“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV)
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Martin Luther
- Take some time today not only to open your Bible but to pray as well. The Lord loves when we sacrifice our time to put Him first. Ask the Lord to instill a heart for prayer in you.
- Open the living Word and read Matthew 26:36-46 (The Prayer in the Garden).
As I was growing up, I was taught to pray before every meal, I memorized the Lord’s Prayer to pray in church and I recited the same prayer every night before bed. Prayer was more of a habit for me, like washing my hands before a meal, than actually talking with God. Now that I am an adult, I am learning why we pray. Prayer is so much more than a good habit.
Prayer is a discipline. Prayer is an essential part of a Christian’s walk with Christ. Prayer is conversing with God, getting to know the Person of God, and admitting our need for Him. We pray to keep our flesh surrendered to God. We pray so that our hearts stay soft, humble, and dependent on our Creator. We pray to get to know Jesus.
The more we pray to the Lord, the more our prayers become His prayers. I am very blessed to have a family who taught me to pray at a young age, even if those prayers were simple and identical every day or I didn’t fully understand what I was praying. Maybe you didn’t grow up praying or reciting prayers, but that’s alright. God loves a humble, teachable heart. It’s never too late to start!
In my own life, there have been seasons where my prayer life has been on fire; I couldn’t seem to stop praying. On the contrary, I have also had desert seasons, where I didn’t pray at all. During these dry seasons, I could almost feel my heart harden. I also remember a recent season of life where I was challenged to pray for something specific for one month straight. I fell in love with my prayer time. It was a discipline for me, and it was something I had to be conscious about doing everyday. Once I was done praying, I felt so at ease, full of peace, and close to God.
I want to encourage you to cultivate a prayer life if you don’t already have one. If you do, I challenge you to pray prayers as Jesus did—always surrendered to the Father’s will, and not self-seeking.
The story of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane is a beautiful example of surrendered and pure prayer: “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘Oh My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will’” (Matthew 26:39 NKJV).
In this verse, we see Jesus praying by Himself in the garden of Gethsemane. He knew what He was called to do, that He would have to die to take away the sins of the world. But we find Jesus still asking His Heavenly Father for grace, if maybe there might be another way. Jesus needed to pray.
His heart was heavy and burdened, knowing He must die an innocent, blameless man. What I love most about the end of this verse is that He surrenders His human heart to the Heavenly Father with these simple words: “Not as I will, but as You will.”
Jesus trusted His Father’s plans above His own. God’s plans were to redeem His lost and broken people by defeating the Enemy through Jesus’ death on the cross. This beautiful Bible story is an excellent example of our need for prayer. We have permission to be raw and vulnerable with God in our prayers, and we can trust God with our requests because He has good plans for our lives—always.
Jesus told His disciples to “watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). We must remember that there is a very real enemy who is fighting for our souls. But God already won that battle, and we must be attentive and earnest every day in our prayers to the Lord.
If Jesus needed prayer, how much more do we need prayer?
Sweet mama, My hope is that you would know that your Heavenly Father longs for a relationship with you. I pray for you to lay down your burdens and give them to Jesus in prayer. He has a plan. His plan is filled with hope, joy, love, peace, and provision. Pray unceasingly, just as Jesus did in the Bible. We need prayer just as the flowers need sun. Our souls are in need of prayer just as our living bodies are in need of water. We need prayer because we need the Lord.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Has your heart been feeling burdened and heavy lately? The Lord wants to take that burden from you, and He wants you to escape into your prayer closet every day.
- When you take the time to pray, ask the Lord to speak to you. Record what He speaks to you in a journal or somewhere special.
I challenge you to pray for something specific for one month straight. When you do this, try to note any answered prayers. Record how this consistent prayer has encouraged you in your daily life.