Thursday, March 14, 2024

Prayer As a Lifestyle

Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. (Psalm 4:1 NLT)

Have you ever thought there was no future for you, that it was just too late? If so, then you need to know more about the power of God and what can take place through prayer.

One thing that certainly stands out in the pages of Scripture is that prayer can dramatically change situations, people, and, on occasion, even the course of nature itself. But what prayer changes the most is us.

God will allow hardship and difficulties in our lives so that He can reveal Himself and put His power and glory on display for those who are watching. When we pray, we’re acknowledging our need for God’s help. Maybe that is why we don’t pray as much as we ought to.

Prayer is an admission of weakness on our part, and some people don’t like to admit weakness. However, we’re foolish if we think we don’t need God.

The psalmist was being honest with God when he prayed, “Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever. . . . Rise up! Help us! Ransom us because of your unfailing love” (Psalm 44:23, 26 NLT).

It isn’t always a bad thing to complain to God or to bring your concerns, your questions, your pain, and your sadness to Him.

We repeatedly read in the Gospels that Jesus prayed, and He prayed a lot. He would spend the night in prayer, and He would rise early while the disciples were still sleeping and pray. 

As Jesus hung on the cross, He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46 NLT). Jesus wasn’t having a crisis of faith, as some have suggested. It was the opposite. As He was dying for the sins of the world, He simply was describing the moment when God the Father turned His holy face away and poured the sins of all humanity upon Christ, who never committed a single sin.

Jesus was crying out to the Father, and we can do the same when we’re in pain.

We should get into a habit of prayer. We tend to make prayer a very formal matter, and we become hung up on that. But when a burden hits us, we should pray right then. When something troubles us or concerns us, we should turn it into a prayer right away. We need to develop a lifestyle of prayer.

Philippians 4 reminds us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (verses 6–7 NLT).

What do you do with your heartache? Pray. Commit it to the Lord. Cry out to God in your sorrow and pain. Call on God for His provision, protection, and guidance. And give thanks to Him for your joys.

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