Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. —Philippians 4:6
Take it to the Lord in prayer. Prayer changes things. Pray on until the answer comes. Prayer is the key. These songs and phrases resonate in my heart as I study the topic of this quarter: prayer. Prayer is often seen by Christians as a hardship and something to feel guilty about because it is often neglected. May the Spirit of God help us to understand that prayer is a privilege and a wonderful opportunity to be refreshed by the love and Spirit of God. It is an occasion to worship God and a time to cast our burdens upon the Lord. What a blessing to be able to pour out the depth of our heart to a God who loves us and is able and willing to help us carry our load.
There is great power in prayer when we approach God in faith. I have experienced miracles of healing, cast out devils, found peace in the time of much trouble, and more through the power of prayer. I have also prayed when it did not seem like anything changed; but that is when our faith must be fixed in the wisdom of God and not in the answer that we seek. Praying changes us, as it puts us in a place of dependence and reliance on God. It is then that God can work most effectively, for the power of prayer is not what we do but what God does for us in His goodness and mercy.
Prayer is not about following a list of rules of what to say or a perfect way of expressing ourselves. Prayer goes far beyond doctrine to a personal expression and interaction with our Lord and Saviour. I trust that we do not get bogged down in the doctrine. While important, it is of far greater importance to see the blessing of prayer. I was amazed as I studied and researched the many scriptures about prayer. This paper is just a sampling of what the Bible teaches and is in no way complete. My prayer is that each reader will be challenged to regularly find a quiet place with the Lord in prayer. You will find that it will enhance spiritual growth and will be the solution to many personal struggles, marriage problems, congregational difficulties, etc.; you will find that it changes you by the grace of God. Let us pray on with expectation.
Michael W. Smith