Some of the best times with my kids is when the come over to me, on their own, and crawl up on my lap. It is great when they want to be near me. Sometimes these times come because they are excited, and other times they come to me because they are sad or hurting. No matter what the circumstances, I appreciate the relationship with my children.
This becomes even more meaningful when we realize that God wants to have a relationship with us. Not just a “here’s my list God” relationship,or a go to church on Sunday relationship, or a “thank you for this day and food, amen” relationship. God is after an intimate relationship with us.
As we move forward from the scene of the church fire, we remember that God is over everything. We remember that we are to pray in everything. We seek Him in all things because He desires relationship with us and loves us.
One aspect of a relationship with someone is communication. It is rather hard to get to know someone without talking to them.
Why do we avoid prayer?
- What? I can’t miss The X Factor!
- I need to spend more time with my family…yeah, that’s it…my family.
- I feel overweight…I need to exercise to burn off those calories I consumed today.
- I’m too sleepy in the morning to read my Bible or pray.
- I’m too sleepy at night to read the Bible or pray.
- I’ve already been to church this week. Isn’t that enough time for God?
- This Physics textbook is so exciting. I’ll start having quiet times more regularly after I finish it.
- I have way too much homework.
- I would love to, but I don’t have time. God understands.
- I’ve got so much to do around the house.
- I have to go to work after school. By the time I get home, I’m too fried to spend time with God.
There are many “reasons” why we don’t pray, but we are to pray often, without ceasing. I think it is amazing how we so often need a crisis to really clarify this point. We need to pray all the time!
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13
We pray when we are in trouble
It doesn’t matter what that trouble is. I know we are all quite capable of finding trouble. Are you in trouble? It is time to pray.
We pray when we are happy
When you are happy, you praise God. Sing songs, whistle, and praise God for the happiness you are experiencing as a gift from Him. We must remember to do this! Are you happy? Don’t save your prayer time for sad moments!
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 – James 5:14
We pray when we are sick
It says to call the elders to pray for you. This is a call to pray with other people and call on God as the source of healing .
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. – James 5:15
We pray when we sin
He wants us to confess our sins to Him and to each other. This is to build that community and dependence on God. This helps our relationship with Him to grow.
For a picture of how this looks, we look at people who have practiced it. One example of someone who prayed in the Old Testament was Elijah. He prayed and it rained after a severe drought. He prayed and a boy came back to life. Elijah’s story is incredible, but He is no different from us. He knew God; he relied on God; He had faith in the Almighty God. So, he is the example of someone who understands what it means to pray in faith.
Jesus spoke about the importance of prayer and modeled it often. If Jesus needed time in prayer, we most certainly do. This should be a joy to you, a sweet time with your Heavenly Father.
Take some time today, no matter where you are, to crawl into the lap of your Heavenly Father. You will be received with love no matter where you find yourself today.