Prayer. Something many of us start – or end – our day with as we come into the presence of our Holy God. Yet sometimes we forget – or simply fail – to pray until we we feel threated, lost, forlorn or hopeless. And we wonder…
Do You hear me, God?
Do You see me, Lord?
Do You know me, Father?
Me too. More often than I care to admit.
“To win any battle, you have to have the right strategy and the right resources,” says the prayer warrior, Ms. Clara, in the movie War Room.
Want to win your battles? Then let’s put the right strategy and resources into place! That drove me deep into the Holy Bible to see what prayer strategies and resources God provides. Here’s the reward of opening His treasure chest.
Two simple words, right? Yet it’s when we unpack His Word and learn to apply it that His power prevails. Like opening a package with a new book or tool inside, we must put it to use – or practice using or applying it – until we become proficient. That’s the purpose in unpacking His Words today.
“A lot of people don’t pray because they don’t believe it works, but unfortunately it doesn’t work because we don’t really pray,” says Dr. Tony Evans, ThD.
That’s not our goal. We want to learn how to pray proficient prayers that change lives – for good – because the power of God is present.
So let’s start with Jesus teaching us how to pray, since He is the best model we can learn prayer (or anything else!) from.
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:5-15 (NIV)
Yes, pray in secret, in private. Have you seen the movie, War Room? If not, make time! You will see the power of praying in private. People who adopt this practice can anticipate His rewards and the power of His presence.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
Praise the Lord appears in many of the Psalms where David taught us to praise the Lord and call on Him by Name. Have you learned some of the names of God? They are infinite, like He is. His names reveal His character to strengthen us in our deepest need.
Hallelujah is considered the highest form of praise in Christianity – I heard someone say it is the equivalent of saying praise the Lord 10,000 times – yet Hallelujah appears only 4 times in the NIV translation – in Revelation 19: 1,3,4,6. How appropriate. Our highest praise will be at His second coming (or first if you are Jewish).
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Revelation 19:6 (NIV)
Would you like His power and presence to be evident in your life? Me too, so I will praise His Holy Name – in private. Sound like a powerful battle strategy with the right resources to you?
Let us praise His Name – in private. And watch for His power to be present in our lives, in our families, in our circumstances.
In Jesus name. Amen
Susan B. Mead is the best-selling author of the book, “Dance with Jesus: From Grief to Grace.” She spent over 20-years working at a high level in corporate America until she retired 10-years early because she realized things get broken, discarded and replaced in life, yet people matter…
and she wanted to spend time with those who matter most to her.
In 2004, Susan lost her younger sister to suicide…
In 2008, she lost her college-aged son to drugs and alcohol, and
In 2013, Susan was in the grandstands cheering on her cousin as he ran the 45th anniversary of winning the Boston Marathon, only to see the first bomb explode directly across the street…
Having experienced her share of grief, Susan learned God shines the brightest light in the darkest moments and shows up when we need Him most.
Susan wants to share her journey to inspire, motivate and empower you…
You too can find grace in the midst of grief and calm in the chaos of life. Connect with her on her blog, Twitter or Facebook.
PS – Have you been to Israel? GO – Up To Jerusalem! Join me next week to hear about the trip of a lifetime.