As leaders in our homes and members of a faith community in our churches there are few things that can have a greater impact on our community and our homes than powerful and meaningful prayer. How we pray, when we pray, and what we pray will impact the lives of more people than anything else we do. I believe that is where the conversation on prayer must begin, putting it in its proper perspective then we can exercise the discipline of prayer with confidence knowing that it is the greatest thing we can do for another human being.
So often we think of the works of kindness and service that we do, all of which are a blessing and what our Lord calls us to, as the way to impact the lives of people that God puts in our path. And while these acts of service and kindness very much show the love of our Lord to others, moving the very host of heaven and inviting the Creator of the universe to personally interject His will and solutions into someone’s life can and will change that life forever. This is the power of prayer that we so often lose sight of. For the Christian, prayer is the opportunity to stand in the very throne room of Heavenly Father and through the entrance paid for by Jesus Christ be heard and have Jesus Himself make intercession for us before the Father. We are promised that when we pray according to His will no request will go unanswered or be turned down. Of course the key words in that sentence are according to His will. And that is what we must learn to do, pray according to His will and teach our families to do likewise.
The pattern of healthy prayer is laid out for us in the Bible and the guidelines for what prayer is are not that complicated. It is not the words we use, the position we place ourselves in sitting, standing, or kneeling is not the key, it is following the pattern that the Lord gave us for what effective prayer accomplishes. All prayer should begin by acknowledging who it is that we are praying to, not because He needs to be reminded who He is or needs praise and honor to complete Himself because as God by definition He is complete unto Himself and needs nothing from outside Himself to be complete. We begin by giving Him honor and praise to remind our self who we are praying to and the power He has to hear and act on the prayer. Then the next step is to admit that we are not entitled to His blessing, we have been giving this gift not because we are worthy but because He said we were worth it to Him to redeem and forgive us. Then the most important part of prayer is to seek His will and solution to the matter and not our desire. Too often prayer has become a wish list of what we want rather than seeking what he wants and many of us have found our prayers to have become our opportunity to give God advice and counsel as if the Holy One who spoke the universe into existence could learn something from His creation. Kind of silly when we think of it that way. God already knows what He wants to do in every situation and He knew your need before you did, He simply seeks permission to intervene which He will not do if he is not invited. This is the purpose of prayer and the power unleashed by prayer done well. The great prayers found in the Bible, from Daniel, from Jesus in what is known as the Lord’s Prayer and His prayer for the Church before He went to the cross and others all follow this pattern and show us what prayer is. Next time we read them look for the pattern more than the words while still being moved and blessed by the words.
When we teach our family to pray often, seek the Lord in prayer not just when we are in need or trouble but continuously wanting to know His will for that day for our lives, our lives our families life and the very community we live in will be powerfully changed for the good. And that will impact the people put in our path as God intended us to. Grace and Peace and may the will and love of God be ever in your home.
Rev. Jimi Kestin
Sr. Pastor, Solomon’s Porch Foursquare Fellowship
1495 S. Black Ridge Dr. A240, St George, UT 84770