In the fourth post of the “Enrich Your Prayer Life” series, staff members delve into the dynamics of prayer and how it can be a source of comfort as well as a call to action.
Prayer is a personal thing. It is an expression of intimate relationship with God and an opportunity to regain the indescribable peace promised in Philippians 4:7. Our God can do all things, and He wants us to seek His power and presence in our daily lives. Whether through fire from the sky or the gentle guidance that is waiting for us to notice—God is always there.
Mike Vincent, Director of Building Management, sees how prayer is a heavenly invitation for each of us to be part of God’s work.
One of my favorite verses when it comes to prayer is James 5:17–18. Elijah was a human being just like us. Sometimes we think that prayers are answered in miraculous ways because that person has something special about him or her, but in reality, they are human just like us.
Prayer is an invitation to be a part of God’s work: God wanted Elijah to pray that the rain would stop, and He also wanted Elijah to pray and ask for the rain to start.
Elijah asked his servant to look for the coming rain seven times while he was praying for the rain. He had just prayed and asked God to light the altar, and God answered by sending fire down from heaven. Why did God work in this way? Why did He want to show His power after Elijah prayed? God wanted everyone to know that it was He Who answered Elijah’s prayer.
Through this we see in James that Elijah was a human just like us. We have been given the same invitation to pray that God would show us His power, for His glory, in His timing, for our good.
That invitation of prayer is a reminder to pause, be still, and truly focus on God. Valerie Robison, Finance Coordinator, took a moment to share how she can record and reflect on those moments.
In the last year or two, I’ve started working to tie my creative side with my spiritual life. Out of that, journaling has made up a lot of my quiet time. I draw pictures that come to mind from reading verses or just thinking, and I write out prayers. This helps me focus long enough to cover all the things that I want to say. It also gives me the chance to read back through previous prayers (which are date-stamped) and see how God has worked in my life. Holding a book full of conversations and visits is such a visual to me, and I’m always humbled by how much God cares about me and the people that I love! I also sometimes pray when walking, driving, or just before falling asleep. Those are quieter moments in my brain, and usually if I’m not doing that, the time is relatively wasted. Talking with God makes me feel encouraged, and I like that Presence being in every part of my life! My home, my neighborhood, my car. He’s with me everywhere.
And as my Mimi says, “It’s important to pray, but be sure you’re also listening.” To that effect, I think silence is so important. If you feel the need to constantly be distracted by something else, or expressing yourself at all times, you’re probably jamming the frequency. You gotta slow down and listen.
We don’t always know what lies ahead, and that can wither the soul like an underwatered tree. But by resting in God and His promises, we will be sustained. Kim Coleman, Ministry Leader of ProjectServe, explains it this way:
I feel like right now is a drought . . . a drought from certainty, the ability to know what tomorrow, next week, or next month will be like . . . no end in sight, no finish date. So, I remind myself that as long as I stay close to the Lord, He will give me what I need to keep going. I have what I need with Him, and I feel refreshed and hopeful.
Right now I am loving Jeremiah 17:7–8. “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” (NLT)
Knowing that our Hope and Confidence is eternal is an empowering thing. His power, His glory, and His timing are all for our good. We just have to slow down and listen.
Prayer Tip: “Listening for God in prayer helps me to speak to Him with a heart of submission instead of with a list of demands. And that has made all the difference.”
—Tonnya Blaylock, Ministry Assistant of Preschool Pals
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14, NIV)