Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Prayer, Just do it!

Meditation for the week of July 24, 2011

Psalms 40:1  I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.

Prayer is a conversation with God.  We speak to Him and He speaks to us in various ways.  Generally, He speaks through His Word and sometimes He speaks through others.  Sometimes He speaks through dreams and visions.  Sometimes He speaks through circumstances such as accident or illness or through “open doors” or “closed doors.”  It is a wonderful privilege to know that you and the Lord have been speaking to each other.

We should probably keep a journal of the number of times that the Lord has heard our cries.  That is usually a prayer that is the result of crisis or trouble.  Many of us only pray in those situations.  Even unbelievers will often pray when they find themselves in real trouble and I personally believe that the Lord hears those prayers even though they are not prayers of believers.

We should probably also keep a journal of the times the Lord has heard our prayers of intercessions for others.  Paul asked others to pray for Him so that he would be bold in the preaching of the Gospel (Ephesians 6:19).  We should pray for the unsaved (Romans 10:1).  We should pray for all men and for Kings and for all that are in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2).  We should pray for the sick (James 5:15).  Prayer for others seems to be all encompassing.  We won’t do it if we are harboring grudges since an unforgiving spirit seems to close off our access to God (Matthew 6:14-15).  If we are not talking to God we likely aren’t in fellowship with Him.  If we aren’t in fellowship with Him, we likely haven’t dealt with our grudges.  Also, if we are holding grudges, it is hard to pray an effectual fervent prayer for that person.  This kind of prayer seems to be a prayer that is much more devotional than the kind of prayer where we only cry for help for ourselves in a crisis.

We should probably also keep track of our prayers of thanksgiving and praise.  Often it is easy to praise the Lord when we have seen a miraculous answer to prayer.  It is much harder to praise Him when He seems to be allowing trial and tribulation in our lives.  This is probably the kind of prayer that pleases the Lord the most.

I don’t fully understand prayer.  I know it can be public and corporate or private and personal.  Public prayer should be short and to the point while private prayer can involve a real in depth conversation with God   Often we tend to reverse that and have the long prayers in public and the short prayers in private.  I don’t know why I should pray for the unsaved when they are personally responsible for their own relationship with God.  But I know it makes me feel better when I do pray for them.  I suspect I am to pray for them so that I will be used in reaching them.  Usually when the Lord moves us to pray, he often also uses the prayer to prepare us to be the answer to our prayers.  This is particularly true when we are praying for the unsaved.

Sometimes we hear people say, “There is nothing more that I can do (about this problem), I will just have to pray about it.”  I personally find that things go a lot smoother if I pray before I find out that there is nothing I can do about a problem. 

One thing I do understand is that no relationship works without communication and when I have conversations with God, it improves my confidence in Him.  I get to know his heart.  That is why we are admonished, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).”

Why should we pray?  Because the Lord asks us to pray.  What is the benefit of prayer?  Peace.  We can all use that.  Whether we fully understand prayer or not, let’s just do it!

Bruce Collins

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