How do we pray?

Alright folks, I have to call myself out on something. This is something I’m doing all too often, and I really need to stop. It’s time. I need to get my act together. And the first step in fixing a problem is speaking it out loud and admitting your fault, right?! So here it is:

I tell people I’ll say a prayer when requested….but I don’t always do it.

I mean sure I’m on it most of the time. There’re those moments that as soon as it comes out of my mouth…prayers are being said. But if I had to guess, it’s a 80/20 chance I’m really praying. And I’m not gonna lie, I’m little embarrassed to say it’s not 100% of the time….but is this really a big deal??

I feel like most recently there has been a lot of flak when someone says, “thoughts & prayers”, as though prayer isn’t enough, but as Christians….prayer should always be near us about everything! (hint, hint: Philippians 4:6) But I think this brings us to a deeper question: Is the flake coming from the fact that we aren’t always really saying a prayer when we say we are?

1 Timothy 2:1(NIV):
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people-

And a little further down…
1 Timothy 2:3 (NIV):
This is good, and pleases God our Savior

This doesn’t say we should only be praying for our own needs and wants but says ALL PEOPLE. And that this pleases the Lord.

James 5:16 (NIV):
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

I don’t know about you, but for me the two words that speak most loudly to me in this verse: powerful & effective. 

I remember a dear friend once asking for prayer from me. I did say a prayer then, but I remember thinking “what’s my prayer going to do, it’s not like I’m anything special.” But I specifically remember her telling me that she was struggling to find the right words to pray, so she just needed some extra help. So I prayed.  This experience has stuck with me. While I felt inadequate to say the right words, James 5:16 tells us just how powerful and effective prayer can be!

So I’m going to challenge myself (and I challenge you too!) to try harder to put prayer first. If prayer can be that powerful and effective as James tells us it is, we never know how that one small prayer can impact another’s life.

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