Why is it that the last thing we ever do is pray? It’s as if prayer is not a tangible help or is nothing more than a meaningless afterthought. When we shun prayer, what we’re really doing is trying to achieve something on our own that is quantifiable and identifiable. As sensory-led humans, that makes sense, but God operates in the unexplainable.
But prayer is the invitation for God’s intervention. It invites the unexplainable, the immeasurable, and the unseen. Sometimes it changes things outwardly; other times, the change is within. We cannot see it or touch it. It is in this inward change—peace, faith, resolve, wisdom—where we experience the most powerful response to prayer. It brings the ability to overcome sin and self, to have joy despite the circumstance, and hope in the midst of the desperate trial. It is the Holy Spirit radically transforming a life rather than the Father orchestrating change in our circumstances.
Yet sometimes we desperately need a change in our situation—and prayer is still the key. Look at the disciples. Jesus was crucified and risen. What did they do? They praised and prayed, waiting to see what He would tell them next. Then Jesus ascended into Heaven, leaving them alone and confused. What did they do? They prayed continually, waiting for the next step. What did the disciples do after the Holy Spirit did something incredible and miraculous? You’re right! They prayed and praised!
Prayer is the key that unlocks the power and purpose of God. If we want Him to do the unexplainable among us, we must begin to pray. Consistently. Fervently. Expectantly. Why? Prayer is the invitation for God’s intervention. It is not the only thing we can do. It is the most comprehensive thing we must do.
So where do we start? Here are five steps.
- Make a list of needs to bring before God daily. Begin by writing down the names of your family members and pray about one of their needs each day. Pray specifically for the person whose burden you are not able to tangibly bear other than through prayer. For example, I am praying that the Lord would send my daughter a godly girlfriend for her at school.
- Pray the Word of God. When I first started keeping a prayer journal, all of those blank pages felt intimidating. I had no idea where to start. I began with the Psalms. I copied down one Psalm per day and made it my prayer to God. It was amazing how slowing down to write the Word allowed it to sink into my heart and mind.
- Write down five things for which you can praise God. It’s wonderful how my perspective changes when I intentionally take time to thank the Lord for my blessings.
- Worship God for five of His attributes. When I remind myself daily that God is sovereign, all-knowing, all-powerful, loving, and kind, the worries that plague my thoughts suddenly seem small in comparison.
- Confess any wrong attitudes or thoughts you may be harboring. When I’m allowing yucky emotions to fester, small letdowns and hurts begin to grow into giant aches. But when I bring them to God and ask Him to heal my emotions, I find I can let go of the hurts before a root of bitterness begins to strangle my objectivity.
Sometimes I’ve found that when I pray for someone, God gives me an idea of how to tangibly bless them or help carry their burden. Other times, He reminds me that He’s holding them in the palm of His almighty hand. Often in His mercy, He allows me to see how He answered my prayers. Sometimes He doesn’t. But in the process of prayer, I know He is always changing me.
Let’s become like the disciples. Let’s make prayer the first thing we do.
Consistently. Fervently. Expectantly.
I think there’s a good chance we just might see God do some unexplainable things!
What keeps you from developing a consistent prayer life?
Who or what has helped you become more consistent?
For more information about the study An Unexplainable Life, click here: