“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12
This title seems odd, right? Why would people want to know the reasons someone prays? Well, I believe when someone knows why we pray and who or what we’re praying for, they get a glimpse into who we are and what God is doing in our lives. When people know some of the areas of our life we struggle in, they too can see God desires to hear their hearts. They can also witness your testimony taking place through what God is working out. And honestly, it doesn’t get more beautiful than that – God drawing His children near through His grace and mercy.
Two scriptures the Lord has used to shape me and my view of prayer are James 4:7 and 2 Corinthians 10:5. James 4:7 tells us, “Submit to Jesus, resist the devil, and he will flee.” Corinthians 10:5 tells us, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
These truths remind me to speak out loud and in my Spirit who’s in charge – Jesus, not me. All I’m in charge of is walking in obedience and choosing Him, resisting the temptations of the enemy, and trusting that Satan will flee in Jesus’ name.
A few topics came to mind when writing this reveal, all the more, why prayer has become so important to me and why we need to share with others the importance of praying and to the Lord. Personally, I get caught up in patterns of toxic thoughts. Whether it’s been a seed sown by a lie someone spoke, something derogatory I saw on a show years ago, or Satan trying to distract me with awful thoughts that would never be a reality, this is what I deal with. When I’m not in the posture of an ongoing conversation with the Lord, my mind can easily become derailed by one of these.
My former sinful life used to rule over me. I lived in the lie that there were things about me I couldn’t change; it’s just who I was. I was, in fact, correct about one part of that statement – I couldn’t change myself, BUT Jesus could, and He did. Living under that lie for so long gave me much to work through. Choosing prayer through this struggle led me to 1 Corinthians 10:13. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide a way of escape so that you may be able to endure it. Once I learned this truth, I began praying it when I faced and still face the temptations of the world.
When my life seems challenging, I find myself clinging to prayer. I remember the season I was pregnant with our son, and most of his first year of life, I had a hard time opening the Word. My Bible sat for months at a time. However, the one thing that never got dusty or set aside was my prayer life. That year and nine months were one of the most intimate seasons of prayer I had with The Lord, and it brought me back to His Word.
Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” This became a reality for me. While I never want a season of my Bible being set aside like that again, and I’d never recommend it to someone else, my prayer life changed in the deepest way, and I once again saw the need to engage frequently and fervently with my Creator.
It’s true … my faith life would be dull without prayer. God shows up in the most tender ways when we share our hearts with Him. Sometimes, the prayers don’t even have to be spoken; He knows the words before they leave my tongue. So when thoughts are swirling, sin begins to invade, and my walk is in a season of struggle, I know one thing, I can always turn to Jesus. I can always speak His Word, open my Bible, and walk in truth.
I pray this has reminded you that your prayer life matters. It will change your faith, it will change your relationship with God, deepen your desire to share your testimony, and it will reveal things about you that you’d miss otherwise.
Lord, thank You for allowing us and calling us to pray. Prayer is a gift and something that needs to be a first thought, not an afterthought. I ask that my heart be turned toward truth and that my heart would be emboldened to share with others why I pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.