Consider how often you pray. Do you pray only when you are in church? Do you pray before meals? Do you pray only when you need something? Maybe you pray every morning or every evening. Consider your prayer life.
The Psalmist speaks of prayer life as just that – his life. For some, this may sound like a strange concept. Though the Bible tells us to pray continually (see 1 Thessalonians 5:17), we typically see prayer as another resort or a good habit rather than a lifestyle or life itself. This is a problem for us as long as we see prayer as words to recite or a legalistic act to fulfill.
This verse speaks of God’s love for us, a love that God has promised us. His love for us is unfailing and overwhelming and unchanging. His love for us is not impacted by anything that we do or say. When we look at prayer, we need always to remember this love—His love for us—and what a relationship with God means. As a child approaches a father, so it is with us and God. Stop focusing on the words you say in your prayers. Talk to your Father. Engage. Try to keep talking with Him all day as something comes to mind—about the small things and the big things. Be ever mindful of His presence, His love, and His desire to bless you with His goodness. As you continue to recognize your dependence on God and your desire for Him, you draw near to Him and He will draw near to you (see James 4:8). Perhaps one day, you will be able to say that your prayer to God has become your life.
“Yet all day long God’s promises of love pour over me. Through the night I sing his songs, for my prayer to God has become my life.” – Psalm 42:8 [TPT]
We can never pray enough. Paul notes in in his letter to Timothy, that we need to be sure that we do not limit our prayers. We are “to pray for all people.” That is a great command. Pray for all people. This means we don’t just pray for your family and friends. We don’t just pray for our church family. We don’t only pray for those we want to lift up in prayer. We pray for all people.
Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. This is something that can help us to be more like Christ. While praying for our enemies, we are interceding on their behalf. Doing this opens our heart for the Spirit to help us forgive and heal. The verse in the letter to Timothy doesn’t only ask that we pray for all people. The letter continues that we “give thanks for them.” We are to give thanks for all people. Is this something you feel like doing? Do you thank God for the person who drives you crazy?
Understand that we are asked to do these things because it helps us to grow more Christ like. Often we think the prayers we pour out to God are to change others. The truth is the prayers often are to change us. Today, pray for all people. Intercede on their behalf. Give thanks for them. Be ready for God to respond in a mighty way!
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” – 1 Timothy 2:1 [NLT]
In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we read about Jesus healing a boy with a demon. The boy was initially brought to the disciples of Jesus, but they were not able to heal the boy. When the father approaches Jesus, the boy is healed. Matthew 17:18 says, “And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly” (ESV).
The disciples later approached Jesus in private to ask why they couldn’t drive out the demon. When Jesus responds, He notes their “little faith” (v. 20). In verse 21, we read that this kind of demon only comes out “by prayer and fasting.” That verse is missing in some translations, but it says a lot. Here were the disciples being told that the demon could not be driven out except by prayer and fasting.
The missing verse points out that the disciples were not praying and fasting like they should have been. Their faith was little because they had not spent as much time in prayer with their Father as they needed. Their faith was little because it wasn’t cultivated like it should have been. They were neglectful. Today, look at your prayer life. Are you being neglectful?
“However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.” – Matthew 17:21 [HCSB]