I came across a great passage on prayer through my current devotional book called Forty Days of Prayer by Kit Cummings. Here are the verses and some of my thoughts:
The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
"Alas, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am too young."
But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am too young,' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you.," declares the Lord.
The the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant." Jeremiah 1:4-10In the above passage, God and Jeremiah are dialoging with each other. Before I write about anything else in this post, let us remember that prayer is not merely a one way conversation in which we are the only ones talking; rather, He too has something to say to us. He speaks to us every day through His word and His spirit. So, let's use the words above as His dialogue not only to Jeremiah, but also to our very own hearts today. What is the Lord saying through His living and active words? Here are a few things I "hear" that are for you and for me. God says:
We are today's Jeremiah. (We are also today's David, today's Samuel, today's Moses, today's Ruth, today's Esther...for such a time as this!) Allow God's interaction with these people of old to be the inspiration for His appointed purposes in you TODAY. What He said to them in the past, is now for our hearts in the present. Let's continue to bring all our prayers to Him, big and small, but also, let's hang around long enough to hear His words back to us. What is He asking you to do today for His name sake? Write a note to a friend? Make a meal for a neighbor? Visit a widow?
Reread the list above and walk forward in obedience with great faith. And let me remind you, God is just as pleased with a note of encouragement to one person as He is with someone speaking to the masses. Both are important callings, but He never "keeps count" of what's "more worthy" the way we humans tend to do. He sees the heart and smiles at our devotion to Him. (Think of the widow's mite found in Luke 21:1-4).
Let's all be today's Jeremiah. Dialogue with God, receive His incredible promises, and then do something for Him...today.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:13
Help us to not view praying as a waste of our precious time. On the contrary, may we humbly realize that prayer multiplies our time because when we lift our requests to you, you do things more powerfully and efficiently than we could ever do on our own. The extra blessing is that we gain peace in our hearts and minds. So today Lord, with thanksgiving, we will take time to pray...Amen.