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Tag: Great Pray-ers

Lost in Prayer

Have you ever had an experience where you were so lost in your own thoughts that you didn’t realize what was going on around you? It happens to me from time to time. I’ll get lost in thought and not realize I walked past my destination. Or occasionally while driving, I find myself going a little too fast because I was so engrossed in my own thoughts (though that happens less frequently now with cruise control!).

Often, this happens without my realizing it. I don’t try to “zone out” from the world and get lost in my own thoughts—it just happens. Hannah had a similar experience while she was praying. She desperately wanted a son and frequently came before the Lord pleading for one. On one such occasion, she was so lost in prayer that Eli the priest thought she was drunk! Here’s what Samuel (her eventual son) writes:

As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.  Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.  And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”  But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:12-15

When was the last time you got lost in prayer? Maybe you never have, or maybe it was just yesterday. Hannah was so consumed with her Lord that she became lost in prayer. She was so desperate, she had no choice but to be lost in prayer!

What are your deepest, most desperate desires and dreams? Maybe it’s time to pour out your soul before the Lord as Hannah did. Maybe it’s time to get lost in conversation with the God who loves you and stopped at nothing to make you His own.

Praying Like Jesus

College was one of the best spiritual experiences of my life. I started to think seriously about my faith in Jesus during late High School, but it was in college that my faith really took off. It was a Christian school with lots of opportunities for spiritual growth.

I took lots of theology classes and learned so much from them. But as I reflect back on my time, it wasn’t about the classes as much as it was the people around me who showed me what it was to be a Christian in today’s world.

The disciples had an amazing opportunity to learn from Jesus himself about what it means to be His follower. While there may have been some more “formal” teaching, much of what the disciples would have learned was caught rather than taught. They saw how Jesus lived and learned through that experience.

But for whatever reason, they just didn’t understand this prayer thing. They saw John teaching his disciples how to pray and asked Jesus to do the same.

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:9-12

Unsure how to pray, they simply asked Jesus to teach them. And what a gift they received! They would have learned so much more beyond this prayer from Jesus, but here was a prayer they use no matter what was happening in their lives. They no longer had to wonder if their prayers were “right” or “good.”

Do you struggle with what to say to your Father? Pray then like this. Are you hurting? Pray then like this. Are you worried? Pray then like this. Are you rejoicing? Pray then like this. Do you want to pray like Jesus? Pray then like this.

How To Pray

People who don’t know me well often describe me as outgoing. It’s largely a function of my job, where I interact with lots of people on a regular basis. The reality is that making conversation is usually hard for me. I prefer to let others do the leading and talking, while I sit and absorb. I don’t feel comfortable making conversation sometimes, so I would prefer to just not do it.

Praying can be similar. There are many times where I don’t know what to say to God. Or I know what to say but not how. If only I knew more about how to pray, then I could be a more effective pray-er. Or if I had more time, I could be a more effective pray-er.

Paul gives us some tough instruction on how and when we should pray:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I don’t know about you, but I have a long way to go if I am going to become a Great Pray-er . Too often, I struggle at being effective in my prayer life. Too often I feel inadequate for the task of bringing prayers before Jesus.

Where do you need to improve your prayer life? What are your big struggles? During this series, we’ll be exploring some examples from the Bible about how we might become better pray-ers.

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