Graceful Perseverance: Change Up Our Prayers - Why?- 08/09
Welcome to this week's blog. Today let's focus on prayers and why we need to change up our prayers. But first, let’s define the word prayer. Prayers are simply the communication with God. Yes, that simple. Prayers, and the way in which each of us communicates with God should be tailored and personalized.
The means by which each of us spends our quiet time with God or if we silently ask Him under our breath what to do in times of trouble or even in times of joy, are both very legitimate means by which we communicate with our God. And, of course there are many other ways to communicate with God as well. Also, keep in mind there is no right way or wrong way to pray to God, our Lord and Savior.
The most important thing to remember about prayer, is your relationship with God should be personal, and intimate, and whatever feels most comfortable for you, is the way you should communicate with God.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6 (NIV).
Now that I’ve defined the word prayer as our means to communicate with God, now let’s define what it means to “change up our prayers.” Changing up our prayers is about what we are praying, not how we are praying. I’ve learned this lesson through biblical scripture, which is also noted throughout this blog. I have provided a few examples of scripture that will help explain what to pray according to God’s word (not how to pray). God clearly tells us in scripture not to “babble” in prayer. The reason is, because He is telling us to trust Him. He knows what we need before we do; therefore, there is no need to babble and repeat our wants, and our needs over and over again to Him because He knows what we need before we ask. He also tells us in scripture not to heap up empty phrases in better hopes that God will answer prayers that are repeated over and over. For God, once is enough because He hears our prayers. The reason we are prone to repeat the same ask over and over, is because God has not yet answered our prayers, therefore we think He needs to be reminded again. If we have faith, whatever we pray, we will receive, according to God’s Will for our life, not our will. Therefore, no need to keep reminding God of our ask. He answers our prayers on His watch, not our watch. We just need to be patient, as God knows best when, and if He’s going to answer our prayers.
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. – Matthew 21:22 (ESV).
God also tells us in Matthew 6:5-13 not to pray in public so that you are seen by others. He tells us to go into our rooms, shut the door and pray to your Father in secret. In this scripture, He’s reminding us that if we are praying in public for recognition or attention, then we are like the hypocrites.
And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. – Matthew 6:5-13 (ESV).
Let’s get back to “changing up our prayers.” Do you pray when you’re in trouble? Do you pray when you are happy, and are singing songs of praise and worship? Are you praying when you or someone you love is sick? Do you pray that COVID19 goes away (vanishes) or do you pray that God will help the world overcome these uncertain times of COVID, His way, not man’s way? There’s a very big difference in this prayer.
The Prayer of Faith
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. - James 5:13-15 (NIV).
What God reminds us in scripture is when we pray, we are not to pray that God takes away our troubles or pain, rather we are to pray to God that He will help us get through our troubles and pain. God’s reasoning is this. . . when each of us go through trials and tribulations it builds character, strength and perseverance. It’s in our troubled times we are the weakest, therefore we turn to God for hope, strength and endurance. He also allows troubled times in our lives, so we learn to turn to Him.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. – Romans 8:26 (NIV).
Our prayers now change from “God please make the cancer go away, to God, I pray that you will be with me, give me hope, strength and perseverance to get through this cancer. Let your Will be done Lord.” This is the prayer that we should be praying. Going through trials and tribulations with this mindset, and turning to God for help, changes us, and God already knows this about us because He created us. This is exactly why He allows troubles in our lives. He doesn’t curse or punish us with troubles, but He allows trouble out of hope because He knows we are weak, and He is strong. He knows we have nowhere to go but up, and eventually we will turn to Him in faithful prayer for help and restoration. This is God’s ultimate and loving purpose for allowing trouble to come into our lives and/or stay in our lives. . . so we will turn to Him in faithful prayer. Many times, it is only when we hit rock bottom that we realize, we really do need Him. And, we can’t do this on our own.
We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. – 2 Corinthians 13:9 (NIV).
Remember, I’ve always said, “If God brings us to it, God will see us through it.” This means that God tells us in the Bible that trouble will always come our way. He never promised if we follow Him, and obey His commandments that troubles will no longer exist in our lives. Today many have a false interpretation of Christians or Christ-followers. They have this false belief that Christians are “lucky” people, and they are favored by God more than others; therefore, they are trouble free, and all good things come their way in life by means of luck. Here’s the truth, luck is superstition, and God is NOT a superstitious God.
The belief that Christians are lucky and trouble free, cannot be further from the truth. Christians can be even more perplexed, with troubled times in their lives because they are witnesses of God, living examples for others, and exactly why it is so important to turn to God for help in troubled times. Christians are examples of the right mindset, who fall to our knees before God, in seeking strength from God to help us overcome our trials and tribulations. I can’t tell you how many times in my 58 years of life trouble has come my way. But I’ve also learned to turn to God in faith prayer, pleading for His grace and mercy, and for His strength and guidance. He’s helped me overcome some very horrific, life threatening situations that most people in this life can’t even imagine, or will never experience in their lifetime. We all have our share of “cancer” in our lives. Another words, we all have our share of horrific trials and tribulations that are so very painful we could never overcome without God’s help. Once you realize this, your life will change, as mine has.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:18 (NIV).
God tells us that there will always be trouble in our lives, but if we turn to Him in prayer for His strength, and for His Will to be done in the situation, He will meet us right where we are to help us come through to the other end of that trouble. My life continues to be a true testimony that if we by sincere faith and trust ask God in prayer to help in a time of devastation and weakness, He will intercede and come to our rescue every time.
In the following scripture, we learn that Paul was urging the Roman believers to join in his struggle (jail and in chains) by means of prayers. The same applies to today, prayer is a weapon that all believers should practice in order to intercede for others, or pray for others. I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. – Romans 15:30 (NIV).
In summary many people see prayer as a time for comfort, reflection, and making prayer requests or asks to God. But sincere, faithful prayer is not intended to ask God to remove the troubles from our life, and please make our life all “cupcakes and rainbows.” Prayer is our way of communicating with God, to seek above all else a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Him. Our prayers should not just be about our own life, but our prayers should also be praying or interceding on behalf of the lives of others as well. I’ve learned when I pray for others, and not selfishly pray for my own wants and needs, God blesses me beyond belief. God favors those who pray for others because it is a very selfless act in honor of God.
Paul wrote this to the Colossians to show them that believers have everything they need in Christ. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. – Colossians 4:3 (NIV).
I am expressing to my readers, just as Paul said to the Colossians, I say the same to you. You have everything you need in Christ. Communicate with Him in sincere prayer, ensuring you’re changing up the prayer for God’s strength and perseverance in times of trouble, as opposed to asking Him to remove the trouble from your life.
It is my prayer that my blog today, “changing up our prayers,” may open a new door for my readers. As I learn more and more biblical life lessons, I am then called to teach them to you. Therefore, in closing, as I continue to proclaim the mystery of Christ in my own life, I am also defending and confirming the gospel for all of you.
Blessings until next week,
Debra M. Pauli
Scripture Quotes: Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV) / English Standard Version (ESV)
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