Prayer is constant conversation. Paul gave this instruction. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
How are you doing with that? Do you keep a continual conversation going?
Prayer is about relationship. This needy child comes to a loving, generous Father in total dependence. The sweeter our relationship, the more comfortable I feel climbing into his arms.
We need a place to meet the Lord daily, study his Word, and talk with him—a desk or a chair in the living room will do. But praying without ceasing means we also pray as we go. Throughout the day we maintain conversation—praising him for the blue sky and sunshine, thanking him for guidance and protection, asking him to intervene in challenging circumstances, adoring him for his inexhaustible love and goodness.
In Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something, Ron Dunn said, “…prayer is not a religious exercise—it is a human necessity…We are devoured by the need of something outside ourselves, something beyond our reach, something spiritual or supernatural, a place to run to, to feel, however slightly, that there is someone out there to cry to, someone who takes notice of our predicament. We long to escape the sense of crushing fate, the feeling that all things are fixed and unalterable. Yes, prayer is much more than a religious exercise. It is a human necessity” (p. 19).
I wanted to learn to pray well. Weariness with mediocrity and inconsistency exceeded my dread that hard circumstances might drive me to Jesus—circumstances beyond my control. Desperation and hopelessness do that. Where else can we go but to Jesus?I wanted to learn to pray well. Weariness with mediocrity and inconsistency exceeded my dread that hard circumstances might drive me to Jesus—circumstances beyond my control. Desperation and hopelessness do that. Where else can we… Click To Tweet
As my walk wound through such places, truth stored in my heart assured me God could do something.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” (Psalm 46:1-2).
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).
Choosing to keep my mind stayed on the Lord made it easy to talk with him non-stop. I told him my fears and put all my hope in him.
I learned from Asa, king of Judah, as he prepared for battle against the Cushites. Even with an army of 300,000 men from Judah and 280,000 from the tribe of Benjamin, his confidence was in the Lord.
“Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, ‘Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O Lord, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you’” (2 Chronicles 14:11-12 NIV).
What happened? “The Lord struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah” (v. 13).
I came across this. “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath” (Psalm 116:2 NLT). Don’t you love that? Our Lord bends down to listen! I picture my Father cupping his hand over his ear and leaning forward, listening to my heart’s cry.“Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath” (Psalm 116:2 NLT). Don’t you love that? Our Lord bends down to listen! I picture my Father cupping his hand over his ear and leaning forward, listening to my… Click To Tweet
Four keys to effective prayer:
- Decision—to set your heart to seek the Lord.
- Desire—a fully committed heart.
- Desperation—There is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty.
- Dependence—God will fight for me while I keep silent (see Exodus 14:14).
Ozwald Chambers said, “…the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself…Be yourself before God and present your problems, the things you know you have come to your wits’ end over. As long as you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything…Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man’s disposition” (My Utmost for His Highest, August 28).
Have you been at wits’ end? I’d love to hear how God heard your cry and brought you through that hard place. Please leave a comment. And share this post with your friends!
(Scriptures from King James Version unless noted.)
© Dianne Barker 2018 (reprinted)