I’m looking into doing some vlogs (Video Blogs) this summer. I’m really excited and nervous for it. I feel like that is the direction the Lord is currently taking me. Below, is a first draft I have made, with a large amount of help (well pretty much all of it was done) with The Lord. I plan on making a few more drafts of the message below, but before I go any further, I wanted to know all of your guys thoughts. I’ve never done this type of thing before.
Thanks in advanced for all who read and share your thoughts!
Just for reference, I read the script below out loud and timed it at a little over 9 minutes.
Prayer is a funny thing. I’ve talked to many people about prayer throughout the years. Christians have told me they believe God tells us to pray, but that they aren’t sure if it works. Some have told me it’s a waste of time to pray for them, and that they don’t even want me pray for them. Some Christians pray only once in a few weeks because they just plain forget about it. Then there are people who don’t live a life for Christ, but because they pray once in a while, they believe they are going to heaven.
In some cases prayer is a last resort. It’s the last thing we do. We will say “Well I guess all I can do is pray now.” In other situations we will tell our friends “I’ll pray for you. I’m sorry I can’t do more.” We’ve lost the sense of the power prayer has.
I think you can relate somehow. I can. Sometimes prayer gets hard because we feel Christ just isn’t answering it and it may even cause us to fall a little bit in our faith.
We’ve lost hope in prayer.
I want to share with you ways that you can regain your hope in prayer. To pray bold and confident prayers that you’ve never even dreamed of. It starts with Scripture.
One of the biggest things Christians over look is placing themselves in the Word of God. Some of our excuses are “I’m to busy.” “I just don’t understand it.” “It’s just not for me.” And “it doesn’t apply to me.” “I just don’t want to read.” Those excuses exist to serve one purpose, to keep you away from God’s Word. The devil knows the power of God’s Word and he fears it greatly, so he wants to keep you away from it.
What opened up my mind were the epistles that can be found in the New Testament. Paul’s letters opened up my mind to how awesome my God, our God is. I fell in love with God, and with this love came the first step of prayer, communication.
Prayer is communication with God, and the more you love Him, the more you communicate with Him, and the more you communicate with Him the more you love Him and recognize Him in all the different areas of your life.
It’s like when you have a crush. You just want to talk to your crush more, and the more you talk to them, the more you like them, and the more you like them, the more you want to talk to them. It’s a cycle.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)
Never stop praying
With Scripture comes the second step of prayer, aligning your hearts with God.
When God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you want Him to, it is not because He is not there, it is because you are asking for stuff that is not for your greater good, or for the greater good of Heaven.
It’s difficult to accept when your grandparent, or other, passes away after you have been praying so hard for their survival. But we cannot lean on our own understanding, as stated in Proverb’s 3:5-6 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Maybe God let your grandparent die to ease their pain, maybe it was so they can rejoice in the kingdom of Heaven, maybe it was to bring recognition to whatever they stood for so that others can follow in their footsteps. There could be so many reasons, but you got to trust that Christ has a plan.
As we read Scripture daily, God puts a transformation in you that is beyond belief. It’s amazing the amount of wisdom, understanding, and peace He places upon you. In this transformation we begin to yearn not the things of this world, but for the things that are Christ pleasing. When we start praying Christ centered prayers, and giving up our earthly desires, we will begin to see Christ answering our prayers in the way we want them to be answered. We will start to recognize His presence in our life.
But you can’t expect them always to be answered. Not even all of Jesus’ prayers are answered. If you open up to Luke 22 you can see Christ praying to God for a way out of His death, He prayers so hard that He is covered in sweat, and then His sweat turns into blood. But God tells Him no. Jesus was rejected by God as well.
I want to share a few stories of my own about prayer that come to mind:
Between my freshmen and sophomore year of college I was a graphic design student. One of my teachers was a complete stickler. Everything had to be professional, on time, done right, and absolutely positively no excuses! She was the strictest teacher I have ever had. She didn’t like to be strict, but she did to prepare us for ‘the real world.’ Well on three different occasions throughout those two years, I had either forgotten or just wasn’t able to finish my art projects. Not showing up to class on a day a project was due, was simply not an option. If we did, we had to have a perfectly valid excuse, and have our project turned in a head of time. If not, the consequences were even worse than showing up with an unfinished project. So there was three occasions that I just couldn’t finish my projects for whatever reason, so I prayed. But before I prayed each time, I told myself I would only pray once, and I would trust that the Lord would take care of it. Sure enough He did. One time, I completely wrote down the wrong due date so I came to class and found out I had a whole another week to do it, and the other two, by the grace of God, we came to class and she randomly decided to push back the due dates for whatever miraculous reason.
The second is a story of a butterfly. I was sitting in chapel one day and a butterfly flew past my feet. Just for the fun of it, it wasn’t to test God it was just spur of the moment. I asked God to make that butterfly come back. And it did! Then I said, make that butterfly land on my foot, so it did! But it immediately got back up and started flying back the way it was going; I was dissatisfied. Then I said, Really God, I want a real landing. Making it land again on my other foot! So it turned around and did! I was simply amazed!
The point of these two stories is this, prayer is a powerful thing. It calls directly on God. God is the creator of all things, if you call on Him, have confidence that He will deliver! Philippians 4:13 states
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
This is more than just a verse guys, this is truth! Have the confidence that you can do all things. Matthew 17:20 states:
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
We have so much power at our hands; we need to have confidence with it! This is not to say God is a genie to grant all your wishes cause you have confidence, remember you have to align your hearts, this is just saying don’t doubt the creator of all things.
Don’t be afraid to pray bold prayers.
The last step is to pray frequently.
Prayer isn’t always a once and done thing. Lets look at Scripture to see it was to say about praying often.
First look at Elijah in 1 Kings 17:21-22
Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.
Elijah, a powerful prophet of the Lord didn’t just ask God once to bring the boy back to life, he had to cry out three times! But he did so in confidence in the name of the Lord!
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks fora fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Always pray, and never give up. This woman begged the king for justice. At first he didn’t give it to her, but through her persistence he let her have her wish. Will God, who loves us, not give us more?! Cry out to Him day and night, and He will give you what you ask for.
Prayer needs to become like breathing, always do it.
Lastly, don’t forget to recognize answered prayers. In 2nd Samuel 6:22 David says, “I will become even more undignified than this,” I think that is an awesome response to going crazy about an answered prayer. He just rejoices. Some of you may have heard of Kari Jobe, a very talented Christian singer. On March 27th she wrote
“Wow..I prayed a very specific prayer this morning and The Lord just answered me in the way I asked Him to. What?!! So faithful! Faith!!!”
I love her response! She just straight up rejoices!
I hope this has helped you as much as it has helped me in my relationship with Christ and my view on prayer. To dig further, I suggest a book by Pastor Craig Groeschel from Life Church called “Altar Ego.” He tackles prayer throughout his book, and uses some amazing examples of answered prayers.
God bless y’all! Stay true to His discipleship!