(Day 2 of our 8-day study, “The Struggle”, on the armor of God)
"Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work." - Oswald Chambers
By Kandice Adams
As we close our series on the Armor of God, the best way to end any study, or devotional time with Him, is through prayer. But do you ever find yourself wondering if your prayers are capable of changing things in your everyday life, let alone effect enough to fight off the thwarts of the devil?
You aren’t alone. Until early this year, it seemed that most weeks in the midst of the hustle and bustle, I left prayer as a last resort, after I had tried everything else… after I had attempted every other “actionable” solution.
It was then that I truly learned that prayer is designed to be more than mere passive words recited from us to our Father. In fact, prayer is the action; and more than we realize, it is the actionable solution that transforms us amid our circumstances.
As Jesus is our example, the following are several places in the scripture where He separated Himself to spend time in the Father’s presence, and by doing so modeled the attitude of worship so that we might have the same intimate relationship with God the Father.
Prayer humbles us.
We find in Luke 22:42 that Jesus approached the Father in prayer with a heavy heart because of the knowledge of the crucifixion to come, but instead of making demands, He humbled himself and said, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
Though often we approach Him with our minds made up and wanting absolute control over the people and situations around us, the very nature of prayer is a spiritual acknowledgement that we are not in control-- He is. It changes our posture to one of submission and humility which honors God (2 Chronicles 7:14; Micah 6:8). It is in our humility that our hearts are prepared for the manifestation of His power which works in us (James 4:10).
Prayer focuses us.
As Jesus continued in prayer, the scripture says that, “... He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground (Luke 22:43).
It is important that we acknowledge the intensity and focus that Jesus modeled before us in regards to prayer (as His sweat became like drops of blood), and it is equally important that we follow His example.
While, as moms, our brains are often filled with millions of things from grocery lists to carpool schedules, whether it is by writing our prayers in journals, praying aloud, or praying in our prayer closets, it is so important that we each find a way to really put everything aside and focus as we pray. It is only then that prayer has the ability to re-center us and realign us with the One who holds the power to change our circumstances (Hebrews 2:8). And it is when we approach His throne in prayer with quiet hearts and minds, that our perspective changes and we begin to look up at our Savior, instead of down on our circumstances.
Prayer strengthens us.
And then finally, the Word shares that He was strengthened (Luke 22:43). To be strengthened would mean that there was a point of weakness; even our Savior had moments.
Ladies, it is ok to take our weaknesses, our worries, and our cares to God because it is then that we will to learn about His character. As we seek Him for provision or protection for our families, He delivers, and we will come to know Him as our provider and as protector. And when we seek Him not knowing how to pray because our hearts our overwhelmed, and His spirit intercedes on our behalf through wordless groans (Romans 8:26), it is then we come to know Him as the lover of our souls.
When we continue to see Him work on our behalf, responding to our petitions through prayer, our faith is strengthened, and we are transformed into becoming more like Christ.
Today, let’s cherish and recognize the value, the opportunity, and the privilege we have in approaching God in prayer, and let’s use it proactively for the building of the His Kingdom.
Prayer is the action; and more than we realize, it is the actionable solution that transforms us amid our circumstances.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6
1.) Study the scriptures above and ask God to reveal weak areas in your prayer life, and then ask Him how and what to pray for.
2.) Ask your what are some ways you can practically improve my prayer life so that it is more of a focused priority?
Father, we come before you praising you and glorifying you for being God. We praise you for always being available for us to seek your wisdom and guidance. Today Lord, I ask that you chasten my spirit that I will remember to pray as often as you have deemed necessary, and I ask that you remind me that prayer is the greater work, which is important work for the Kingdom, in Jesus’ name, amen.