“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Why do we pray? In simplest terms, it is God’s will for us in Christ. However, several distractions deter our attention and devotion to prayer. One of these distractions is the internal narratives we tell ourselves about prayer – truisms that weaken our conviction and willingness to pray.
What do I mean by truisms? They are statements that hold some truth but only in part. The actual truth often lies in the middle of the tension they present. Take, for example, the statement, “God already knows what I need.” This is indeed true to some extent, as Jesus told us, “…the Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matt. 6:8). However, He also instructs us, “Ask, and it will be given to you…For everyone who asks receives” (Matt. 7:7-8). Herein lies the tension: while God knows our needs, we’re still instructed to ask and seek His provision.
Another truism that hinders obedience in prayer is the belief that “I am unworthy.” Although there is some truth to this notion, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Ro. 3:23). We must also consider, “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourself, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8-9). Because of this gift, we can confidently approach God’s throne, receiving even more mercy and finding grace to help in times of need (Heb. 4:16). In the tension between unworthiness and grace, we find the assurance to approach God boldly in prayer.
One of the most prevalent hindrances to our prayer life is the fear of not knowing how to pray. From the toddler struggling to get out, “God is great. God is good,” to the preacher whose words seem to call down fire, everyone has struggled with this thought. But in times that “we do not know what to pray for as we ought… the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Ro. 8:26-27). In times of weakness or when we lack words, God’s Spirit bridges the gap, praying on our behalf and giving us the confidence to approach prayer with assurance. Our inadequacies are covered by the Spirit’s powerful intercession.
When we pray, we make waves, creating a ripple effect in the natural and supernatural that leads to changes in ourselves and life’s situations. This is why we pray constantly and confidently, knowing that our prayers are powerful and effective in bringing about God’s purposes in our lives and the world around us.
Missed Pastor David’s message from Sunday on prayer? WATCH HERE