ARE YOU SAYING PRAYERS, OR PRAYING PRAYERS?
Psalm 105:1 and and Psalm 62:8 we read, “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people….Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.”
One of the many, many blessings I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving Season is the wonderful privilege of prayer! God promises over and over in his Word to hear and answer our prayers. But the key to Him answering our prayers is that we simply believe and pray to Him from our hearts! One of our verses for today puts it this way, “Trust Him…pour out your heart before Him . . . ”
I have many wonderful memories etched in my mind forever from one of the dearest men I’ve ever known. His name is Bill Banks, but to me he will always be “Brother Bill”. One memory I’ll always cherish is a prayer he and I prayed one day that God miraculously answered. Shortly after our church building was finished, he began coming every day to help spread dirt on our property so we could get the grass planted. I can still see him in my mind to this day, going round and round our church building on his tractor, pulling that box blade…spreading and smoothing out those mounds of dirt… getting the yard ready for the grass plots.
One day I looked up and saw him get off his tractor and hurriedly head into my office. He came in, sweat pouring from his face, and said, “Brother Doug, I need you to pray with me! Somehow I’ve lost my money clip and it had several hundred dollars in it! I guess it fell out while I was on my tractor and I covered it up in the dirt!” I put my arm around him and we prayed and trusted in the Lord together that He would answer. The following Sunday, a lady came into the church and said, “Brother Doug, you won’t believe this, but I found a wad of money . . . several hundred dollar bills . . . out front lying on top of the mud!” WOW!
I’ll believe to this day the Lord sent that rain the night before and washed the mud off that money clip where that dear lady would see it and bring it in to me! I couldn’t wait to tell Brother Bill! I held it up when I saw him coming in later! I can still see the big smile on his face and his eyes light up as he said, “Well, we prayed, Brother Doug! We prayed, didn’t we? I’m not surprised at all!” Praise God!
JUST PRAY FROM YOUR HEART!
If you want to connect with God and see your prayers get answered, you must talk to God from your heart—as you would speak to your best friend. Don’t tell God what you think He wants to hear; tell Him what is really going on inside. Tell Him when you are mad and sad and frustrated and disillusioned. Tell Him when you’re worried or afraid. Be honest and forthright with Him. He knows it all, anyway. But He wants to hear it from your heart.
DAVID, OUR EXAMPLE
King David is one of my favorite guys in the Old Testament. I love to read his writings in the Psalms. He was a great man of God. One of the keys to his greatness is this: he was so dead-level honest with God. He spoke to God from His heart. He didn’t mindlessly recite prayers. He didn’t sugarcoat his requests with religious sounding words devoid of reality. He shared honestly and openly with the Lord. His prayers connected because they were real.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are your prayers real? Are you just saying prayers or praying prayers? Why not take some time today and share with God from your heart? Let Him know what is really going on inside. Share with Him your hopes and dreams, fears and frustrations. Confess any bitterness that may have wormed its way in your heart through hurts and injustices you have endured. Get honest with Him!
When you really share openly with the Lord, you become vulnerable before Him. And vulnerability paves the way for intimacy with God. If you want to get close to the Lord, pour out your heart to Him in prayer. He loves you and truly is a safe place of refuge and strength! By the way, that money clip of Brother Bill’s, it had well over a thousand dollars in it! But the Lord answering the little prayer we prayed from our hearts that day was worth far more than any amount of money!
Let’s give thanks to the Lord that He hears and answers our prayers!
Think it over . . .
Doug Pierce is a Church planter and a pastor. In 2003 he started, and continues to pastor First Independent Methodist Church in Madison, Mississippi. His #1 priority is to glorify God in all aspects of ministry. He does this through teaching his congregation to Love God, Love One Another, and Love Others to God. Prayer, outreach, and church growth through evangelism are vital parts of his ministry. He and his wife Suzanne live in Madison, Mississippi where they also enjoy their children and grandchildren.