It’s National Day of Prayer¹, according to a notification I just received from my recently installed “Bible + by Olive Tree” app, a leading Bible study tool.² Clicking the notification called up the app overlaid with the following article about prayer, which you may judge to your pleasure on its merits or lack therein. I thought it worth a share, even if the opening few lines emit an aroma of word-of-faith³ Pelagianism.⁴
We Pray When…
If you want to know about the current state of your faith, start with your prayer life.
If I only pray at meal times and before my kids go to sleep at night what does that say about my faith or my relationship with God? It may just mean that all I care to trust him with is food and a good night’s sleep.
As silly as that sounds, our prayers reflect our dependence. That’s why some of the most powerful prayer times in my life have come when I was literally powerless to change my situation. It’s in these moments of desperation and dependence that I cried out to God with more than a pat request for a blessed meal or a good nights sleep.
The Psalmist talks about these kind of prayers when he says this in Psalm 18:6
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
So what types of things do we bring to God in prayer?
In scripture we see prayers for:
Forgiveness like David
Wisdom like Solomon
Healing like Hezekiah
A child like Hannah
Deliverance like Jonah
Mercy like the 10 lepers
Salvation like the thief on the cross
These types of prayers aren’t religious rituals but heartfelt, passionate requests brought to the King of all creation. These types of prayers are brought in faith by people of faith.
So what is the state of your faith?
Ask yourself these questions:
When do you pray to God?
A growing relationship involves regular, ongoing, communication.
What do you ask God for?
Our dependence on God reflects the place he has in our life. If he’s our King then we’ll certainly ask him for more than a good nights sleep.
What do you trust God with?
We often classify and segment things in our lives into spiritual and not spiritual but a life sold out to Jesus is one that trusts him with everything that we have and are.
Today, May 5th is the National Day of Prayer. May our prayers truly reflect our faith and dependence in a mighty and loving God!
Tap HERE to browse great titles on prayer that are sure to inspire your personal prayer time.
¹National Day of Prayer is an official holiday sanctioned by the United States Congress and President Truman in 1952. Some background history from the official site.
²Bible + by Olive Tree is a free app for all mobile devices that lets you read from four different Bible versions, compare versions in adjacent linked panes, view copious annotations and notes, take your own notes, tag passages, sync across devices, and other good stuff. It even works offline. This is not a paid plug, I just like the app. I just wish I had a tablet instead of just a phone. In fact, there’s my criticism: it’s too much goodness for the small screen. Get it if you have a tablet (this is the Android link, but it’s also available for iOS; do a search in the app store, Apple heads.)