“On all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
“God’s promises are not excuses to relax and pray less, but give us confidence and urgency before the throne.” (Anonymous)
The word “Prayer” is mentioned 132 times in the Bible and there are 650 prayers and 450 recorded answers to prayer in the Bible. The Gospels records Jesus praying 25 different times during His earthly ministry. The apostle Paul mentions prayer 41 times.
There isn’t hardly anyone on the planet 🌎 who doesn’t at least know about prayer and yet the ones who have prayed and had God answer their prayers seem the least inclined to untap the power of prayer until all their resources and understanding have dried up.
Why is it that the urge to pray only seems to come when the “Going gets tough?” Why is it when our lives are going well we see it less as an option of our busyness?
According to the book of Ephesians in chapter 6:18 it is God’s desire for us to come to Him and pray: “On all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
Even so, we are most motivated to pray only……when we need something from God.
In a time of so much information available you’d think we’d have it all together right? And yet in this culture we live there seems to be even more pressure for us to have the answers , giving the illusion we have it altogether and don’t need help.
Guess what? According to Scripture, God alone is all knowing. In other words, God understands EVERYTHING about a situation and can see through it to lead us on the best path.
“Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
His understanding has no limit.” (Psalm 147:5)
“Great is our [majestic and mighty] Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is inexhaustible [infinite, boundless].” (AMP)
Praying to God is an act of humility, praying brings ourselves to the reality that we don’t know it all, we don’t have all the answers.
Pastor Chuck Smith on the motive behind praying to God:
“Prayer is not an agency by which my will is to be accomplished upon the earth…the purpose of prayer is to get God’s will to be accomplished upon the earth,!and so many times we ask and receive not because the motive behind our asking is really that of accomplishing my will rather than God’s will… and though prayer doesn’t change God’s mind or God’s purposes, prayer does change something….it changes us.”
Praying IS a humble appeal from all we know we can’t do and exchange it for all God alone can do.
God’s omnipotence., acknowledging, in our prayers that He is not only able to provide for us what we ask, but can give us a right to, and the blessing of, what He gives. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Prayer IS NOT an “afterthought “in God’s plan. Prayer is NOT a Plan B, or a spare tire in case life breaks down.
Under God, prayer runs the world. For sure, God does countless miracles in the world every day that no one ever mentioned specifically in prayer — after all, “He upholds the universe by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3).
However, God does some of His most important work in the world, and in our lives….because one of His children ASKED Him to. “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16).
Fellow Prayer warriors pay close attention to the promises of God. They patiently persist in prayer by holding tightly to His words, as if their very lives are depending on them.
With so much social activity going on outside and even more within the church, it’s important to remember that God’s promises do not become excuses to relax and pray less, but that through MORE time praying, (especially alone in our prayer closets) that we bring our petitions before a God who hears us and because He hears us have confidence and come to Him with urgency before His throne.
I liked how William Gurnall, a seventeeth-century English pastor, explains how when we take the time to enter and come before urgently pleading on behalf of His children, those unsaved in our families,!
Friends, Neighbors, Co Workers with urgency in our , prayers that it magnifies the Sovereignty of God and puts into action His perfect will…..and isn’t that really the motive for our prayers?
“When God makes and carries out His plans, He PLANS for us to pray.” (Anonymous)
In other words, we may feel hesitant and maybe a little tenuous to pray with Gods sovereignty over our prayers, maybe because we want to see our outcome to happen, and not God’s perfect sovereign will…..can this kind of withholding type of prayer hold back God’s sovereignty to prevail?
Our Bibles are full of examples of desperate, faithful, praying saints in the Scriptures that did not seem to share our….struggle.
The fact is that the more you examine scripture and read how saints before us pleaded with God and what became of their requests, praying with God’s sovereign will and purpose at the front of their prayers, we see a pattern that they were not afraid to intimately knit His sovereignty and prayer together……..especially in times of serious need, in times of desperate troubles.
In fact, in some of the most tensest moments, with God’s people were handled victoriously when they leaned on and relied on Him for the perfect solution that in God’s omniscience armed with His omnipotent power they knew without doubt it was going to work out! (Romans 8:28)
They knew their next prayer might be the very means God has appointed to keep His promise, demonstrate His power, and display His worth. They did not draw near to God without a promise, and they refused to stay away!
I was reading in Exodus 32:11-14 where it was in Moses prayer that things began to happen, it was in his prayer that God held back His fury and saved the people from what should have been righteous wrath
Or how about when Joshua prayed and God really did stop the sun in the heat of battle? Joshua 10:12–14.
Or when Jonah literally prayed his way out of his grave in the belly of that whale in Jonah 2:1–10?
And what about Hezekiah and his desperate situation when he was king of the southern kingdom called Judah, before the nation was sent into exile?
Remember how the Assyrians attacked and assaulted Jerusalem until the people were left utterly hopeless 😩 in Isaiah 36:1. all because Ahaz, the wicked king before Hezekiah, had refused to seek the Lord’s help? (2 Chronicles 28:24–25), how that Judah was now firmly between “the rock and the hard place” lodged between a rock and a horrifying enemy.
It seems quite often in my reading through the Old Testament how much I see Israel’s tortured history is speaking loudly, warning us about the awful price of prayerlessness — of looking anywhere but heaven for the help we need most….😳
Hezekiah had done what was right (2 Chronicles 31:20–21), trying with all his might to undo what had been done, but they were still forced to eat the awful fruit Ahaz had left behind.
Oh, how we need to listen and obey God, doing things His way can save so much aggravation for ourselves and especially those in our circles. ⭕️
So maybe you’re finding yourself in a battle today, and perhaps you’re out of ideas💡 , maybe you have people asking you, ‘what do you think 🤔 about all these times we’re passing through, it sure sounds like a great opportunity to lead those around us to bring them to prayer.
I have a friend whom I’ve known for years, and first me while I was serving at our church in the prayer room, who gives her phone number out to those who might need prayer. But what happens when she’s not home? The answering machine picks up and says with her voice that she’s not home 🏡 right now but…”why don’t you call Jesus? He’s ALWAYS waiting to hear from you!”