a great day to think about the problem with prayer.
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16b NIV
It is not difficult to imagine many of us reading the title of today’s message with alarm. “Problem with prayer?” There is no problem with prayer, right? Prayer is a gift from God. It is among the greatest of all gifts because the ability to take our hopes, dreams, requests, and our problems directly to God is a gift that was paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ.
What a remarkably exceptional gift it is, too. The results of our communion with God through prayer can be so much greater than anything we could possibly imagine.
So where is the problem?
The problem with prayer is that far too often, and for far too many of us, it is the last thing we do instead of the first. Many of us “resort” to prayer only when all of our woefully inadequate human efforts fail. It is important to not misunderstand. God will never turn a deaf ear to one of His children crying out for help. He has brought many of us back from the brink of self-destruction or even death because of our cries of help when everything else has failed.
But He wants us to learn that there is a better way to pray. How do we pray “better”? Pray first, pray often, and pray with faith.
Pray first. Give your life over to God and ask for His guidance before creating anything resembling a “last resort.” When we ask God what we should do and how we should do it, and then wait for His instruction – which will come – we will often be amazed at the results.
Pray often. Prayer is a wonderful way to begin and end a day, but it is also very easy to take mere moments throughout the day to thank Him, to ask for continued help, or just to say hello.
Pray with faith. When we ask God for help, advice, or guidance we can be assured of His attention to our problem when we pray with faith. Our belief that God hears us must be beyond question. Our understanding that He may not reply or show us the way to go as quickly as we may like, is important. Asking for things that we know in our hearts are the right things to ask for demonstrates our love for God and the faith we have that He will hear us and, when it is His will, we shall know His answer.
So the question we must ask is this: “Do I have a problem with prayer?” If the answer is “yes”, then just remember these three things: Pray first. Pray often. Pray in faith.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson