“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
ESV Jeremiah 29:11-13
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
This month, I continue my focus on prayer and cannot stress too much its importance; it is at the core of all that we think, do, and say as the Church. However, I must stress that our prayer, like that of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, is not that God will do what we want; but rather, that we will do the will of God. There is a tremendous difference and our expectations can only be for the latter—we cannot expect our heavenly Father to do what we ask unless it is in accord with His will for us.
Therefore, let us pray: Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe. We give You thanks for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever! We praise You for providing for our every need out of Your great benevolence, even those needs of which we are unaware. As You bless us continually with Your abundant gifts, grant us grateful hearts and liberal giving, so that we may meet the challenge before us and continue to grow in our ministry of worship, witness, education, and service. Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us so that with a generosity born of deepened faith we might fulfill our mission according to Your holy will. Father we ask this in Christ Jesus' name, Your Son, our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Biblically based prayer aligns our desires with God's desires. When we call out to God according to His will, He responds and brings His transforming grace. In the process, our lives are touched, our churches are renewed, our communities are influenced and our country is blessed.
God wants His people to pray, and throughout history, He has provided an open line of communication. Through prayer, we have access to Him at any time and in any place. The ancient Hebrew people understood this, and they were often reminded of the importance and impact of prayer. In a well-known passage of the Old Testament, God said, "If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (ESV 2 Chronicles 7:14)
Today we need to humble ourselves and pray seeking God's face, and repent of our wicked ways. If we do, we will experience the benefits of God’s forgiving, healing power—both individually and corporately.
Prayer is essential to a healthy relationship with God. Just as human relationships cannot be enjoyed without consistent communication; neither can our relationship with our heavenly Father prosper without consistent prayer. God has given us access to Himself at any time and in any circumstance to share our innermost thoughts and most profound longings. Focused, fervent prayer can bring much spiritual fruit and deepen our relationship with Him. If we fail to take advantage of this access, we limit the richness of life that He intends for us.
Does prayer really make a difference? Yes, it makes an extraordinary difference because God in His unlimited compassion responds to prayer offered in His name. As God’s children and followers of Jesus Christ, we must pray urgently and faithfully for our nation and its people. Prayer can affect the course of history and shape the destiny of a nation. So, please pray, pray without ceasing because intercession can make a transformational difference.
In Christ’s service,