Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Proof Is In The...Prayer!

 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."  
Philippians 4:6 

Without question, the last six months of my life have taught me the POWER of prayer and the dire necessity of having a consistent and ever-improving prayer life.  Not only have almost all of the books that I've read recently emphasized how prayer has transformed the authors' relationships with others as well as the Lord Jesus Christ, but my pastor's vision for his flock, my personal reading of God's Word, my meaningful conversations with my husband, and the every day going on's of life, have worked together to make it evident that without a prayer life, it is impossible to grow/mature spiritually or make it peacefully from day to day.

While there are numerous scriptures given to us by the Apostles that remind and teach us that prayer is vital (the instruction to "pray without ceasing" seems pretty clear!),  Jesus Christ Himself was, of course, our perfect example.  The Gospels relay countless times when Jesus prayed in order to maintain His strength and relationship with the Father (Matthew 14:23; Luke 6:12; Luke 9:18; Luke 11:1; Luke 22:41; Matthew 26:36; Mark 6:46; Mark 14:32, Luke 9:28; John 17:1-5).  Likewise, I've found that prayer not only builds my confidence in Christ, it also betters my relationship with Him and reassures me that I serve a prayer-answering Savior who not only listens to my cries, but also responds!! Hallelujah! 

Prayer is our time to sit and talk with our best friend and first love.  Just imagine how great it is to have quality alone time with your spouse where the two of you enjoy each other's company.  We cherish that time because it is essential to our relationship.  Similarly, our alone time with Jesus Christ is vital to having a relationship with Him.  And in all honesty,   time spent with any human being pales in comparison to time spent one-on-one with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.  It's unlike any other time!  Everyone and everything else is set aside during this sacred time to offer praise, whisper words of prayer, cry out, or simply shed a tear in communication with the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:6).

Elizabeth George, author of A Woman After God's Own Heart, suggests that women create and keep a prayer journal that lists people who are in need of prayer and/or situations that need prayer.  Initially, I thought that the idea of a prayer journal was a bit unnecessary, but the more that I've developed a life of prayer, the more I realize--there is A LOT to pray about(!!) so perhaps a journal would be helpful to remember every thing/situation/person that crosses my mind to lift up in prayer.

Perhaps two of the most important prayers that have proven to be refreshing and fruitful in my life have been (1) the prayer that I set aside to pray strictly for my husband and (2) prayer for those who I find it "challenging" to like/coexist with.  

Prayer for Your Husband 
I've found that setting aside a time to pray solely for your husband (especially(!!!!) if your husband is a deacon, preacher, pastor, or leader in your local place of worship) is perhaps one of the most productive things a wife can do.  It builds your confidence in your husband and it allows you to trust Jesus and your husband even more.  [or at least, I've found this to be true]  Moreover, praying for your husband really makes it easier to love and respect him in the role that he fulfills in your life.  I'm in an infancy stage with this set-aside prayer, but I truly recommend to any wife who isn't already, set aside a time each week where you lay before the Lord and pray solely for the many facets of your husband's life and responsibilities.  It adds a new level of beauty to the marriage!!  

Praying for "You Know Who" (Matthew 5:44; Mark 11:25) 
My oh my how I've discovered (am discovering) that praying for people who may not be the easiest to appreciate or get along with is (1) not as easy as you'd think but (2) SO helpful in getting to the place where you can honestly love them!!   Initially, I generically mentioned their names in prayer--"Lord, please bless X.  Help me to love X."  That was not an easy first step, I must admit.  Now, however, I'm finding it easier to pray for those individuals in more than just a sentence or two.  I find myself praying for all the aspects of their lives and when I arise from prayer, I have a new found love for X and a confidence that God will help ME in being more like Him in loving X.  For truly, the prayer for X is also about the Lord helping me because clearly I am not walking wholeheartedly in His Word if I am not loving X as I do others (Matthew 5:44-48).  Man, it's been a tough pill, but I see that it works! [side note: it's also humbling because Jesus shows me how He continues to love me despite my shortcomings, so why can't I do the same for others (Galatians 6:3)]

There are so many other prayers that we pray--for healing (James 5:15-16), our natural leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2), our spiritual leaders (1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Hebrews 13:18), peace in Jerusalem (Psalms 122:6), salvation/deliverance for our loved ones, for wisdom and understanding, and SO many more--but I wanted to briefly mention how those two prayers in particular have been a blessing to my life and continue to help me to develop my relationship with Jesus Christ.  Truly God has shown Himself as REAL through my prayer life.  So I say, forget the pudding, the proof is in the prayer!!

"Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer."   
Romans 12:12

Sitting in a seat of fervent prayer,


  1. This note was quite refreshing and I totally agree about prayer. If more then anything, I've seen the power of prayer in not only my life but definitely my entire family with everything that has occured this year.

    So I say...Right on Shunta! :-)


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