We are blessed with the gift of PRAYER, by which we have the chance to talk to the Living God who created us! Jesus said that our Father in heaven knows what we need before we ask. We might be tempted to think, Why bother?, but when we realize what prayer really means our hearts will yearn for the blessings that it brings. Picture how a drop of food coloring put in a glass of water, reaches down to touch the bottom…let’s pretend the water is our souls and life is the glass. God’s love is the drop of coloring.
The Bible showcases how God hears, cares for, and answers his children. In Genesis, we learn that “Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.” (25:21) Moses gives another angle to our gift of prayer. In Exodus, we find Pharaoh had summoned him to ask for an end to the thunder and hail that was creating misery for his people. Moses replied, “When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord.” (9:29) “Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands toward the Lord; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land.” (9:33) In both of these cases, God is faithful. When we talk to Him, we know that He listens. His love, like that drop of coloring begins to spread out throughout our being.
The LORD said to [Solomon]: “I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. (1 Kings 9:3) “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” (2 Kings 20:5)
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer. (Psalm 6:9) Psalm 17:6 says, “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.” Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (Psalm 66:20) Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.'” (Acts 30:30,31)
The gift of prayer also lets us worship the Lord. Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD;” (1 Samuel 2:1) This example of prayer show us that our words to the Father are not just requests, but are a form of praise. The words of Nehemiah also highlight this aspect of praying: “O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.” (1:11) And when Jesus taught the disciples about prayer, He reminded us of this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Prayer is glorifying our Creator.
This gift of communicating with our heavenly father isn’t a solitary event. In the writings of James we learn that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (5:16) Back to the food coloring analogy: prayer brings a supernatural power that stirs the water of our souls and lets God’s love permeates our entire being! I love the words from the band Sidewalk Prophets that say, “When they see me do they see you?” Are my prayers to the Living God changing me, completely, from the inside out?