Want a #GreatLife? Pray Fervently.
If you want to read all eight parts of the #GreatLife series, click here —> #GreatLife
People talk about prayer a lot. Prayer is held up as the magic bullet that can be loaded and aimed at any situation at any time. They talk about the power of prayer and how prayer can work all kinds of miracles. That’s all SORT OF true. However, I want to remind you of a small but critical fact that changes everything you might think about prayer and praying: the power of prayer only lies a little bit in the act of praying. I acknowlege that prayer can be calming and meditative. Prayer can function as a mantra allowing you to bypass your brain and move your focus away from whatever might be distracting you from being in the moment. However… and this is a big “however”… the true effectiveness of prayer lies in the power of Him to whom you pray.
The reason prayer is powerful and effective is because you’re bringing your concerns to the feet of a God who is able to do more than you could ever think or imagine. In fact, I am frequently blown away by how God (over)answers my prayers! By over-answering, I mean that He always goes so far beyond my ask that I can’t comprehend it. Even to the degree I can comprehend it, I can’t grasp it. To the degree I can imagine grasping His answers, I could never begin to contemplate the fullness of what He has done. I can’t even provide a suitable example to bring this home for you. I just can’t. His ways are so far beyong our ways. Imagine, if you will, that what you percieve and receive as an answered prayer contains not only YOUR answer, but the answers for dozens if not hundreds of people whom you could never know or contemplate. Imagine that in the course of answering your prayer for new employment, God uses it to change the course of your life, your children’s lives, the church you attend through you giving, the Director of your Division through her contact with you, townships in Michigan who get the attention of missionaries because of your giving, the five year old down the street from you who is inspired to become a pilot by your example being the first man he’s ever seen who worked a professional job… and on and on and on. You will never be able to understand the goodness of God in His answer to your prayers!
I am also frequently convicted that I do not pray more. I don’t know why the God of all creation decided that He would grant such access to power to mere mortals but He did. You would think we would take greater advantage. You would think we’d start each day on our knees, end each day in a prayer meeting and talk to Him throughout the day regarding everything we encounter. But we don’t. Heck. I don’t. Sometimes you do okay with this as do I, but anybody reading this can admit that they could and should do more with the access we’ve been granted. Sometimes it’s as if the Maker of the Universe and Decider of all fates has said “Hey, come to me whenever you like and bring me any concern” and our response is “Nah… I’m good!”
I won’t promote the wild excesses of the Prosperity Gospel by suggesting that prayer is like having your own genie with unlimited wishes. God still answers according to His will. Further, there are many things in life that are subject to your control outside of prayer. But here’s the thing: I’m not going to strip prayer of its power either. Just because some have taught that you can use prayer like a Cosmic Butler, doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t pray for and about incredible things. Did Elijah have God’s prior “permission” to pray and stop the rain?
Or how about how much Jesus Himself taught about prayer and persistence? He doesn’t delineate things you SHOULD pray about versus those your shouldn’t. In Luke 11 and Luke 18, both examples highlight people who are praying from intensily personal motivations.
Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his PERSISTENCE he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.” ~Luke 11:5-10 (NASB)
I actually like verse 8 in the KJV a lot more because it uses the word “importunity” instead of “persistence” – and importunity is a powerful word! To be importunate is far beyond being persistent. It is to be troublesome to the point of almost being disrespectful. It is being inappropriate. It is being unbending even though you are undeserving. An importune person is a person who will not be denied and the Lord says THAT is the way to be when you want something!
Study the Parable of the Persistent Widow, too! It shows how wonderful things can happen when you stay in the fight and refuse to quit! Both passages are among the many that teach, encourage and almost beg you, the Believer, to wield the power of prayer more aggressively. The section I chose from Luke 11 comes right after what we call The Lord’s Prayer. Jesus, in response to His disciples asking Him to teach them to pray, lays out an outline for prayer and then gives an example of prayer that focuses on what? PERSISTENCE. BOLDNESS.
So that’s another key to a great life. If it matters to you, bring it to God. As a Believer, you live and work in the natural but have access to the BEYONDnatural, the SUPERnatural. Problems don’t all have to be solved with the natural mind. In fact, that’s quite a limited way of addressing your challenges. The really tough matters require something beyond you. You have access to He who has all wisdom, all insight (if that’s what you need), all grace, all favor and all power. Call on Him.
Mark Anthony McCray helps you live God’s best and blessed life for YOU! Forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!
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