Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2, NIV).
Some think of prayer as a religious exercise practiced to court favor with God. They may tell God that they’re sorry for the bad things they have done. They may bring to God a list of requests for things they need or want. Perhaps this makes them feel better. Yet in the end their prayer involves asking God to help them with their purposes.
For the Christ-Follower, prayer is turning our focus to the presence of God and submitting ourselves to His purposes. In the process we ask God for provision, for pardon, and for protection so that we might know and do His will more perfectly. Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven,
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one (Matthew 6:9-10, NIV).
Prayer is very intimate for the Christ-Follower. We who follow Christ are indwelled by God’s Spirit, who communes with our spirit to help us pray. Paul said:
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children…
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:16, 26-17, NIV).
You can be bold in your prayers! God already knows what your thinking; don’t be afraid to verbalize your thoughts before Him. He won’t be surprised. Confess your doubts, your fears, and your disappointments to Him. Be prepared for His truth to fill your soul with clarity, peace, and courage.
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.
Finally, persist. Prayer does not always provide instant answers. Yet it is a core habit of those who experience a life of spiritual growth and discovery. Ask others to pray for you and with you – Paul did (Colossians 4:3). When we pray together and for each other, we strengthen the bonds between us as we grow closer to God.
If you’d like prayer for any challenge you are facing, please contact us at True Hope. We have a team that prays regularly for all who ask. Click here to send your request.