This year has taken a toll. A few months in and it feels like our country has seen enough tragedy to last a lifetime. Loss of life; divisiveness; terror. Something in our hearts spurs our response to be in prayer.
But then you open Facebook and read something else that happened, and you wonder if prayer works. Or you hear a friend complain that “Thoughts and prayers are meaningless.”
And then you think about what prayer feels like – Talking to air.
I’ve struggled with prayer. Taught the Lord’s Prayer from an early age, taught to fold my hands and bow my head, prayer was…a habit. Going through the motions.
And perhaps you’ve felt the same. Prayer often feels mechanical; forced. You’re not alone in those feelings. And prayer is not supposed to be that way.
May 3rd is the National Day of Prayer. A day where we as a nation are to look up. Get our knees dirty. Humble our hearts and seek help and guidance and peace from it’s true source.
Prayer is a tool to reconnect, recharge and, most importantly, be humbled. That is the first key to prayer. It’s not a time of requesting, but a time of acknowledgement. You are acknowledging that you are not the answer. God is.
Hillsong captures this message beautifully in their song “Touch the Sky.”
“I found my life when I laid it down.
I touched the sky when my knees hit the ground.”
Our Creator wants more than communication with us. He wants to provide for us. But we show a lack of faith when don’t first show humility. We must say to God and say to our souls “God, You are the provider. From you every good and perfect gift comes. You clothe the lily and feed the sparrow.”
That’s what Jesus showed us when he taught us the Lord’s Prayer.
Who art in heaven.
Hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom Come.
Your will be done.
On earth as it is in heaven.”
Friends, don’t let the world tell you prayer doesn’t work. Have faith that our God is a mighty and holy God. He pays special attention to the lily and the sparrow, and surely he hears your prayers.
But it’s hard to answer them when we don’t believe he’ll come through or that he is sovereign.
On May 3rd, let’s join our brother’s and sisters as we lift up our nation to our great God. Let us acknowledge his power and admit our shortcomings and limitations. Let us come to him with open hearts, call for his will to be done and not our own.
Prayer always works. Because its role is to elevate God over our lives.
And when we trust his will is higher and and better than our own, we start to feel the peace that surpasses understanding when we pray.
Ponder the words in this song. Then lay your burdens before God and pray.