God still answers prayers… The only question is, Are we praying?
Many of us struggle with prayer. We feel as if we are talking to ourselves or rambling on and on listing all of our requests or complaints. But have we gotten prayer all backwards? We forget to pray or we find it too difficult to earnestly pray. Many of us claim that God is most important to us but how much of our focus is truly on him?
If prayer is conversation with God, how is our conversation?
Do we merely talk to our loved ones with an endless list of requests and problems?
What type of relationship is that?
If a man wants a deep and personal relationship with his wife but only talks to her for five minutes a day how shallow will the waters of their relationship be?
Consider these words from Dr. Larry Crabb and the words of Jesus in the following quotes:
“The power of petition is based upon the depth of our relationship.” Dr. Larry Crabb
Jesus replied “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to the mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for.”
We have this great power and most of us have never utilized it. And if we are truthful with ourselves, the reason we have not used it is that we have not fully trusted and believed in the power of prayer. And the reason we haven’t fully trusted in this power is that we do not have a strong relationship with Christ. We may know Him but if we are truthful with ourselves we would admit the shallowness of our relationship. We say we believe in God but we try to fix all of our problems until we reach the end of our rope; then we say “All we can do is pray.”
My friends, “Prayer isn’t preparation for the work, prayer is the work.” (Oswald Chambers). God is not moved by men and women of standing but by men and women of kneeling. Passionate prayer moves the heart of God. There is something about prayer that changes the course of history. Satan begins to tremble when we pray.
As we come to know Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit we begin to spend more time seeking Him, worshipping Him, and talking with Him. We spend more time searching His Holy Word, The Bible, for we know God has “the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
I have found myself seeking life’s answers and knowledge in the books of men rather than the author of life itself Christ Jesus. I have found myself seeking answers from other people rather than the creator Himself. His word says “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give your rest.” (Matthew 11:28). That is the epiphany that St. Augustine had when he said “Our hearts are restless until we find our rest in you.”
God has given us the answers and the way of peace. So the next time we face a struggle, hard times, or difficult choice let us “But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 In doing so we will receive the rest He promises, the “peace that passes all understanding”, as we remember Jesus’ promise that “in this world we will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16-33.
Take heart! He has overcome the world. We do not need to fear nor be anxious. Let our hearts not be troubled and let His peace rule over the stormy waters of our lives as the Captain of our Souls is guiding us home through it all. We can trust Jesus!
Let us choose to trust in the deep waters of relationship with Christ rather than the shallow waters of the storms of life.
Andy J. Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries