Christianity 201

March 27, 2020

Talking With a Friend

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:42 pm
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Pray continually. – I Thess. 5:17

by Pastor Ray Wilson, D.Min

Prayer is an important part of our relationship with our God. People may make it many things, and use many prompts but it is as simple as talking with a friend. You may pray alone or with a group, you my pray silently or aloud, you may be spontaneous or written down. But it is important to understand is that Prayer is more than just words, more than just a list of items to be procured, it is sharing your heart with the One who loves you the most.

Scripture portrays a life of prayer that is open-hearted and continuous. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Some may find that overwhelming and a little scary. That is where we need to come back to the illustration of talking with a friend. When you first meet someone our conversation can be superficial, but as we grow in the relationship, our conversation becomes deeper and more fulfilling. It is like that with prayer.

So why is prayer so important you ask. Well because we are instructed to pray. According to the NIV Exhaustive Concordance, the word pray is used 121 times, not including the various forms of the verb. Prayed = 68 times, prayer = 106 times, prayers = 32 times, praying = 36 times and prays =12 times, for a total of 375 times. God wants to hear from his children. (Colossians 4:2; 1 Timothy 2:1,8) When I think about my own children, I love those times when we just sit and talk about what’s happening in their lives and how they are feeling. E.M. Bounds once wrote,

Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty.

There are some things that we need to know when we pray.

First is that God Loves you and cares for you. This is important because God’s love for you is complete, therefore we need not fear to bring anything and everything on our hearts to God in prayer. Prayer is a safe place of trust. 1 Peter 5:7 states ”Cast all your cares upon him because he cares for you.” What a blessing it is to know that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5 We aren’t going to shock Him, He already knows all about us and still desires to commune with us. David wrote in Psalm 52:8,”I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever.”

Then we need to know that God hears our prayers. God is listening. 24/7 He is always there to hear our petitions and prayers. Jeremiah 33:3 says this, “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.” The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 102:17 “He will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas.” 1 Peter 3:12a states “ for the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer” If we call, He hears us.

Then we need to understand that we can pray with confidence. I remember the first few times I went to a prayer meeting. Nervous about what my prayer would sound like in the presence of such great “prayers”. As believers, we can all approach the throne of grace because of our unique standing in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 4:16)

Remember, I said prayer is about more than words. It is about our heart reaching out to our God. Jesus related a parable about a Publican who had many words, touting his own righteousness but not much heart in his prayers. A tax collector who just asked for God’s mercy and grace. Jesus said this poor man went away justified, not the man who so eloquently made his public prayer.

These days there seems to be much to talk with our God about. To seek his comfort and grace in uncertain times. How wonderful it is to know that we can talk with our Saviour as we talk with a dear old friend. One who understands us and loves us. One who sympathizes with our deepest needs.

Ray Wilson is pastor of Orchard View Baptist Church in Trenton, Ontario, Canada.

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