Prayer. It’s often overlooked and I would be lying if I said “I’ve always had an awesome prayer life”. For some reason, praying had been a chore for me and so when I didn’t “have to” do it, I didn’t. All those times when I could have used some alone time with the Lord but never made it a priority. Y’all, it is only until recently that I’ve discovered my love for prayer and its power.
It all started a few months ago when my mom got into a car accident and totaled her car. Thank the Lord she was fine, but it would make transportation very difficult. You see, I was the only one with a car. My mom didn’t have a car of her own, so she and my grandmother shared a white van. It was a good and reliable car but when my mom got into her accident, it couldn’t be saved. So the 3 of us had to share a car while having 3 completely different schedules. There were even a few days where we had to be in different places all at the same time. Thinking back to that time, I really don’t know how we did it. But God made a way for it to happen. He is so faithful y’all!
So one day, I sat down and decided to pray. I thought, “Ok, Lord…You and I have a relationship that is on the mend and getting stronger every day. But I wanted to come to You personally and ask that you help out our situation. You know how difficult it is and though we all don’t need cars of our own, it would really help if we could find a car to replace the white van. Please, Lord. We need your help. I already know that You will work everything out for Your good. Thanks so much, amen.” I prayed variations of that prayer for weeks. Then finally, around Christmas time, my mom said she would be able to get a car for grandma (since the van was hers). I was so excited and I knew that prayer had worked. But then when we got to the car dealership, God worked it out so that both my grandma AND my mom would be able to drive off the lot with wonderful used cars. God had not only answered our prayers but answered them doubly!! Come on, somebody! If that wasn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is. And to be clear, it’s not the fact that we were blessed with material items that made me so excited. Cars come and go and they are not the key to happiness. What made me so excited was the message of faithfulness BEHIND the miracle and answer to my family’s prayers. For our situation, we needed 2 cars for 3 people to be able to go everywhere we needed to go. But God stepped in and said, “Because of your faith, I will bless you more than you could ever possibly imagine! Ask in the Name of My Son, and it shall be done.”
Now I could just end the post here but, y’all know I have more bragging on Jesus to do. That was a big prayer answered and it jump started my prayer life into gear. Before I would pray here and there, but I wasn’t consistent. It wasn’t until I saw how faithful He is that I really began to understand the importance of prayer. Prayer isn’t this thing we do to get all the material things we want, that’s not it. Prayer is a conversation with God and though all you may hear is silence, He hears you loud and clear. When you say “Lord”, God turns His ear to listen. 1 John 5:14 says,
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (NIV)
And when you pray in Jesus’ Name, it shall be done. John 14:13 says,
“And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (NIV)
There is something very important I would like to point out about both of these verses. Some context for you: John (one of Jesus’ best friends) wrote both the Gospel of John and Johns 1, 2, & 3. In these verses, Jesus is providing insight into how we are to pray and what happens when we pray. Aside from the Lord’s prayer, found in Matthew 6: 9-13, where Jesus gives His disciples the framework of how to pray, these verses are so integral for how we understand just how powerful and meaningful prayer really is. Scripture says God hears us when we prayer ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. I put this in all caps because sometimes, people don’t understand that you can’t just ask God to make it rain puppies tomorrow just because you want it to and He has the ability to do that. An earthly, practical example of what I mean is the following: Just because I have the physical ability to punch someone in the face does not mean I should do it. Likewise, if I am able to speak kindness into someone’s life, this I will do. It is all about discernment and wisdom; God has both of these pretty down packed. So, in turn: yes, God is all-powerful and sovereign, yes, His might and power goes beyond anything we can ever hope to comprehend, & yes, He has the authority to do as He pleases. However, He also does things in good and right order (discernment and wisdom, He has both y’all) according to His will to 1) help and not harm us and 2) to further His kingdom on earth. When you go to Him for prayer, He sees your heart. So anything done out of selfishness, greed, and any other sin of the flesh that is not from the fruit of the Spirit (full context & reference found in Galatians 5: 19-26), He may not answer because it goes against His very nature and Spirit.
Since I have been learning all of these things, it has become easier and easier for me to pray. Prayer is just having conversation with the Lord and it’s a beautiful and peace filled experience. However, if you’re like me and have lots of people in your life that you say “I’ll pray for you” to, it can get a bit overwhelming. That is when I found this thing called a prayer binder/war binder. This can be a binder or a journal where you layout who you are praying for, what days you are praying for them, and anything else that you want to include that deals with your prayer life. It is basically a system to help keep your prayer life organized and help keep you accountable and consistent. In my binder, I have 13 tabs; each tab corresponds with whatever posture I may be taking for my time in prayer. During the week, I have a specific thing or people who I pray for and then throughout the week I will pray in a certain posture, however I’m feeling led. Here they are:
Adoration, Confession/repentance, Supplication, & Thanksgiving
Daily prayer days: Mon (future husband & family), Tue (friends), Wed (family), Thur (my ministry & ministries I support), Fri (Myself in all aspects of life), Sat (Church & its leaders), Sun (the world & our nation)
Goals (i.e. fitness, financial, spiritual, etc)
Ever since I created mine, I have absolutely been in love with the experience of prayer and I feel so much closer to the Lord. Some days, I will get a word from the Holy Spirit in response and others, I get silence. But I can always have confidence in knowing that I am being heard even if I’m not immediately being answered. I am even led some days to simply sit silently in His presence and enjoy the moment. Sometimes, that’s all you need is to just be with Him. Y’all, by no means am I perfect, but I finding that with His grace, I am growing and becoming a more faith filled Christ follower and believer. And I even find myself actually falling in love with Jesus! This is all I want in life, it to love and be loved by Him.