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. James 5: 13 – 15 [NIV]

 

Prayer is so often our last resort. When illness strikes, when problems arise, when decisions have to be made, we are ready with our plans and practical suggestions, but prayer is often near the bottom of our agenda.

But living in a relationship with God, that shouldn’t be the case. Living in a family or with a husband or wife in a marriage, we naturally turn to someone else and ask for help or guidance. Yet we often seem reluctant to turn to God until all other paths have been explored.

 

Yet prayer should come naturally to us, whether we are in trouble, happy or sick. Our Father is not distant, and he longs to listen to us. Prayer requires no special words, no special place and no special qualifications. We can all pray – for anything, anywhere, and at any time. Prayer is simply talking to God; as Christians it should come naturally to us.

 

And God is always far more willing to hear us than we are to pray. He is not reluctant to answer our prayers. He loves us deeply and wants us to pray expectantly.

 

In his book, Straight to the Pointlessness, Mark Hart (once a member of m2o) writes,

 

Prayer is not a lever to move God, for on what fixed point would it rest? Rather it is a lever to move the world, and it rests on God.

 

Prayer does not depend on our weakness, but on God’s strength. In prayer we are accessing the most powerful force in the Universe.

 

Lord, please forgive the times when I do not turn to you in prayer. Help me to pray more readily and naturally, for your glory’s sake. Amen.

 

David Long
m2o Church Rugby - St. Matthew & St. Oswald

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