Are you a praying person? If not, perhaps today is a great day to start. Keep reading and hopefully, if I’ve communicated well, you will learn a little about prayer.
If yes, then I really want to encourage you that prayer matters. But remember, the ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘where’ of prayer doesn’t matter. Any-way, any-where and any-time is suitable for praying. Even the ‘why’ doesn’t really matter, as God sees our heart. He knows our motives and will respond accordingly. God is gracious. But the ‘who’ does matter. Who are you praying to? John 14:6 tells us that we are to connect with God the Father, through Jesus Christ, his Son.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV
Hence we pray, ‘In Jesus Name.’
So a few thoughts on prayer …
Praying for our nation
Now is the time to pray for our country, if you haven’t been already. There is so much need, and so many hurting people, what do we pray for? Protection? Provision? Forgiveness?
Yes, all of those things, and perhaps a prayer for everyone in this nation to have greater revelation of God’s great love for them, because remember the Bible says,
Our love for others is our grateful response to the love God first demonstrated to us. 1 John 4:19 TPT
Imagine what our country would be like if we all loved each other as God loves us.
To help me pray for our nation, I have set up a music playlist ‘City and Country’. It includes
God of this city (Chris Tomlin)
Good Grace (Hillsong United)
Revival’s in the air (Bethel Music & Melissa Helser)
Here is as in Heaven (Elevation Worship)
The Blessing Australia (Churches UNITE to sing the blessing over Australia)
Pray for our Governments
A little story… since March 2020 when COVID-19 started to impact more and more on our life in Australia, I began my day with praying for our Prime Minister. Praying for things like wisdom, protection and rest. Then one morning God said to me, ‘Why aren’t you praying like that for your husband?’ So now, I pray those things for Ken, and then our Prime Minister and State Premiers.
But back to God’s word and what it says about praying for our governments…
1 Timothy 2:1, in the NIV says,
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1 NIV
The following verse then tells us that it is pleasing to God when we pray for people in authority. Here is The Passion Translation …
Most of all, I’m writing to encourage you to pray with gratitude to God. Pray for all men with all forms of prayers and requests as you intercede with intense passion. And pray for every political leader and representative, so that we would be able to live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts. It is pleasing to our Saviour-God to pray for them. He longs for everyone to embrace his life and return to the full knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 TPT
Yes, God wants hearts to return to Him and His truth.
Praying for our Christian brothers and sisters
We can also be praying for our Christian brothers and sisters. The Apostle Paul is a great example of praying regularly for those who love Jesus. We know this by what he writes in his letters. Here are a couple of examples.
God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son. Romans 1:9 NLT
Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called – his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. Ephesians 1:15-19 NLT
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! If the Holy Spirit prompts you to pray for someone and you don’t know where to begin, perhaps Paul’s prayer is a good starting place!
With some churches still unable to practically meet for ‘normal’ Sunday services due to COVID-19, it is important that we pray for each other, encourage each other and keep finding ways to stay connected, just as Ephesians 6:18 reminds us.
In the same way, prayer is essential in the ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. Ephesians 6:18 The Message
Another little story … when our lifegroup (homegroup) meetings had to transition to online due to the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, the Holy Spirit prompted me to invite a friend from church, who wasn’t currently in a lifegroup, to join us. She doesn’t live close to us, and it was too far for her to come to our home each fortnight for the meeting. However, the establishment of the online lifegroup provided an opportunity for her to join and connect regularly with other women from church. Now as the social distancing restrictions have eased we are using a hybird approach with both face to face and zoom meetings (as I am sure many other groups are too) so she, and others who are unable to physically attend, can be at the meeting. That’s our God – always working things out for good.
So let’s be asking God to show us ways to keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out, especially in these interesting times!
Praying for yourself
There comes a time in life when we realise we can’t do this life well alone. We need help, someone bigger than ourselves and our world. I recently watched the movies of the true story of Louis Zamperini in Unbroken and Unbroken – the path to redemption. They were a great reminder of this truth.
I remember the day when I had that revelation, almost 24 years ago. And most days since, probably at least once a day, these words have come from my lips, ‘God I need your help’ for many different reasons, including relationships, finances, health and peace.
We need to be honest in our prayers and ask God for His help. Because of Jesus, we have direct access to God, our Heavenly Father. Hebrews 4:16 says,
Let us therefore come boldy to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in the time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NKVJ
The Psalms are full of examples of David telling God how he feels, oscilating between fear and faith, and acknowledging where his help comes from. Here is one of my favourites, Psalm 121:1-2
I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength come from GOD, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. Psalm 121:1-2 The Message.
So if you are wondering if God really understands how you are feeling, I suggest that you take some quiet time to read through the Psalms. There will be at least one Psalm that will reasonates with you. If you are wondering where to start, here is a helpful resource from Jennifer Rothschild, Four Psalms to pray when you need God’s help.
And remember, Jesus is praying for you!
Always remember, just as we are praying for others, there are people who are praying for us! And that includes Jesus. Romans 8:34 tells us,
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Romans 8:34 ESV
Yes, Jesus is interceding for you and me. The Passion Translation says it this way,
“Who then is left to condemn us? Certainly not Jesus, the Anointed One! For he gave his life for us, and even more than that, he has conquered death and is now risen, exalted, and enthroned by God at his right hand. So how could he possibly condemn us since he is continually praying for our triumph? Romans 8:34 TPT
What a glorious thought, Jesus is praying for our triumph!
The Holy Spirit is also praying for us, as The Passion Translation’s footnote for Romans 8:34 reminds us …
Not only does the Holy Spirit pray for us, so does Jesus Christ. Two divine intercessors are praying for you each day. Two-thirds of the Trinity are actively engaged in intercession for us. This is typified by the incident of Moses interceding on the mountain for Israel’s victory with one hand held high by Aaron (the high priest, a type of Jesus, our High Priest) and Hur (or “light,” a metaphor for the Holy Spirit, who prays with divine illumination for our good). See Ex. 17:9-13; Heb. 7:25; 9:24.
Are you feeling encouraged? I sure am.
Are you a praying person?
So I’ll ask again, ‘Are you a praying person?’
If not, perhaps today is a great day to start. Begin by saying hello to Jesus and telling Him how you are feeling, and asking for His help.
If yes, you know that there is no shortage of situations and people to pray for, so let’s continue to pray feverently and be expectant that our God will answer.
Let us hold strong to the confession of our hope, never wavering, since the One who promised it to us is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 The Voice
Looking for more encouragement?
If you have struggling to trust God with something or someone in your life, my latest ebook may be of help to you, Choosing to trust God. It’s a short summary (only 18 pages!) of what God has been teaching me over the past 10 years about moving from a place of fear to faith. It is now available on Amazon for only $4.64.