How often do we pray? What do we expect when we pray? Does God answer every prayer? All great questions but we must take a step back and contemplate a very basic question, what is prayer? Prayer is simply talking to God. I have heard many public prayers over the years (and have prayed a few) where the person praying ceases talking to God and begins to address their audience or their own ideas.
God must be the central focus of every prayer otherwise it is not prayer but simply a pontification or if we are alone, we are only talking to ourselves. We must stand, sit, kneel, or prostrate in awe as we realize we are talking to the all-powerful being who created the universe. We don’t need to impress God with our vocabulary or creative metaphors because if God knows us perfectly there is no reason to put on any sort of pretense. Therefore, we have the privilege of talking to God, humbly and honestly.
This brings me back to my first question; how often do we pray? I know as I have evaluated my prayer life I came to a simple conclusion, not enough. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 puts it simply and succinctly “pray continually.” Yes, this verse does compete with John 11:35 as one of the shortest in the Bible. I believe that God has commanded us to pray and instructed us on how to pray and that through prayer my life and other’s life will change.
With all of this in mind I have created a challenge to myself that I would like to extent to you based on our year verse, Ephesians 3:20. If God can do immeasurable more than we ask, this verse assumes that we ask. This verse also clearly indicates that God’s power will always be the authority behind any answered prayer. I would like to challenge all of us to pray for God’s transforming power in each of our lives, our communities and our world. Trust that God will do immeasurably more in your life, in the lives of your family and friends and across our country.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,