When you stop to think about it, prayer is a pretty awesome thing.
Here we are – sinful, lowly human beings but with the ability to communicate with Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth. Since Jesus came to earth and reconciled humanity to God, there is a communion between God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and his creation. We’re able to go directly to the Lord for guidance, help, and comfort.
Isn’t it likewise amazing how often we simply opt not to take advantage of this awesome gift?
I’ve thought about this often over the past nine months. As more and more answers to prayers have accumulated in my personal experience, it’s ridiculous to me that I spent so many years opting to go it alone, instead of entreating the Lord for guidance. From big things to little stresses, when I pray that God helps me to discern what I should do, change my heart about an issue, or just help me to remain calm, he is faithful each and every time.
Still, I have to remind myself to seek God’s counsel on a fairly regular basis. I suppose it’s a reflection of our fallen, self-absorbed humanity that we continue to struggle to figure things out apart from God. It’s like the ultimate example of being one’s own worst enemy.
Dennis, the kids, and I really enjoy Alan Jackson’s album Precious Memories. It’s all classic hymns in a simple country style. I love the tone of Jackson’s voice! Although there are Christian doctrinal issues that I have to overlook in some of the lyrics, the overall experience of this album is wonderful. One of my favorites is “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” – specifically for these lyrics:
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!
So true! We have access to the most awesome peace and the Lord’s supreme power to direct us, but we often choose not to abide in Him. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he outlines the marks of the True Christian: “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:11-13.
It seems that people have always needed a gentle reminder to seek God in prayer.
One of my ways of keeping this concept close to mind is through an Outlook Task reminder that pops up daily at the office. May as well use technology to help keep me focused on what’s most important! The task simply contains this verse:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7