How does prayer affect our lives and does it really work? Have you ever noticed our lives run in cycles? We are up on life and then a short time later, the world is collapsing all around us. We begin to do good for another person and then something happens to us that cannot be explained and we are in financial challenge.
We are all the same. We are made of weak flesh, easily tempted to sin against God and without sincere direction for our life. If you have read portions of the Bible, you understand that the Old Testament is comprised of stories of Israel and its people as they set out to do the will of God as directed by God the Father through the Prophets of old.
Thinking back on our lives and comparing them to those in the Old Testament, we find that not much has changed. We seek after God and try our best to do right in His eyes and life seems like living on easy street. Everything seems to be going our way. We ask God for the things we need in prayer and somehow God provides, but we rarely notice it was God who made the way for us.
Slowly life circumstances begin to change, perhaps with a new friend in our life who does not have the same goals of pleasing God. Maybe we join an organization that keeps us from doing the things we know we should. Time gets away from us and the important things in life slowly fade into the distance unnoticed. Something happens and suddenly we find ourselves trapped by our own guilt and actions. Some may choose to lie their way out of certain trouble and things then get worse. Our family may begin to fall apart and it seems the family cannot communicate anymore without severe tension between dad and mom and the children. We sit back one day and wonder; what happened? Life was going so well. We thought we did everything possible to please the Lord; how could this trouble enter our lives?
The Push and Pull of Life
As we reflect and examine our life, we may stumble upon the answers. We have become so busy, doing good and sometimes important things, but we have forgotten our family and most importantly, we have forgotten God, the source of everything in our life. The children have grown older and must be transported to soccer games, scout events and even church functions. Dad leaves earlier than he used to in order to keep the right amount of money flowing for the family. Mom finds herself rushing from one function to another.
What happened to our personal and corporate prayer time? What happened to the family time, just being together and talking and joking about our lives and needs? Why isn’t dad setting aside time to train us anymore, or mom in his place when dad is away.
Life has a way of making the family and certainly God seem unimportant. Is it really best for families to require two incomes in order to survive? Has life demands out-witted us into thinking we must have the extra income and we can do away with time together as a family and God in our life?
A Deliberate Approach
Remember the story of the rabbit and the tortoise? Who won that race? We need to be slow and deliberate in our race. We need to focus on the race we are running, the race of life. Gal 5:7 “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth”? Well, who was hindering you? We must call it like it really is, so we can escape the hold he has on us and become powerful in Christ again.
We need to remember that the most important task we have in life is winning the lost to Christ. Phil 2:16 “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” Hebrews 12:1, 2 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our]faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The fastest way to make us realize who we are and our desperate need for God in our lives, is to begin to pray. We have power when we pray. Mathew 21:22 “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” 1 John 5:14, 15 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” Do you believe in Him? If you do, and you ask, He will give you the sincere desires of your heart.
Praying brings you closer to Christ. Jude 1:20,21 “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” When we pray, we become one with God, having His mind in us and we begin to think more clearly. We are able to focus on the important things of life. When we pray, it does something inside of our heart. We realize that we are intimately hooked and in a personal relationship with God. We can understand how the most powerful force in all of the universe is now on our side and is helping us unravel life’s most difficult issues. That force, gives us an unspeakable calm in the midst of the storm.
Prayer softens your heart, but the lack of prayer builds a wall of pride between you and God. That wall becomes so high that the still small voice of God and reason fades into the distance until we cannot hear Him. Isa 55:6, 7 “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isa 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” You see, it does not matter how far you have strayed or what you have done. God loves us all and wants us to depend upon Him. Turn to him now and ask for forgiveness. If you have not already, ask Christ to come into your heart and be your personal Lord and Savior.
Prayer brings our heart to a place of change. You know, walking away from God did not bring good fortune. Turn to God and begin once again to depend upon Him. Ask Him for the things we need in life and believing He will supply those things we have need of brings an awareness of the closeness between us and God. God wants us to know that ALL things have changed, we are like new creatures because of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man [be in Christ, [he is]a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
God wants us to get serious with Him and seek Him out. He promises to reveal Himself to those who are genuine and seriously seeking Him. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith [it is]impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that]he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Did you catch those words? “….. He is a rewarder of them that Diligently seek Him”! Don’t wait; the time is now. Use a deliberate approach and change your life. Get back to God, or ask him NOW to be YOUR Lord and Savior. Here is a simple way to understand how to become God’s child;
- Realize; YOU are a sinner – Romans 3:10-23
- Understand; The wages of sin, is death – eternal separation from God Romans 6:23
- Believe in Jesus; See the words Believe in John 3:16, 18
- Know what Believing means from God’s perspective; John 1:12 See two KEY words; Receive and Believe in order to become His child
- How do we Receive Him; Revelation 3:20 reveals a picture of a man opening the door to Jesus. YOU MUST Open the door to your heart and Ask Him in!
- How do we Ask Him in; Romans 10:9-13 explains; confess Jesus with your mouth and believe in your heart that He has risen from the dead and you WILL be saved! Vs. 13 ANYONE who CALLS on Him WILL be saved!
DO IT TODAY. We are not guaranteed another day. Who knows what will happen to you even on the way to work today? We don’t know when our time is done, but we MUST be ready. God loves you SO MUCH He sent His ONLY Son to die in your place, so YOU could have eternal life. Pray now and ask Christ to come into your heart and be your Lord and Savior. Once you have done just that, you will know that peace that cannot be described. You will begin to hear that still small voice that will guide you in life’s decisions. He will become your refuge in times of trouble and your joy when you are rejoicing. Prayer is the KEY to it all.