Made by and for the Voice of God
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
─ Hebrews 4:16 NIV
Eugene Peterson once said, “We pray because it is our most human response. We’re made by and for the voice of God—listening to and answering that voice is our most characteristic act. We are most ourselves when we pray.”
Have you ever said, “I need to pray more. I need to pray longer. I need to become more intentional in making time with the Heavenly Father and less time on the little things that have no lasting value.” Maybe you’re thinking, I really struggle to pray. Truthfully, finding the time to pray, as difficult as that is, isn’t the main problem. In most cases the problem is you really don’t know where to start.
If this is you, you’re in the majority. Knowing how to connect with God is one of the biggest challenges, but it doesn’t have to be that way because nothing is easier, or more natural, than prayer.
Hebrews 4:16 tells you how to approach God. You can “come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness” (TPT).
As you pray, you will enjoy more closeness in your relationships and experience more restoration from past hurts, when you make prayer your priority. The Lord created you as a mental, spiritual and physical being, or head, heart and hand, respectively. When you pray regularly, you are stimulating your spiritual heart. Prayer helps make you whole—more complete in Him.
Prayer can relieve stress and anxiety in your life. In order to connect with God, you must exercise faith. When you pray with faith, you should give your needs, concerns and daily struggles to the Lord. As you do, you’ll find yourself under less stress, because you are equipped to trust Him for the outcome of whatever obstacles you face each day.
An active prayer life develops a sense of discipline that carries over to other areas of your life. As you are intentional to pray daily and for longer periods of time, you’ll find you have increased ability and willpower to establish other good habits—such as consistent exercise, healthy eating and more productive work practices. Positive disciplines in your life will build on each other, and prayer is the catalyst to make it happen.
The Bible provides examples of simple, uncomplicated prayers. The book of Psalms is filled with real prayers spoken in real language by real people experiencing real problems. One personality after another offers honest, heartfelt, genuine prayers throughout the pages of the Bible. As you read the pages about Jesus’ life you’ll find many references to Jesus going off alone to pray. Prayer was His lifestyle—a normal, regular part of His everyday existence.
Today’s One Thing
In your decision to be more intentional about prayer, begin to talk to God several times a day, just as if you were having a conversation with a friend—because that’s exactly what you are to Him (John 15:15). Tell the Lord all about your thoughts, fears, concerns and desires—unafraid and without hesitation (Hebrews 4:16), understanding that God is never too busy to listen to you. No one knows you better than He does (Psalm 139:13-16).