By, Joy Joyner
"Our Father Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, Thy daily bread and forgive us thy trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever. Amen."
This is the answer that Jesus gave His disciples when they asked Him to teach them to pray. For so many years I have pondered this prayer. It’s like a gift that you receive at Christmas. You know the one that the gift giver is so excited to give you, they have put so much thought and attention to detail but when you open it you put on a fake smile and make up some elaborate thank you!
One year my daughter received one such gift. Everyone around was getting all the cool toys and she received a ginormous picture book. I glanced over to see how she would respond. The look on her face was one I will never forget. It was a mixture of disappointment/disgust/what the heck is this?!!! Of course it really was a cool book, it just took some time for her to discover its value. A few weeks later, upon further inspection by my daughter she learned it had amazing photos of tiny wildlife and insects. The pictures in it were so vivid and beautiful. Learning about the complicated processes of getting just the right picture and hours of editing time to get the final product resulted in an even greater appreciation for the book and its value.
I get the feeling this is how a lot of us feel about prayer. We know that it is a valuable gift but many of us look at it the same way my daughter did that book. Many of you are asking yourself "what am I supposed to do with this?" Or like the disciples, "How am I supposed to do this?" Then with an answer like Jesus’, we are still left confused as to how or what we are supposed to do.
Many of us know that there is power in prayer but many have never had the experience of that power. We feel like our prayers are just words drifting off into the air, there is no power, there is no return, there is nothing. No answers, no change, nothing.
I would like to offer you a gift. Let me sit with you and open that “book” of prayer and show you how to use it, how to value it and see its beauty. Let’s unpack the example prayer that the disciples received from Jesus and start applying it to our own lives and I promise you that you will be so excited about prayer that it will not be a drudgery, you won’t be trying to extend your prayer time but rather your family members will be pulling you from your prayer closet.
Prayer is an amazing gift and here is what you can do now to start working on empowering your prayer life. In James 1:5-6 He says:
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally,
and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.
For him that wavereth is like a wave of the sea
driven with the wind and tossed."
1.Start by asking God to give you wisdom in your prayer life. Ask Him to teach you how to be a prayer warrior and trust that when you ask Him, He will do it!
2. Look up Scripture on prayer.
3. Look up resources on prayer. Start studying those who have successful prayer lives and glean from their knowledge.
4. Start Praying
Set a specific time so that it becomes a habit, keep that appointment
Have a specific place
Start a prayer journal
Start off praying Scripture, You can never go wrong with Scripture!
Next up in tomorrow's post: We are going to take a deep dive into the Lord’s Prayer and learn how to make it our own and apply it to our lives. Until then. Keep praying!!!
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church;
and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;
and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.