When We Pray
by Ron Scurfield
20 April 2022« Previous Day | Next Day »
When and where do we pray?
We pray when we can. We pray when we’re in need. We pray in church, following the leading of the preacher. Sometimes we want God to intervene in a particular situation. We pray for other people with their various issues, or even when we just want to talk to God and share with Him our thoughts and concerns. “Call to me and I will answer you”, says the Lord (Jeremiah 33:3).
Jesus took it further. He sought out a quiet place where He could be alone with God, where He could open His heart. He needed to hear from the Father.
So, what exactly is prayer?
Prayer is aligning our will to His or seeking His purpose for our lives. ‘“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord’ (Isaiah 55:8). Sometimes we have to make a choice. God’s way or our way? But is this a viable choice? How can we pray to satisfy our needs if it’s not the will of God? Jesus prayed to the Father, “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). He sweated drops of blood in this decision. But there was no other way.
The surrender of our will to God can be difficult and painful, but the outcome can be glorious. More that we can ever imagine.
This was my situation recently. There were times of pain and desperation; times of uncertainty and doubt; times of weakness and confusion. In the end it had to be God’s way. Without questioning, without even understanding and with complete trust.
And there’s the key: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths’ (Proverbs 3:5-6). It has to be based on trust, and faith.
We’re told that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father continually interceding for us (Romans 8:34). This doesn’t mean He’s on His knees all day long constantly praying for us and the world. He is the answer to our prayers because of who He is and what He did. He submitted Himself to death so that he could take us with Him when He was reunited with the Father. He became the answer to all our prayers as He submitted to God. We must unite ourselves in Spirit with Him, as He reunites us with the Father. As we are obedient to God and live according to His principles, we are in alignment with Him and more able to discern His will. ’The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’ (James 5:16).
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him’ (1 John 5:14,15).
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