I have a “thing” for bumper stickers. And, who doesn’t? I love the witty, quirky, funny ones. You can tell a long story with just one bumper sticker. You can send quite a message with a few words on a bumper sticker. And in 2015, they should probably change the name to Social Media Sticker. I see these witty phrases all over the internet more so than on cars.
In Texas, you’ll see a lot of bumper stickers about prayer. See some below:
So, what is prayer and most importantly, WHY do we Christians pray?
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Prayer is THE original connection. It is the beginning and the end of everything we think and do. Prayer is the most intimate and private connection you will ever have with God. It is the safe place we run to. It is the place where we draw near to our Lord. In that place we find mercy and grace.
Why do we pray? Searching the Bible and even the internet, you’ll find over 70 verses about prayer. As Christians we pray:
For anything we wish according to the Lord’s will. John 15:7; Phil. 4:6; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9; Matt. 18:19-20; Jer. 29:12; 1 John 5:14-15; Luke 11:9-13; Matt. 21:22; John 16:23-24; 1 John 3:22; Matt. 7:7; Psalm 145:18-19
To keep on praying. 1 Thes. 5:17; John 14:13
For things we don’t understand but for which God knows the hearts. Romans 8:26; Jer. 33:3
For our leaders (Kings, Queens, Prime Ministers, Presidents, Government in General, Pastors, Bishops, Fathers, Bosses, etc.) 1 Timothy 2:1-4
For will-power through temptations. Matt. 26:41
For strength and guidance. Luke 21:36; Psalm 121:1-8
For one another. James 5:16; Ephesians 6:18; Luke 18:1; 1 Thess. 5:25; Matt 9:35-38
To give thanks. Col. 4:2; Psalm 100:1-5
For deliverance from troubles and evil. Psalm 34:17; James 5:13-18
For forgiveness. 2 Chronicles 7:14
For eternal salvation. John 3:16-17
Pray in times of hardship. Pray in times of joy.
Juan and I have had a year of hardship and joy. How did we change from tears to laughter? Prayer. We have been Christians for a long time, brought up in churches thanks to our parents. But growing up in a church doesn’t determine the relationship you’ll have with the Heavenly Father. Having Christian friends doesn’t mean you’ll be free from troubles, crisis or hardship. Being a Christian doesn’t mean life is easier. Only you can determine the course of your relationship with God. No church, no Bible-study group, no friends-circle will do this for you.
Usually when you’re about to get married, people give you advice. From how to prep food in advance and stick in the freezer to not going to bed angry and more like this. A piece of advice you’ll mostly get is “communication is the key.” And, it is true. If you’re not communicating, you’re not going to get very far.
Prayer is the ultimate communication. Prayer will build the road from your heart to heaven and back. It will also build a special road that begins in your heart and your spouse’s heart that join at a fork and goes up to God.
Every morning, when we drive to work (or I drive my husband to his office, because I work from home), we pray. We each take turns and pray for anything and everything. When we first started doing this, almost 1 year ago, it was hard. Words didn’t want to come out and when they did, they were few. But we persevered. We started by thanking for everything He had given us, specifically. We then asked for anything we needed…a car, an apartment, a job, health, food, savings, etc.
God has given us prayers of thanksgiving. We have also prayed with tears. We have poured our hearts into the carpet of our apartment and prayed as hard as we could. God has answered ALL of our prayers. This doesn’t mean he’s said, “Hey Juan and Melissa, you need a car? Sure! Go out in the parking lot and pick one!” (LOL…woudn’t this be cool?) Most of the time, God has answered, “Got it. You need to wait.” Waiting is good. Waiting produces endurance. Waiting lets you stop and smell the roses while you get what you need.
So, I want to share with you a #21DayPrayerChallenge / #Reto21DiasOracion. However, I don’t want to tell you what to pray for. Prayer to me should be personal, authentic and original. The challenge consists of praying with your spouse, your mother, father, brother, sister, or a friend. Every day, choose the best time and pray with one other person for 21 days minimum. It is said that 21 days form a habit…hopefully, after 21 days of continous prayer, you won’t be able to go throughout your life without it.
And I PROMISE…after 21 days, and even sooner, you’ll see results. You’ll feel the difference. You’ll see the difference.
Pray without ceasing.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.