I woke up at 3 a.m. with a feeling like I just had to pray. Pray for my family. Pray for my friends. Pray for my church. So I did. I prayed until I fell asleep again at 4 a.m. Then, I woke up at 6 a.m. with the nudging feeling that I needed to pray some more. So I did. I prayed for my family. I prayed for my friends. I prayed for my church. I don't know exactly what I needed to pray for, so I covered all of the bases. I prayed for safety. I prayed for growth. I prayed for protection. I prayed for joy, strength, peace, change.
I've heard people say, "Is it really important that we pray? It's not like we can change God's mind and He already knows what's going to happen." My response to that is, yes! God does know what's going to happen. He knows the choices we will make. He knows the outcome of our choices. He knows everything about us. But prayer is not about changing God's mind or getting what we want. It's about focusing our hearts on Him. When we take time to pray, we are standing in the gap for our friends, our family, our church. We are seeking God. We are making our requests known to Him. We may pray for 5 minutes, we may pray for hours. The outcome may be the same as it was always intended to be, but WE are changed. Spending time in prayer changes our focus. It becomes outward instead of inward. You cannot spend hours in prayer and not be changed.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "Garbage in, garbage out"? It means, whatever you spend your time watching, listening to, or engaging in, will come out. If it's dirty, nasty stuff, that's what will come out of you. Your thoughts will be dark and hopeless. If it's good and pure, goodness will flow out. Your thoughts will be hopeful and peaceful. So, as we spend time in prayer and reading the Word, that goodness will flow out of us. God's love will flow out of us. Our trust will grow as we rely fully on the Lord.
Does this make sense? Prayer is powerful and effective. We shouldn't try to live without it. One of the best things about it is that there's no special formula. You don't have to say certain words or be at a certain level of maturity (phew). It's simple and takes on many forms.
I could talk about prayer for hours. Instead of boring you to death, I want to pass along some resources. Sometimes it's hard to know what to pray for. One of the things that has helped me tremendously is Stormie Omartian's books on the praying series:
I specifically use these three on a daily basis. They really help guide my prayers and cover topics I would never think to pray about. Even if you don't like scripted prayers, like my husband, the prayers are so powerful, you find yourself agreeing and praying along boldly with each one. They also have all three books rolled into one. She has SO many books on prayer. These are just a few.
Here are three more resources that I just started digging in to:
The Prayer that Changes Everything
Partners in Prayer
Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer
I'd like to hear some of your thoughts on prayer. Do you have a resource that you use? Do you have a specific place or time of day to pray?
Thanks for stopping by,