Effectual, Actual Prayer
Why has the word “prayers” been so overused it’s become a cliché? I see and hear it used so hollowly, it seems like the majority of us have forgotten (or never knew) what effectual, actual prayer is. Prayers are not something to be thrown around lightly! After all, you are going before the throne of God, with the authority of your Savior. Taking prayer any less serious is an egregious error. When the Lord knew the scribes and the Pharisees were plotting against Him, He stayed in prayer the entire night to the Father, as Luke 6 says. That was the Almighty Creator God praying to the Father for hours! The amount of effort and absolute zeal it took to engage in prayer like that had to be taxing, to say the least! The very next day—it seems He was invigorated—He fervently continued on His mission, which included establishing the apostles.
If our Lord stayed in prayer to the Father all night, there is something to be learned from that. The Lord’s life is what we should strive to mirror! Of course, we’re going to have our unique twist to it, but that’s what God wants! He thought, somewhere in eternity past, that the world needed one of you. That fact alone is worth more prayer and praise than there’s time in the day. God wants your uniqueness to be put towards loving and obeying Him. God wants a personal relationship with you! One of the only ways you can develop a meaningful relationship with someone is to have meaningful conversations with that individual. The same goes for God. Talk to Him; tell Him your most intimate secrets, your worst fears, your greatest triumphs. God wants to hear from you!
The fact we have a lifeline, anytime we want or need it, to our Creator and Father is indicative of Their immense love for us! We don’t even know if all of the angels are afforded that privilege! From a speculative point of view, understanding the way ranks and orders work, the lower ranking members of an army cannot just walk into the high-brass’s office and air out a grievance because they want to. They have to go to their squad leader or platoon sergeant before they can even go to the captain. Knowing what I know about God and how orderly He is, I’d say His Army is probably run similar to that, only much tighter and more disciplined. He had Moses establish judges, to create a “pecking order.” There was a pecking order with Christ’s disciples. There will surely be a pecking order in the coming Kingdom. What I’m driving at is, in the grand scheme of things, we are more important to God than even the angels! Our prayers ascend directly to the throne of God via our Lord and Savior! No chain of command, just a strict open door policy! What a wonderful God! How can we thank Him enough? We can’t. But prayer for each other, and prayer in general, is a good start.
Praying for each other is one of the most important things we can do for one another. We are to even pray for our enemies! Being human is very hard, when attempting to pray for those that persecute you. Repeating that discipline will help you to grow exponentially though! It releases you from the emotional prison that person may hold you in. That, in turn, can help you focus more abundantly on God and His plan for you. The Lord was being brutally murdered and He prayed for our forgiveness in that moment! We were all murdering Him too—do not fool yourself. How wonderful of a God do we have? Words fail to reach that level of magnificence!
If our prayers should be that much for our enemies, how much more should our prayers be for our loved ones? One of the most important things God gave us is our families. Shouldn’t our prayers reflect that? Our friends are in that same boat. There is no greater love than for a man to lay down his life for his friends! Steady prayer for our friends and family, should be a focal point for us. They need it, we need it, and the Lord wants it! What a privilege we have, having our Lord as a Friend. A Friend Who says to lay our heaviest burden on Him, and He’ll take the load for us! A Friend whose love for us never ceases!
Prayer must be looked at as one of the most important gifts God has given us. It truly is! The effects of prayer are very real, and can be very drastic, or very gradual. After all, when God decides to act in our lives, He does it on His time. All we can do is obey Him, love Him, and meaningfully pray to Him always! God bless.