|W||1 Thessalonians 5:17 New International Version (NIV)
|O||Christians should pray continuously. The CEV Bible translates the scripture this way: “…never stop praying”, and the KJV tells us to “pray without ceasing.”
Two powerful words—pray continually—caused me to question my prayer life.
Do I pray continually? Yes.
Do I pray continuously for all situations? No
Could I make improvements in my prayer life? Yes. I tend to pray more intently for situations that directly affect me or people connected to me.
I feel convicted.
If I believe prayer changes things, why do I place limitations on what I pray about and for how long? I believe God is speaking to me about this area in my walk with Him.
|R||My son put the television remote in the toilet. It’s been two weeks since we’ve been able to access our cable. This was a blessing and a curse: I am working to limit distractions in my life so not accessing T.V. helps me to stay focused. On the other hand, I am a person who loves to watch the news, so not having the cable on set me back on being current with events happening around the world.
With that being said, my friend told me in passing that a hurricane was expected to hit the south, but she never specified the exact location. That was last week.
Fast forward to this past weekend, I opened my Instagram to find my feed flooded with images of how Hurricane Harvey slammed Texas. As I continued to scroll, my heart began to race as I read the words: HOUSTON!
I couldn’t believe it!
I immediately grabbed my cell phone and began to dial my cousin’s number. No answer! A dark cloud of fear hovered over me.
My family lives in Houston and I was worried about their safety. Were they okay? Did they have food? Water? Did they have a plan to evacuate? Where would they go? Did they have money? What about their personal belongings? Oh, my goodness! I was WORRIED!
After finally getting in contact with them, I learned my cousins were okay. I calmed down. Then it hit me.
What could I do to physically help them anyway? The whole city was underwater! I didn’t have access to a private plane to fly down and rescue them. I could send money, but how would they get it? Besides, what would money do to help them in rising waters anyway? Even if I wanted to send them food and water, I had no way of getting it to them.
I began to pray. I prayed, I prayed, and prayed some more. I needed God to really come through for my family—to cover and save them. I wish the hurricane never happened. Especially since my family was in harm’s way.
Thankfully, my family survived the storm. But then…
I thought about ALL THE OTHER people who lost their lives, were displaced, or injured. Dag! I prayed for them.
But to be honest, I started to feel guilty. I felt like my prayers were intensified for my family: I pleaded with God to watch over my loved ones. To protect them. To keep them safe. Why weren’t my prayers more continuous and urgent for the other people affected by the storm?
Come to think about it, I do this all the time. See or hear about something, send up a “popcorn” prayer to God for the situation…and that’s it. Never taking the time to pray again. Unless the situation impacts me or someone I care about. God, please forgive me.
So, I have a new perspective: I have to pray without ceasing for EVERYTHING! There is so much chaos and turmoil around the world. People are dying. People are starving. People are homeless. People are being persecuted. People are unemployed. People are depressed. People are sick. People are doing time in prison. People are affected by natural disasters…the list goes on and on.
We need God.
BUT God needs us, too.
He needs us to be in constant communion with Him. Praying and fasting. Continuously. Not just for a moment in time, but being faithful in prayer.
Hurricane Harvey changed me. It opened my eyes to see that I need to be on my A-game. I’m going to make a donation to help the citizens of Houston. I’m going to keep lifting Houston up in prayer. I don’t want to live like I have before—hear about a catastrophic event, pray, donate, forget about it, then something else happens and the cycle continues. I am going to be proactive in my prayer life. Not waiting for things to happen before I start praying. Praying without ceasing in All situations…all the time.
It’s time for me to take my prayer life to the next level.
|D||Dear God, I repent for not praying like I should. Your Word says that I should pray without ceasing. Help me to pray continuously in all situations. I pray right now that you will restore Houston. I pray that the citizens and even the animals get the assistance to bounce back from the storm. I also pray blessings for people around the world who are going through trials and tribulations. Help us to run to You during these hard times. While we may not understand why these things are happening, I pray that You will strengthen our faith. We need You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen