We talk about prayer. We read about prayer in Scripture. We listen to sermons on prayer, but much of the time the bombshell of fervent prayer eludes us. Even our language betrays us as we “say our prayers.” The song says it can turn night to day, and so it can. How praying rests the weary—yes, we give mental assent. But generally fervent prayer is wrenched from our hearts only when life has us cornered with nowhere else to turn but to the Lord—and that’s good. But regular daily (not rote) communication with the Father keeps the ship steady all the time. Then when heavy trials come, the habit of prayer is already in place, totally natural from long-time dependence. Do we really believe that God hears our prayers and answers them? Do we communicate with Him as our very own Father who loves us and offers both promise and power to help us? To give us strength to bear life’s burdens, no matter how heavy? If our relationship to our Father is both true and deep, then prayer can never be perfunctory or out of habit. It is our spiritual life blood, our undying link to our Father until we arrive safely home. He knows us, He loves us and wants to hear from our hearts and lips that our love and trust are centered on Him.
We glibly quote that prayer changes things, and it does. But first it has to change us from perfunctory prayers to spiritually-hungry children crying out for help from a Father just waiting and longing to answer and bless his beloved children. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, fervent prayer is literally our lifeline until our Father calls us home.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7