Friday, July 17, 2009

We Gotta Pray Just To Make It Today

I"m a huge believer in the power of prayer. Prayer has undoubtedly saved the lives of several family members, healed sickness for just a little while and even forever.

Prayer has drawn me out of some of the most troubling times of my life and saved my best friend from an eternity in hell.

Prayer has built up churches all across the world and torn down governments and leaders who were up to no good.

In so many words, prayer works y'all.

See, prayer is this neat thing we Christians use to talk to our God. Some of us are good at it and some aren't. Me? I'm one of those that isn't really good at it. But you want to know some good news? God doesn't care if I'm good at it or not because in his eyes, elaborate words and fancy phrases aren't what make me or you a good pray-er. It's our honest and humble heart that we bring before him.

We all think that prayer is the "Dear God, Amen" type thing. The truth is, there should be no beginning or end. The Bible says to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). You know what ceasing means? Yeah, no stopping. Like never ending. It's a continuous conversation with our Lord. Our best friend.

And the awesome thing about it is that its unlimited. Free nights and weekends. No overage fees. No operators standing by. Because there's no need.

See, back in the day, like before Christ, people wanting to bring their requests to God had to take it to the highest priest in their church. They had a "go-to guy", if you will. But the neat thing about that is that when Jesus came, he totally put that guy out of business. Jesus said, "Hey dude, we're not going to be needing you to do that anymore. Feel free to stick around a help out with the people's needs and the clean up and stuff, but I got this whole praying thing covered. If people want to speak to my Father, they can just come to me (John 14:6)." Because you know what. The Father and the Son are one in the same.

(FYI, that's my favorite part of the Superman Returns movie. "The son will become like the father, and the father like the son." Brilliant.)

Anyway, so because Jesus/the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf to the God the Father, we can pray however, whenever, wherever, and however long we want to. And we don't even have to use words. He's our interpreter.

Romans 8:26 says, "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."

I'm seen God does some crazy good things as a result of his people praying. He's always faithful to answer our prayers, although they may not be in the way we want him to. See I've been praying for husband for about five years now and well I'm still as single as a one dollar bill. But I've come to understand that he doesn't just put desires in people's hearts for no reason and he's God. He's not a vending machine. He's not always going to give us what we want, when we want it. It's always in his perfect timing.

When I start feeling really pitiful and resentful about being single, I think on the things that God has allowed me to do because I wasn't single. There are so many ministry opportunities that I've been able to be a part of because I wasn't tied down to a significant other. He's allowed me to use my past and present experiences to minister to and bond with girls that are younger than I am that are thinking and feeling the same things I am. And most importantly, it's one less distraction that I have from Him. God has shown up in big ways in the last little bit and I can't help but think if I would've missed those appearances had I been focusing all my attention on some boy.

God wants me all to himself for right now, and I'm pretty okay with that. I mean, I guess I don't have a choice in the matter, huh?

Anyway, this post went from one thing to another but I got inspired after reading Jim Cymbala's book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. Cymbala is the pastor at The Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York and his wife is the minister of music.

This book is filled with stories from Jim Cymbala about how the power of prayer and Spirit of God took a rundown church in Brooklyn, N.Y., and transformed it into a body of believers who desire to live in the center of what God is doing in the community around them and the world. Through complete faith in God's provision and petitioning the Lord for their needs, The Brooklyn Tabernacle has transformed the lives of the people in their community and brought them to the heart of God.

So, I want to do two things.

Number one. I want to ask you first for prayer. My parents and I will fly out at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning (July 18) to join many others from First Baptist Church of Jackson, Miss., on a mission trip/choir tour to New York City. We will be there until Thursday and will be doing several concerts as well as mission work with the homeless, Bowery Mission and the New York Fire Department.

Here are several things I ask you to pray for:
- Traveling mercies (safety to and from airports, in the air and on the ground, no lost luggage and smooth journeys)
- Safety throughout the duration of the stay. It's New York, y'all. Although I've been there twice before, it's still New York, y'all.
- Good health. I'm nursing a head cold acquired from the beach and I have to sing a solo in one of the concerts. I'm significantly better than I was a few days ago but the voice is still a little rough.
- No distractions. This trip is different than say going to Honduras or Africa. There's a lot in NYC that can distract me from what I'm really there for. Pray that my eyes are focused on what God is doing rather then the "pretty lights and neon signs."
- Pray for the people that we will be working with as well as anyone who may hear us sing. Let everything we do be a reflection of God's glory and may the Lord prepare the hearts that he wants touched.

I will hopefully be blogging about what's going on during our trip. And I'll be doing it over here. I hope I'll have time to do it every day because I want to talk about it while it's fresh on my mind but that all depends on internet access and time.

Number two. I want to be praying for you as well. Whether you are a regular reader or just happened upon this page, it's not by accident. Please leave a comment or feel free to email me ( with anything that I can be praying for. You don't have to leave your name. Just let me know what I can pray for. And I will.

"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." James 5:13-18

1 comment:

  1. Nothing works like prayer, you really have to never say "Amen" (close your pray). My prayer is never ending, with out that I would be nothing. I can not imagine life with out it, how scary THAT WOULD BE. Our Father is always listening, he is slway with us. He promises to walk with us throught the Valley of Death, we are and never will be alone by trusting in him.