Give me a word, Lord: PRAYER IS IMPORTANT

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

I John 5:14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.

I Chronicles 16:11 Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.

James 4:2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who was trying with great difficulty to move a stone. The little boy tugged and pulled to no avail. He was putting all of his weight into it and struggling terribly, yet he could not even make the stone budge in the least. His dad had been quietly watching his great efforts. The boy noticed his dad watching, and informed him that he couldn’t move the stone. His dad asked him if he was using all of the strength he had. The boy answered, “yes.” He said that he was using all the strength that he had. His dad replied, “No, you aren’t using all the strength you have. You haven’t asked your dad to help you.” The dad then walked over and moved the stone.

This little story reminds me of the many times in life that I have struggled with challenges and circumstances that I couldn’t handle alone. When we are going through difficult times, and we think that we are giving it all that we have and are using all of the strength we have, but we still can’t overcome the challenge, maybe we too have forgotten to ask our Father for help. Yes, we sometimes forget where our strength actually comes from, and too often, we get so caught up in trying to handle things on our own that we forget to ask our heavenly Daddy to help us out. We forget to pray. James 4:2 says, “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” Many times, the thing we want is a solution to a problem, a way out of a difficult situation, and an answer that we are longing for. We fight and wage war on the problem and many times with those around us, but we forget to pull out our most important weapon: prayer.

The Bible is chock full of verses that remind us of the awesome power of prayer. When we study God’s Word, we find hope, yet we tend to question the power of prayer despite our hope and faith. Why do we do this? I think it is simply because can not fully comprehend the power of our great God. We do not know nor can we understand His ways, but we do know that He is in every aspect of our lives. We know that He cares for us deeply, and His plans, though we may not understand them, are always for our good and His glory.

God has pulled me through many trials, and often times, He has picked me up and carried me through the difficult situations. There are so many people suffering right at this moment in time. I have counseled a great number of patients in the past few weeks who have lost loved ones. It seems that we hear of another death almost every single day. It gets frustrating. Despair tries to take hold. We pray for those who are ill with COVID-19, cancer, and other illnesses. Prayer requests are made known on social media, in the churches, and via text. People cry out prayers to God and ask for healing. But God doesn’t heal them all…at least not in the manner that we want Him to heal them. So why, with so many people crying out to God in prayer does He not answer the prayers? We are quick to think that God didn’t listen or that He didn’t hear the prayers being spoken. Maybe God was ignoring those prayers. No, I’m certain that God doesn’t ignore us, and I know that His Word tells us that when we come to His throne, He hears our prayers. God has a plan and a purpose for everything. He knows what is going to happen ten minutes from now and ten years down the road. We can not begin to comprehend the great knowledge and goodness of our God, but we can rest assured that He hears our cries. When He calls someone home, that person is no longer suffering. That person is no longer in pain. He may have called the person home at exactly the right moment in time to prevent a totally different suffering. We can’t possibly know, but we can recline in knowing that our loved ones who are fellow believers are at the foot of our Lord and Savior with no more tears, no more pain, and definitely no more suffering. They were healed, not the healing we asked for, but the healing that God knew they needed.

Prayer is a powerful tool that we can’t leave tucked away safely in our tool chest and pull out only when times get too hard. God wants a daily relationship with us. He wants a daily conversation, but also wants to be the strength that we need to get through the difficult times. If you are struggling today and you feel that you have used every bit of strength that you have, don’t forget to call on your heavenly Daddy. Ask God to help you. Talk to Him. He will be your strength through every trial. Call on Him…and wait! Wait patiently for the Lord.

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