This title is actually a play on words. My most recent reads were all books on prayer;
- Pray First: The Transformative Power of a Life Built on Prayer by Chris Hodges
- Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer
- Dangerous Prayers: Because Following Jesus Was Never Meant to Be Safe by Craig Groeschel
All of these books are centrally focused on a simple subject. A lot of Christian non-fiction books focus on prayer. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find even one Christian non-fiction that doesn’t focus on prayer.
Sometimes, for some strange reason praying just seems complicated.
You might be struggling with what to say, how to approach God, or finding time to just pray. Perhaps it is not so strange at all.
Prayer is powerful.
Prayer is our best and most potent tool against the enemy. It is a weapon that can be used to fight off the evil in this world that is constantly around us, 1 Pet 5:8.
I’m so relieved to see that not only do all Christ-followers hit a wall in prayer at some point but that God sent us his Word so that we could be encouraged and not give up.
Prayer is not about to words you say. That’s not where prayer’s power lies. The power comes from your direct link with God.
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heartLuke 18:1
If we follow the Bible stories we can see that prayer was the main tool for all of them since Moses, who talked directly to God and was allowed to see God’s glory as it passed by in front of him, (Exo 33:18-23). Prayer preceded God’s miracles, even in Moses’ day, Exo 3:9. Prayer led the old testament prophets to victory and people back to a relationship with God.
Jesus prayed throughout his ministry.
He is shown to pray: alone (Mt 14:23, Mk 1:35, Lk 9:18, Lk 22:39-41), in public (Jn 11:41-42, Jn 12:27-30), before meals (Mt 26:26, Mk 8:6, Lk 24:30, Jn 6:11), before important decisions (Lk 6:12-13), before healing (Mk 7:34-35), after healing (Lk 5:16), to do the Father’s will (Mt 26:36-44), among other things. He also taught on the importance of prayer (Mt 21:22, Mk 11:24-26, Mt 7:7-11, Lk 11:9-13, Jn 14:13-14, Jn 15:7,16, Jn 16:23-24, Mt 5:44, Lk 6:27-28, Mt 6:5-15: including the Lord’s Prayer (Lk 11:2-4, Mt 18:19-20). If you take all of the places that show Jesus praying, you will have a PERFECT outline of how to pray (check out Jn 17).
Here are some other times Jesus prayed:
- At His Baptism Lk 3:21-22
- In the morning before heading to Galilee Mk 1:35-36
- After healing people Lk 5:16
- Praying all night before choosing His disciples Lk 6:12-13
- While speaking to the Jewish leaders Mt. 11:25-26
- Giving thanks to the Father before feeding the 5,000 Jn 6:11, Mt 14:19, Mk 6:41, Lk 9:16
- Before walking on water Mt 14:23, Mk 6:46, Jn 6:15
- While healing a deaf and mute man Mk 7:31-37
- Giving thanks to the Father before feeding 4,000. Mt 15:36, Mk 8:6-7
- Before Peter called Jesus “the Christ” Lk 9:18
- At the Transfiguration Lk 9:28-29
- At the return of the seventy Lk 10:21
- Before teaching His disciples the Lord’s Prayer Lk 11:1
- Before raising Lazarus from the dead Jn 11:41-42
- Laying hands on and praying for little children Mt 19:13-15, Mk 10:13-16, Lk 18:15-17
- Asking the Father to glorify His name Jn 12:27-28
- At the Lord’s Supper Mt 26:26, Mk 14:22-23, Lk 22:19
- Prayed for Peter’s faith when Satan asked to “sift” him Lk 22:31-32
- Prayed for Himself, His disciples, and all believers just before Gethsemane Jn 17:1-26
- In Gethsemane before His betrayal. (He prayed 3 separate prayers.) Mt 26:36-46, Lk 22:39, Mk 14:32-42
- Right after being nailed to the cross, Lk 23:34
- While dying on the cross Mt 27:46, Mk 15:34
- In His dying breath Lk 23:46
- Prayed a blessing on the bread after His resurrection Lk 24:30
- He blessed the disciples before His Ascension Lk 24:50-53
I am the last person I expected to be on this journey. Yet, now I am on my knees (almost) every day worshipping God and asking him to intercede in my life and on behalf of people I love, people I know, and many strangers I know God can reach.
As I was putting this post together I recieved what I now know were attacks from the enemy. One of my children faced off with a medical issue, our peaceful home became hostile through misunderstandings, and property was stolen from us. I panicked of course, but then I remembered that God is on my side. I laid it all at His feet.
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Phil 4:7
Not only did this give me peace throughout our trouble, but it made the drama and strife seem small and petty compared to a lifetime.
10 Finally, my brethren, Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.Eph 6: 10-13
Prayer is the one way we ward off attacks and maintain our relationship to God. If you find yourself frustrated with how things are going, unsure of what to do, or even just lonely and in need of a friend your answer is to pray. If you find yourself in need of some inspiration for why and how to do it, I’d recommend the books I mentioned in the beginning of this post.