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
The book that Amanda references is Believe Boldly: The Power of Simple, Confident Prayer to Unleash the Supernatural by Erica Willis.
You can listen to this weeks podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, or on our website at www.thesendhelppodcast.com/podcast