How’s our prayer life? You know, how much have we been talking with God lately? We can get so caught up in trying to figure things out we forget that God already has them figured out. All we need to do is talk to him. Talk to me! Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Who do we seek out for advice? Who do we ask for guidance? Each of us has a “Sphere of Influence”, a group of people who are close to us that we bounce things off of. God should be the first one we seek out for input into the choice we need to make. Most times he’s not because we think we know what he is going to say.
Jeremiah 29;11-13; For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
While verse 11 is one many have heard and are familiar with, we only get part of the story if we don’t read further. God certainly had a plan for us, a good plan. But he doesn’t reveal it without our seeking to know it.
Another conformation of this is found in Ephesians;
Ephesians 2:10; For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
If God has a plan and it is good then we need to seek it out. We do that through prayer. Look back at the Jeremiah passage, “when you pray”. All God is asking is for us to talk to Him. He says I will listen. He wants us to do it with our whole heart.
We all have done things halfhearted, just going through the motions. That usually doesn’t achieve the desired results. We end up with a result that is a reflection of our effort. When we don’t put forth the effort to seek God, ask for His guidance, we will always stumble. We will not achieve the plans He has for us.
Prayer isn’t as complicated as we make it. God doesn’t require vain repetition or some formula that is secret. He just wants to talk with us. Actually, prayer should be more of us listening to what God has to say then telling him what we think. Sometimes we forget we have two ears and one mouth; we should listen twice as much as we speak.
Oswald Chambers explains; “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good timing’ is seldom in sync with ours.”
We can learn a lot by praying, waiting and following God. Not telling God what we want to do, but asking God to guide us to what he wants to do. Too many times we are too busy to realize that we have not taken the time to ask and seek out what God is doing and join him.
Prayer Provides; directions for our heart, answers that close and/or open doors, strength for our character and spirit, increase of our faith, empowerment of our spiritual gifting and a deeper sense of the Father’s presence and care in our lives.
Acts 1: 12-14; Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying.
Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
When Jesus left the disciples, they felt alone, not sure what was next. They knew they had to seek the Father’s guidance. They had to move forward but understood they couldn’t do it without God’s direction. They were instructed to wait for the Holy Spirit. They waited. The Spirit found them together, in one place, praying.
God has a plan, it is good, and it will be beneficial for our lives. We can only know God’s plan if we seek Him out. We need to talk with Him. His word tells us he will be there for us and explain His plan to us. His plan will give us hope and a future.
I encourage you to talk with him, better yet; listen to what he has to say. You just might find that he knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our needs. He knows the desires of our heart. And he promises to provide for them.