The Importance of Prayer (part 2)
by Jan Cox
Prayer used to be something I said before a meal, at bedtime and when I really needed help.
My thoughts on prayer have changed over the years, through studying the Bible, taking courses (Living Prayer) and reading many resources. (See my list below)
To me prayer has come to mean a living conversation with our Lord. Until I started to practice it on a consistent basis I really didn’t understand what it could mean to me and what a privilege it truly is.
“In whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him” (Ephesians 3:11,12 NASB).
This year I added a new word to my prayer life and that is thankfulness.
“Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 NASB).
If I can see and name His gifts daily, in little things – and thank Him through everything – I am connected in a new way. For this reason I started My Gratitude Journal where I list wonderful things I see that are from God.
But wait – can I thank Him even when the way is difficult? I still struggle with this but know that it is very important and I need to do it. I see faith-filled friends who are coping with spouses who are nearing the end of this life. I see how they give everything over to our Lord; lean on Him; trust Him. They are shining examples of thanking God even during the difficult times. And for that reason I sometimes write down in my gratitude journal the not-so-wonderful things I see.
I truly believe each opportunity we have to pray by ourselves or with others should be taken immediately. When the Holy Spirit nudges us with a name or situation – STOP– and pray.
Walls can come down; healing can happen; lives can be changed.
So let’s increase our prayer lives because we must.
A few of My Prayer Resources
Because We Prayed by Mary Haskett
The Workbook of Living Prayer by Maxie Dunnam
Too Busy Not to Pray – Bill Hybels
The Transforming Power of Fasting and Prayer – Bill Bright
Intercessory Prayer – Dutch Sheets
Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 days – Kay Arthur
The Power of (Praying Husband, Praying Woman, Praying Parent, Praying Wife) – Stormie OMartian
My Gratitude List for this week: I am up to 271.
- a quiet week of prayerful reflection
- missing my mission partners
- working outside in the garden
- eating fresh produce from the farm
- cooler temperatures and lovely breeze
- prayer time with a friend
- lunch and good chat with a friend
Thank you Lord for my family, for quiet times and for noisy times. Thank you for teaching me day by day. Help me to grow closer and closer to you. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.