“Never stop praying, especially for others” Ephesians 6:18a (CEV)
Giving Jesus leadership in our lives and homes is the cornerstone brick.
The next vital brick is – PRAYER.
What is Prayer?
Simply, prayer is talking with God. It is not a one way conversation where we simply list off all our desires, like a child sitting on Santa‘s knee, expecting him to grant them all. It is a conversation. God speaks, we listen, we speak and God listens to our hearts.
Prayer can be exciting, powerful and fulfilling. However, upon our salvation we were not zapped with a lightning bolt from heaven, giving us an instantaneous desire to be in the Word and to pray. Prayer is a discipline that must be learned by doing!
We can be motivated with the desire to pray but do we actually pray?
What was Nehemiah’s first response, upon hearing about the poor condition of Jerusalem’s walls? He turned to God. Over and over again, throughout his life we see that prayer was always Nehemiah’s first action… and reaction. Nehemiah built the walls of Jerusalem on a foundation of prayer.
How should we pray?
In the middle of stressful moments, Nehemiah prayed quick, short prayers (Neh 2:4, 4:4-5, 4:9, 6:9, 13:14, 22, 29, 31). However, those “SOS” prayers did not make up his entire prayer life. Nehemiah also practised praying and fasting for lengthy periods of time. (Neh 1:5 -11, 9:6-37).
We need a quiet place to go each day to spend time with God and pray. It is a place where we can go and get away from the noise of life and meet with God.
Yet, we also can pray as we drive (with eyes open!) the kids to school each morning, while we are standing in a checkout line, walking the dog, or working away at the office. The wonderful thing about prayer is that it can be practised anywhere! We just have to choose to do it!
2) With the right focus.
If the only reason I am going to God is to get my spouse and my kids to conform to “MY” will, then I have the wrong focus.
The purpose of prayer is to seek God’s will! In all things! At all times!
3) Be specific.
Most of us pray, but we are not specific in our requests. “God be with my kids today” is certainly prayer, but how much more effective would our prayer be if we prayed for the specific needs of our household, children, and family members? (John 14:12-14)
I have individual prayer lists for my husband, son and daughter. In regard to my children, each list is geared toward a specific child, with only a few prayer items the same as on their sibling’s list. I need to know my child’s individual needs if I am going to be a proper prayer warrior on their part. Of course, the list changes as prayers are answered and other needs come up.
4) Believing, prayer brings power.
When we pray for our parents, husbands, siblings, kids, and churches, it isn’t so that our power will be unleashed.
Prayer unleashes the very presence and power of God in you, your home, your marriage, your spouse and your kids! When we bow before Him, recognizing that we can do nothing without Him, His power begins to work through our powerlessness!
Nehemiah recognized that God is always in control, even amid those tipsy turvey, hair-pulling moments of life. He confidently rested in the power of prayer and he used it! Remarkably, in fifty-two days Nehemiah rebuilt walls that had lain in ruin for over a hundred years, all because he believed in, and practised the power of prayer! (Neh 6:15)
God’s power transforms the impossible into the possible!
5) With persistence.
The hardest thing about prayer is that we can’t always see with our physical eyes, that it is working. We pray and pray to God but things do not change. Weary in praying, we give up.
However, God’s Word is clear; His power is working even when we can’t see it! (James 5:16)
Therefore, God urges us to never give up! (Matt 7:7-8)
This verse, in the original Greek language, actually says, “Seek and keep on seeking…Knock and keep on knocking.”
Persistent prayer brings change. It does not change God, but it does change us.
It changes our mood, tudes (attitudes) and helps us see things from a heavenly perspective.
It makes our will conform to His will and way.
It expresses, and reminds, about our total daily dependence on God.
Thus, it is vital that we not only pray but that we also persevere with our prayers. We must practise the P.U.S.H method!
Pray Until Something Happens!
We may not get the answer we want immediately, but we must keep asking and keep believing. God will answer in His time!
Prayer IS fighting the battle!
The enemy doesn’t want you to pray. He has a plan to kill and destroy you, your home, and your family. The only weapon that causes him and his demons to tremble is prayer. He also knows that if we use verses from scripture in our prayers, claiming them for our homes, then our weapon against him becomes invincible!
So, who do you think discourages you from praying when the answers do not come?
Who do you think keeps you busy so that you have little time to pray?
Prayer needs to become as important to us as breathing if we are going to win the battle for our families. We need to make it a priority in our lives – not just popcorn prayers, but set aside times of prayer as well.
We can change a life, a home, a school…if we obey and pray!