Simple Thoughts on Prayer
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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:6–71
To pray without ceasing is to do everything with prayer. This does not mean that every piece of work we undertake must begin with a formal act of prayer—stopping, kneeling down, and offering a spoken petition. To pray without ceasing is to have the heart always in conversation with God. It is to live so near to God that we can talk with Him wherever we go, ask Him questions and get His answers, seek His help, His wisdom, His guidance, and obtain what we ask.
It is often said that we should “count that day lost” in which no kindness is done, no deed of love to anyone, no help given. But sadder by far is a day without prayer! It is a day without God, without heaven’s light shining into it, a day unblessed! The morning you forget to pray is an unhappy morning for you.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”2 “Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit.”3
We are exhorted elsewhere, too, to make all our requests known to God in prayer. We do not know what we miss by leaving God out of so much of our lives. We often wonder why we fail, why so little comes of our efforts, why we do not get along better with people, why we are not happy, why joy is so lacking in our experience, why we are so easily discontented, why we fall so easily into bad temper. It is because we cease to pray!
“O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.”
You say you haven’t time to pray so much.
“Haven’t time?” You have time for everything else—time for many things, perhaps, of questionable importance. Have you not time to look into God’s face for a moment—before you begin a new piece of work, before you make a new investment, before you start on a business trip, before you go out to spend an evening, before you open a new book?
“Haven’t time?” Does it seem wasted time when you stop to eat your meals? Do you regard your hours spent in sleep as lost hours? Does being courteous waste time? Nor is time spent in getting God’s blessing ever lost time. The holy hours given to worship are not wasted hours.
But really the habit of unceasing prayer does not require time. It is but looking into God’s face and saying, “Lord, help me in this.” “Lord, bless me as I do this.”—J. R. Miller,4 adapted
All my ways of expressing prayer are imperfect. In God’s book, a look toward heaven or an uplifting of the eyes is set down as prayer: “In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”5
What is prayer but a pouring out of the soul to God? Faith will find another outlet if one be stopped.—Samuel Rutherford
The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.—Romans 8:266
Prayer in its highest meaning is not pleading with God or demanding things, but it is communion with God, throwing your whole being open heavenward, Godward, and waiting for the divine response.
If you have prayed and had no answers yet, and it seems as if when you pray, the heavens are brass and He’s been deaf to your pleading cries, remember this: No earnest, sincere prayer to the heavenly Father has ever gone unanswered or been unnoticed. But this is also true that God has His time for all things in working out His purposes.—Virginia Brandt Berg7
I can’t promise to spare you from the storms of life, but I can promise to be with you through them. My help comes in a variety of forms. It may not always come in the form you expect, but it will come. I will not leave you to struggle on your own.
When you ask for My help, I will answer your prayer. When you are fearful, I will give you faith to trust Me, peace of mind, and courage to go on. When you are weak and weary, lean on Me and I will give you strength like you’ve never known. When your heart is broken, I will mend it.
I can’t keep you from all hardships and sorrows, but I can make the troubles of life bearable and bring about good in the end. I can help your spirit rise above the storms of life. Above the clouds—up here in heavenly places with Me—the sun is always shining. I am sunshine on a rainy day, the rainbow after the storm. I am the bright ray of hope that puts the sparkle back in your eyes.
The present storm will pass. In the meantime, let Me keep you through the storm.—Jesus, speaking in prophecy8
Published on Anchor June 2014. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.
Music by Michael Dooley.
2 Philippians 4:6 NIV.
3 Ephesians 6:18.
4 Our New Edens. 1904. From http://articles.ochristian.com/article17318.shtml.
5 Psalm 5:3 KJV.
7 From “Just a Closer Walk,” http://virginiabrandtberg.org/meditation-moments/mm022_just-a-closer-walk.html.
8 From Jesus with Love—For Troubled Times. Aurora Production, 2010.