By Denise Reed
This Week’s Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray continually” (NIV)
Lately, I have been feeling like I am all prayed out. I pray before every meal. I pray throughout the day if something is weighing on my mind and when God reminds me of something or someone to pray for. I even ask God to help me remember to do things (when I’m not able to write myself a reminder) and He has never failed to remind me! Sometimes when I check my e-mail there is a prayer concern for a friend and I pray instantly. I pray with my children before bed.
Then I sit down to do my ‘serious’ praying and get out my list of prayer concerns. Oh my! The list is long. There is my immediate family to pray for, more further removed family who are struggling with issues, friends, and people who have not asked for prayer, but am praying for anyway (such as their salvation). There is my list of prayer concerns from my Sunday school class, my Life Group, my Mother’s in Touch group, prayers for the ministries I’m involved in, and of course, my own personal needs and wants. And this list does not even include national and global issues, which quite possibly need the most amount of prayer. I guess I think I’m too far removed from those issues that I don’t need to pray for them. Somebody else will, right?
I think, boy, that’s a long list and more are added to it every week. If I pray for everyone, I feel like I’m just going down the list to get it done. So, maybe I should break it up and pray for half the list now and the other half tomorrow. Then I feel guilty for not praying for everyone everyday. How often DO I really need to pray for all these people, especially the people I don’t even know? And how long should I keep someone on my prayer list? With all these thoughts running through my head, my prayer time is stressing me out! Satan knows my weaknesses, so he works on me during my prayer time.
However, when searching the Bible for verses about prayer, I did not find ONE verse where we are told to pray every single day for the same person in order for God to answer our prayer. This gives me encouragement to continue on. James 5:15 says “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.” (NIV). So maybe it’s not about how OFTEN I pray for something, but rather, HOW I pray for it. It’s more a matter of the heart. When I am praying for someone, am I doing it in faith that God can and will answer my prayer? Or am I praying for someone just because his or her name is written down on my piece of paper?
Lord, thank you for your examples and instructions on prayer. Help me block out distractions and other thoughts that try to creep in while we are having a one-on-one conversation. I have faith that you can answer every single prayer request I have, and help me understand if you don’t answer it the way I want. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Application: If you have been feeling all prayed out like I have, take heart. It’s not a bad problem to have. Just make sure your heart is in the right place when you are praying.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (NIV)
1 Samuel 12:23 “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.” (NIV)
Romans 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (NIV)