Some people struggle when it comes to prayer. I remember talking with a man who said, “I can pray for my friends and family, but I don’t feel worthy to ask God to do anything for me.” Another person told me, “I stopped praying because I didn’t see it doing any good.” One man said, “God is going to do what He’s going to do, so there is no use praying.” Most of these comments stem from a misunderstanding about prayer.
What is prayer? Prayer is simply talking with God.
In (Exodus 33.11 NIV), we read that Moses talked to God personally: The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. The phrase “face to face” indicates normal conversation, just like you would talk to a friend. That is what God wants from you. He wants you to seek Him and talk to Him, not in rote and memorized words, but from your heart.
Craig Etheredge, author of this article, is one of the speakers at this year’s National Disciple Making Forum. Learn more and register here.
Throughout the Bible God calls us to seek Him and talk to Him. Prayer is more about relationship than results. When we pray, He promises to hear us, respond to our needs and draw us close to Him. Consider these benefits of prayer:
God promises to give you peace. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4.6-7 NIV).
God promises to hear you and to help you. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” (Hebrews 4.16 NIV).
God promises to respond in the way that is best for you. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!,” (Matthew 7.9-11 NIV).
God promises to give you a new perspective. In (Psalm 73), David was struggling with injustice in the world. Consequently, he had become a “brute beast” — angry, resentful, insensitive to God. Then he came into God’s presence in prayer and God changed his perspective. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever,” (Psalm 73.26 NIV).
God promises rest. In (Matthew 11.28 NIV) Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
God promises to be close to you. “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” (Psalm 34.18 NASB).
God promises power to overcome. The Apostle Paul was discouraged and lonely. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness,” (2 Corinthians 12.9 NASB).
Written by Craig Etheredge
This blog was originally posted on discipleFIRST’s blog, which you can access here. Used by permission.
Craig is a gifted communicator, author, and Bible teacher. Craig and his family moved to Colleyville, Texas in July 2007 to serve as lead pastor of First Baptist Church where he currently serves. In addition to leading the local church, Craig is involved in the local community serving on the Board of Directors for Baylor Hospital, Grapevine, Board of Directors of Christian Counseling Associates, Mission Board SBTC, Chaplain for the Colleyville Police Department, and football chaplain for Birdville High School. He has a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Craig met his wife, Liz, in the fifth grade and they have two daughters, Leah Beth and Abbie.
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