Your “TO DO” List: Important
The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word pray as ‘to address a petition to God’. When we pray to God, the presentation of our petitions to Him is only a small part of what we are doing. The most important part of what we are doing when we pray is reverencing God… we are confessing to a belief in Him, to a belief in His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, and to a belief in the Holy Spirit.
In the church that I attend, I have a friend who taught me a valuable lesson: prayers are powerful. Isn’t it both amazing and uplifting that such a far-reaching and meaningful concept can be taught in three simple words?
Prayer is powerful because it takes us out of ourselves. When we pray, we turn over the control of our lives to God. Jesus Christ, in His Sermon on the Mount, emphasized how helpless we are when He said And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. (Matthew 5:36) Jesus Christ constantly prayed to His Father during His life among us, and knew the power of prayer. So profound was His wisdom and understanding that He was able to tell us how we should pray to the Father in the most enduring economy of words that has ever been, or ever will be, uttered:
This, then, is how you should 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. 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 6:9-13)
Witness the glory of God in these sacred words!
When we pray, we trust in God and in His Providence. Jesus Christ spoke of the uselessness of worry, and trying to control one’s fortunes in the world: Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or stow away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34)
Do you doubt the power of prayer, and the capacity of God to provide for you? Jesus Christ said the truest words ever spoken regarding these issues: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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 good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11)
You may believe that you cannot pray to God because you wouldn’t know what to say; with regard to specific petitions that you have to present to God, you have a fear that the right words won’t come to you. Read the words of St. Paul from the Book of Romans and be comforted: 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 with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27)
There is joy, comfort, and hope in prayer as well. Here are the words of St. Paul from the book of Philippians:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7) Finally, there is the promise that God makes to all those who turn to Him in prayer: And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
To anyone who reads this post: I don’t know you personally, and probably never will, but if you want me to pray for you I will be more than happy to do that. Simply respond to this post with a comment, providing any pertinent information regarding your petitions, and I will pray for you.