We are so glad you are joining us for these daily prayer posts. Over the next four weeks we are going to listen to the prayers of the Bible, and the saints of God. Their prayers are going to teach us how to pray.
Each devotion will take five to seven minutes of your time.
- We will look at an insight from those who know something important about prayer.
- We will listen to the prayers of people in the Bible—people just like us. And to people who gained a deep measure of spiritual intimacy with God because they prayed.
- We will reflect, asking the same four questions each day that invites us to look and listen with intent.
- And we will pray, for it is in praying that we learn to pray. And it is in praying that the Spirit changes our hearts.
May we encourage you to grab a notebook, a journal, something to write on as you do each prayer guide. Yes, it will add a few minutes to the time it takes to do the devotion, and it will also deepen your experience and shape your walk with God for years to come.
Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.
It's clear from a careful reading of the gospels that Jesus lived his earthly life in constant communion with the Father. Every thought formulated, every emotion felt, every desire conceived, and every choice made were all done in fellowship with His Father. There was never a moment He was alone or "out of touch." In other words, Jesus engaged life in a constant state of prayer.
We also find a handful of times when He verbalized this conversation for the sake of those nearby Him. Such was the case outside of Lazarus' tomb. In that intense moment, what words did He want his friends to hear Him pray? Listen to His prayer below and hear for yourself.
38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
- Having read the Word, sit silently for a minute and give God’s Word a moment to settle within you.
- Re-read the verses slowly and write down some thoughts that resonate with you.
- Ask the Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that those thoughts are pointing to. (for example: you may write down, “Jesus wanted his friends to know that the Father hears Him when He prays." The Spirit can help you identify your own longings to know that God hears you when you pray.)
- Consider the fact that the God of the universe invites you to pray, desires conversation with you, and even promises to listen when you speak to Him (Matt 7:7-11). In other words, He hears you when you pray. What do you think about that? How does it make you feel? What desires does it stir in you? How might it change the way you pray?
Let's make Jesus' simple prayer our prayer today. Spend a few minutes talking to God about what's on your mind right now. After each concern you bring up in conversation, pray these words: "Father, I thank you that you have heard me." Keep going until you've covered everything you want to talk to Him about, each time closing the subject with: "Father, I thank you that you have heard me." Amen.