As we kick off this fall season, I would challenge us to think about our prayer life. If you were to describe your prayer life to someone, how would you describe it? Take a moment and reflect what your conversations with God have been like, been about and how effective have they been?
Could it be described like Paul's instructions to the Christians in Philippi? "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Phil 4:6 Do you find yourself asking God for help for everything? Do you see your prayer life all about petitions, requests, sharing your needs and asking for God's supernatural intervention?
This is commanded in Scripture for us to do. Do we do it? This is an awesome privilege and at the same time dangerous. Dangerous because it can lead to seeing God as a Santa figure. If we do not get what we want, it is easy to give up on prayer, thinking we have failed God or that God does not care about us. When we get past this, we see the privilege of God's answers slowly coming into picture over time. Most often not at all like we first asked for.
Could your prayer life be described as personal connection, like Paul described to other Christians in Thessalonica? "Pray without ceasing." 1 Thess 5:17 A beautiful marriage is one where the husband and wife can be in the same room without talking yet being fully united and close. They do not have to say anything to enjoy each other's company. Is your prayer life like this with Jesus? Do you sense His invisible presence with you all the time in every situation no matter the pressure, stress, argument, what ever? This is a wonderful prayer relationship with Jesus.
Could your prayer life be described where you have shifted from personal prayer requests to worshiping God and praying His concerns? We clearly see Jesus make this shift in the Garden of Gethsemane. His prayers started out for Jesus' personal will to be done, "take this suffering from me," to God's will be done, "Not my will be done but Your will be done." This is a major shift and growth in our prayer life.
Could your prayer life be described as true intercession like Peter experienced in Acts 10? God gave Peter a vision about God's mission to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus' gift was not just for the Nation of Israel. It is for everyone. We see another example of this with Phillip praying and then suddenly he is explaining the Gospel message to the Ethiopian Eunuch. God loves to put His thought, His desire, His mission about someone in each of our minds and hearts so we can do true intercessory prayer. This is where each of our FAB 5 come from. This is where we may discover that we are awoken in the middle of the night to pray for someone, unbeknownst to us, they were in a car accident or facing a difficult situation.
This new fall season, let's continue to grow in our prayer life. Will you pray for me? Know I am praying for you.