Praying time is never wasted time. Find out what it does for you in this guest post from Evangelical Alliance: together making Jesus known.
Why take time to pray, you ask? Prayer can seem so tedious and just another religious ritual. However, all around us are people who want an authentic relationship with God. This only happens when we pray.
I love John 15:15. It says, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I have learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
A revelation of this friendship will keep your prayer life alive. We become true friends of Jesus if we take time to talk. We also need to develop a partnership with the Spirit.
In Romans 8:26 we read about this partnership: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” We need to develop a healthy two way communication with God. We need to understand that prayer is more than a place to ask for help with our most recent crisis but also find a place of exchange and conversation.
As someone once said, “Prayer is not about seeking an answer but about seeking the One who has all the power to answer.” We need to expect to hear God speaking with us too. Prayer is about knowing that as you draw near to the heart of God, God is going to touch your life.
God is calling to us to stand and ‘mind the gap’ for others.Rachel Hickson
Friendship with God
Truly transparent friendships are rare. Most of us hide something due to fear and a sense of inadequacy. We do not want to be judged and so we hide. When God calls Adam we read that he hid too: “But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ And he answered, ‘I heard you were in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and so I hid.’” (Genesis 3:9)
Fear will also rob us of a real and open relationship with God. Good friendships take time. If you are prepared to invest quality time into a relationship then you will be rewarded with a more intimate knowledge and understanding of that person.
This same principle works in our friendship with God. If you will give Him your time, He will share the secrets of heaven with you and allow you to understand things that were previously hidden. There are many areas where the church needs fresh insight and wisdom, but these revelations will not be given to us unless we spend time talking with God.
The disciples were captivated by Jesus and His relationship with His Father and wanted to learn to pray. In Luke 11:1 we read this account: “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’” It is interesting that Jesus’ disciples, who lived with Him and watched Him moving in the supernatural, never asked Him, “Lord, teach us how to do miracles.” They cried out, “Lord, teach us to pray!”
I believe this cry is stirring in God’s people all over the world right now. As we pursue God and establish our prayer relationship, like Jesus, we need to inspire others as they watch us in this place of prayer.
Anyone who has travelled on the London underground will be familiar with the voice reminding people to, “Mind the gap, please – mind the gap!” as the doors open and people get on and off the trains. In the same way God is calling to us to stand and “mind the gap” for others. We are being challenged to pray beyond ourselves and embrace the needs of others.
Heaven is declaring, “Let His kingdom come,” but earth is out of alignment. As we pray, with one hand we are laying hold of heaven’s desire and, with the other, earth’s reality, and we cry, “Lord, let your kingdom come now to this place at this time.” Everything can shout, “Don’t bother, give up, your prayer will make no difference.” But Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Remember: now is not a good time to give up.
Don’t stop praying
Your prayer life is probably far more effective than you realise, so don’t stop now. The enemy would love you to believe that the delay to the answers to your prayers is because you are a bad person, or that your prayer is powerless. In fact, you are probably praying the right prayers, but you just need to be persistent – you are doing good – so don’t get weary.
Every prayer we pray is like laying another piece of tarmac on that highway of freedom.
Isaiah 62:10 says, “Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise the banner for the nations.”
It is by our prayer or intercession that we bridge the gaps. Even when we cannot discern any change in the natural, our prayer is having effect in the spiritual realms. Praying time is never wasted time. Each time we pray, something is happening and atmospheres are shifting in the heavens.
One day, suddenly, your mission will be accomplished. So, remember, do not give up – and watch what happens just because you prayed a prayer of generosity for others.
We need to stand in the gap for our neighbours, our cities, towns or villages, and our nation. As we increase our time in prayer, I believe God will give us increased revelation and discernment regarding the spiritual atmospheres in our communities. Armed with this Holy Spirit information, we can pray more targeted and effective prayers and then have the joy of seeing hopeless situations totally transformed.
This is the privilege of prayer – it changes the world!
Rachel Hickson reminds us of the importance of standing in the gap through prayer, and how we can build our relationship with God through the two-way conversation of prayer.