The Bible on Prayer
Tim closed his laptop and wondered what to do next.
He had a degree. Great job experience. Enthusiasm and passion for his work… But the job market was tough in his new hometown, and his savings was running out fast.
“Lord,” he prayed, “please help me find a job. You know my talents, and what I need to help support my family. Please provide.”
He’d been praying this same prayer daily, but no job had come along. Tim knew God’s promises were real, but the disappointment of unanswered prayer was weighing on his mind.
Luke 18:1 says, “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
God’s timing is not our timing — even when we are frustrated, even when money is tight and circumstances are strained.
The Bible promises when we obey the Lord, we can ask for what we need in prayer and God will provide.
God’s answer doesn’t always come immediately. Sometimes it’s completely different than what we expect. The answer might even be a resounding, “No,” and we have to trust God’s plan, even though it doesn’t meet our hopes or expectations.
In Tim’s case, an ideal job in his field was advertised a couple of weeks later. His new work offered exciting challenges, the opportunity to network in his new community, and a Christian leadership team at work. God came through for Tim, big time!
Lord, thank you for loving us through our impatience. Your plans for us are good, and your timing is always right. Thank you for hearing our prayers. Amen.
Pause and Pray
Jenna stopped in her tracks, sighing in frustration as she bent down to pick yet another rock out of her shoe.
“Why on earth am I suddenly picking up rocks every time I walk the dog,” she wondered.
They finished their usual route, and at home, Jenna slipped off her shoes and discovered the problem: she’d worn those old slip-ons for so long that she wore a hole right through the soles of both shoes!
Philippians 4:6 reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Sometimes our prayer lives are like Jenna’s old shoes: we take them for granted, setting aside a daily prayer habit and coming back when it’s convenient — putting off prayer until we can find the time, or in a time of trouble or desperation, when we really need God to intervene.
But prayer isn’t meant to be a sometimes thing.
We cultivate a healthy prayer life when we communicate with God often — daily, or even more than once a day. When we let our communication with the Lord wear thin, we are missing out on the blessing of His listening ear. He wants to hear from us: both our praises and our problems!
Don’t tuck your prayer life away for later, like an old pair of shoes in the back of the closet. Pray throughout the day whenever you have a quiet moment to reach out to God, and build regular prayer into your day to ensure there are no holes in your communication with your Heavenly Father.
Lord, thank you for being available to us through prayer. We’re so grateful for your love for us, and your desire to hear from us, your children. Remind us to keep the lines of communication open. Amen.
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Lose the Weight...of Unforgiveness
Have you ever been really angry at someone, and had a tough time letting it go?
Maybe a work colleague let you down, or got you in trouble with the boss.
Maybe family drama is dragging you down, and there are unresolved hurt feelings.
Maybe your spouse betrayed you, and you aren’t sure how to move past it.
Unforgiveness in our lives is painful, and as believers, it can affect our prayer life, and even our relationship with the Lord.
Mark 11:25 says, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
God’s amazing grace is one of the most beautiful aspects of Christian belief. He sent His Own Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in exchange for our sins. We are forgiven because of the sacrifice Jesus made, and have eternity in heaven to look forward to because of that forgiveness.
The truth about unforgiveness is it does the most damage not to the party we hold a grudge against — but to ourselves. You can’t see it on the outside, but an unhealed wound on our hearts is like a cancer, spreading and growing, and preventing us from experiencing joy to the full.
God wants better for us. If you are struggling to forgive someone, give it to God today, and ask Him to help you let it go.
Lord, I have a person or situation to forgive that is weighing heavily on my heart, and I need your help. Please give me the strength to forgive, and renew my sense of peace. I give you every aspect of this situation. Amen.That's K-E-R-U-S-S-O dot com.
All Kinds of Prayer
Welcome back to prayer 101, the big question for today is how do you develop a prayer life?
The answer to how we develop a healthy prayer life is really not that complicated. It's all about choice. We can learn to pray first by reading scripture and taking notice of the hundreds of prayers offered by believers just like us. We can also talk with veterans of prayer in our own life, those who are older and deeper in their faith. But notice something about the prayers recorded in the Bible, they aren't contrived or intellectual oftentimes. Those things don't impress God anyway since He knows everything about us. We can't fool Him or hide or fake our feelings. In fact, the people in the Bible and those in your life who talk to God all the time just simply talk to Him. Some prayers are messy or sound selfish such as Jabez's plea for God to increase his influence. Others are said in desperate moments, but sound calming like David's famous 23rd Psalm.
Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call on Him in truth.” This tells us that we don't have to do something in order to be worthy to speak with God. He simply is and He very simply invites us to share with him to unburden ourselves.
In Ephesians 6:18, we learn a lot about prayer, it says, “Pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests, with this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.” This is the prayer of someone who commits time each day to talk with God. This prayer warrior knows that he or she can talk to God about literally anything. Next and just as important this person prays for others. This is a far more powerful way to pray than many think because history is full of stories of people who prayed and God acted in someone else's life immediately.
The most important steps you can take in developing a prayer life are to understand that you don't have to be a PhD in Theology or have an IQ of 180. You simply talk to God in the most natural way. God warms to a sincere and searching heart. Next, you have to realize that your prayer life can take many forms, the quick moment during a busy day, in the still of the night with no one around or in a designated area where you feel comfortable. Once you get in the habit of praying, you'll be amazed what a good change there is in your life. Faith is strengthened. You're no longer alone. Throughout history men and women and children have made the choice to talk with the one who made them and loves them. It's not any more complicated than that.
Father God, in your mercy you invite us to tell you what's on our minds. We know that communication is two-way street. Nudge us to listen to your voice. Take as much time as we need to pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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