Prayer

The Importance of Prayer

When you feel a nudge towards prayer, do you listen? Or are you too distracted? Too inconvenienced? Too busy?

A few months ago, my daughter and I were driving down the highway when the traffic quickly slowed down from its usual 55 miles per hour pace to almost a complete stop. Sirens rang louder as it became apparent that there had been an accident. Immediately my daughter said, “mom, let’s pray for them.” And we did.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV) tells us to “Pray continually”.  Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? It would be, if we try praying hands with words to 1 Thes. 5:17to take it literally. In this passage, God is telling us to have a prayerful attitude at all times. To obey him fully. To pray frequent, short, spontaneous prayers when called to do so.

Do you seek opportunities for prayer? Do you listen when they are presented? I humbly admit there are times when a specific person or situation is placed on my heart, and I ignore the feeling because I’m too busy. I rationalize that whatever I’m doing at that moment is not only “more important” but also what God would rather have me doing. I tell myself it’s more productive than prayer.

How can I be more like my daughter and listen for God’s calling to pray for others?

I’m embarrassed to admit prayer was not my first thought as the traffic slowed. I was frustrated it would take longer to get to my destination. I was focused on myself.  On my own inconvenience.

My daughter listened to God’s calling and immediately wanted to pray. She didn’t hesitate.

Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) says “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” His words “be alert” speak to me. My daughter listened to God’s calling and immediately wanted to pray. She didn’t hesitate.

Let’s talk about this! When you feel the nudge to pray, what do you do? Do you ignore it? Do you question its existence, or attribute it to something worldly and discredit its divine origin?

When you feel the nudge to pray, what should you do? Listen. Be still. Embrace the divine moment. Share it with God. Be thankful for the opportunity to pray for a certain person or situation.

I haven’t heard a siren the same since that day, and I won’t let one pass by without a prayer. We should never be too busy for a prayer. A few words, like, “Lord, please be with those people. Amen,” is easy.

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Why do I allow that which is loudest to rob me of what’s most important?

An alert on your phone catches your attention. You open Facebook or Instagram and have multiple notifications. Everything from advertisements to party invitations to comments on posts you’re following. It never ends.

In the social media driven world we live in, God doesn’t send us a Facebook message or email. How does He get our attention? We have to be purposeful in seeking God and allowing His presence to fill our spirit.

There are times when I have 10 or 15 minutes to spare and I spend them reading a post about weight loss or make-up tips or something that adds little value to my life. What would happen if I spent those few minutes reading His Word, the Bible?

Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.”

When I spend time in God’s Word the Bible I gain a renewed sense of purpose in Christ. I feel energized and alive – like I’m on a spiritual high. I want more. A few minutes doesn’t satisfy my craving. I’m addicted. However, the opposite is also true. The longer I go without reading my Bible and spending time with Christ through prayer, the more quickly I forget how good it is. It becomes too easy to put off.

The next time you have a few minutes to spare, try spending it in the Word instead of on social media as you learn to live Wholly Loved.

Want to develop the habit of reading your Bible daily but don’t know how or where to start? This website, with numerous daily reading plans, might help: Back to the Bible

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Do you ever feel like God’s checked out for the day or taken a much-needed vacation? Do you earnestly desire His presence and relentlessly search for it and feel nothing? What do you do in those situations?

Almost two years ago, I had a stroke that left me with dulled sensation in the right half of my body. Some parts are completely numb. My nerves react to my inability to feel by misfiring. My body knows something is wrong and tries to fix it. It’s trying to feel. It won’t give up trying to regain sensation. Because of this, I take a nerve blocking medication to stop the prickly and tingling sensation that are more than I can handle.

And just like my body, sometimes I can’t feel God. Sometimes I can feel Him a little. Sometimes I can feel Him a lot. I want to feel Him a lot, all the time. But how? How do I go from feeling nothing some days to being engulfed in His divine presence everyday?

In Hebrews 13:5 God says, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”

In other words, God is always with us and will never leave us. Even if we can’t feel Him, He is there. He doesn’t leave. He doesn’t take a vacation. So if you want to feel His steadfast presence, ask Him to reveal Himself to you in ways you’ll see and understand. To show you ways that you can feel Him even when you are “numb”, and be diligent in daily attempts to connect with Him through prayer and scripture as you learn to live Wholly Loved.