Abraham- forced to sacrifice his only son
Sarah- wanted children but couldn’t get pregnant
Moses- got angry and killed a guy
Jacob- left for dead by his brothers who hated him for being dad’s favorite
Daniel- plotted against by his coworkers and thrown into a pit of hungry lions
Shadrack, Meshach, Abednego- tied up and thrown into a fire for not following the rules
Job- lost everything he had in life, all alone on a pile of poop
Prayer: it ain’t just pretty words
The power of prayer is real. Believe it! Proof goes back a long long way. People have been proving the power of prayer to problem-solve even before Jesus’ time. To name just a few:
But these people prayed and got good answers, healing answers.
But it wasn’t until Jesus got on the scene, that we get a glimpse into the “how to” of prayer. And, now, we know that anyone can use spiritual prayer to solve problems and get healing. Yes, ANYONE.
So, how do you pray? Well, in his sermon on the mount in the book of Matthew, Jesus gives us a beat on that: when you pray, go into your closet and shut the door. But, remember, Jesus used metaphors & similes to explain deep concepts to his listeners so the lesson wouldn’t go over their heads. So, of course, the closet he’s referring to is your private mental consciousness, your own thinking.
Okay, you’re in your closet, now what?
Well, Jesus gives us another clue: don’t bother with meaningless words. Your all-knowing Father already knows what you need. Yikes! Then, why bother? Here’s where Webster sheds a little light. One of the definitions of prayer is: an act of spiritual communion with God. And, one of the definitions of communion is: an exchange of thoughts.
In essence, prayer is an active conversation with Spirit, God-an omniscient, attentive, and willing Parent. And, honestly, who wouldn’t want to cuddle up with such a powerful resource?!
So, what do you pray? Well, God is Spirit, so starting from a spiritual basis-by quieting your human reasoning, opinions, and agendas, and aligning your thought with an acknowledgement of His all-powerful, all-loving presence, is a good starting point. When Jesus prayed, he began with “Our Father, who art in heaven.”
Then, you listen with your spiritual senses for God’s guiding messages.
What if you don’t hear anything? Oh… you’ll hear! And, don’t try playing dumb either, like my adult kids do when I tell them something they don’t want to hear. That never works. Because, often, God’s messages to you involve relinquishing thoughts you may think you’re not ready to let go of… like anger, pride, self-justification. And will, most probably, require you to adopt thoughts that include more humility, unconditional love, and forgiveness.
But make no mistake, His communications are heard in ways each of us can certainly grasp… every time. Your task is to identify how He is talking to you and become familiar with it… listen for it… get cozy with it- like your favorite food or blanket or fuzzy socks.
Yeah, although each of us may hear His voice differently, you can be sure that because God is Love, He will always speak to you with loving, comforting thoughts. Ideas that give you a sense of peace and blessing, fully loaded with practical ways to carry them out. He reminds us in Jeremiah, “…I know the thoughts that I think toward you…thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
So, if your prayer doesn’t give you answers to your problem or change your sadness into a joyful dance, get back in your closet! Don’t give up. Sometimes it’s not words at all, but simply listening.
And don’t underestimate the power of your prayer. It’s real.