These are trying times. The past year may go down in history as one of the most difficult, and the challenges are not over. We all surely wonder what is going to happen as this year unfolds. How many more will die in this pandemic? What will societal changes mean for Christian witness and ministry? … What concerns do you have? -- Let me share one more. I am concerned about the spiritual health of those who are trying to follow Jesus. In reality, Christians are the ones who are on trial now. Echoing in our minds should be the assurance of Jesus, “I have overcome the world.” In such times we are asked to believe that, and to allow that faith to translate into action. Allow me to focus on one powerful action that we can all do, prayer. How is your prayer life? Before reading further review what the following verses say about the importance of prayer: Matt. 7.7-11; Lk. 11.1-13; 18.1-8; 1 Thess. 5.16-19; Col. 4.2-4; Jms. 5.16-18; Rev. 8.3-5. … Are you concerned about the problems? Do something! The prayers of faithful people are the most powerful force in our world!
The idea of praying to an infinite being is really awe-inspiring. Stop and think about it. The God who simply commands and the whole material realm comes into existence now invites us to approach Him in prayer. Such a being is beyond comprehension. Just the thought of such a being raises questions that mere mortals cannot answer. Does He dwell outside of time? Does He really know the answers even before we ask?
The real wonder is that this being of enormous size and power is concerned about me, a mere speck on a speck. In the expanse of eternity our lives are so short. How could an infinite, eternal God even notice us? And yet, He does! It is obvious that a being like God does not need us as we need other people. As Jesus says, when we pray we cannot tell Him anything that He does not already know.
So, the next question is, What is the real purpose of prayer? It sounds like a complicated question. Why the eternal God would want to hear from His children might well be beyond our comprehension. Yet, since Jesus in His teaching consistently calls God our “Father,” we have an important insight that may help us to understand. On a much smaller scale parents love to look into the faces of their children and communicate with them. Parents will almost always know more about their children’s needs than they will. When a parent reaches down and smiles or coos or makes noises near the face of an infant it is not information she is seeking. What parents are seeking with their tiny children is a relationship. In a much greater sense God is reaching down to us in His Son. He loves it when we reach up to Him with our words, groans, joys and cries. He wants to know us and for us to know Him. He wants a relationship with us. Why? This one is not that complicated. He loves us! He also loves the troubled world in which we live.
Now, turn off the news, and find a quiet place. Let your Father know what is on your mind.