Prayer is something we just do. We teach our kids to pray and meal times and at bed time, we pray for our pockets to fill so we can pay our bills, we pray for that best parking space at the super market. It is something that we often do without giving it real thought, except maybe in church or when praying for a loved one in the hospital. I am here to tell you, prayer is serious business. We need to not say things like, “I’ll pray for you” and then forget to actually say the pray we promised. Prayer is our lifeline to God. Prayer changes lives. God will move on this earth and in your life through the petitions you give and the prayers you say.
In the Bible the word prayer is used 114 times, pray 313 times, prayed 65 times, praying 20 times for a total of 512 times. Prayer is our connection to God, Jesus, to heaven. In the Bible there are formal prayers, one line prayers, cries that are prayers, laughter that is prayer and songs that are prayers. Prayer is essential to our life as a Christian. It is our plug to access the power of God. In addition, if we pray the words of God it’s like turbo charging our prayer. It makes no difference when, where or how, just pray, right? Well, what does the bible say:
1 Timothy 2:8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
Mark 1:35 35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He(Jesus) went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
Colossians 4:2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
Take this biblical mandate to pray in the morning, everywhere, continuously and root it your life. This is not just an optional idea; it is expected and required of all Christians. Jesus is our example. He prayed and so should we.
Prayer should be spoken out loud. Yes, God hears prayers said silently in your heart, but in the Bible, prayers are spoken or sung. Words are powerful spoken and written. I believe that if early Christians had all been literate they would have written prayers, wait they did!
Take the concept of written prayer a step further and write your own prayers down on paper. Make them real. Get brutally specific with what you write in a prayer journal. If you pray to thank God for something name it. If someone hurts your feelings with an unkind word, write the word. If you want God to answer a specific prayer write it exactly. By writing the words and making them real it makes your prayer life more valid. That is not to say that God will not hear or respond to a simple spoken prayer. When you write your prayers you can go back and read it and see in you life where God has answered prayers or left things unanswered to provide something better for you. You do not have to rely on our faulty human memory. The act of writing your prayer is not to insure God will hear it but to make prayers more tangible for you. People like concrete proof and written prayers provide that visual connection.
Prayer is like stepping to the throne of Jesus, sitting at His feet and absorbing His presence. Why would you not take that seriously and crave that time when you weren’t praying? Your heart longs for that connection to God. Allow yourself that privilege to be with God.