Why should I pray?
As one sits back to watch the local news or skim social media these days it's easy to become disheartened. It's a treasure when you find a warm your heart, make you smile kind of story. For all of the rest of the news, I find myself sitting back with a sigh and asking, "Why God? What can I do?" It's easy to become complacent and continue thumbing my way through the news feed without hope. And what if you're trying raise children in the midst of it all. How do you teach them to respond the world?
I firmly believe that we are given the right & blessing of shaping their precious hearts. It is our responsibility to instill in them respectful, courageous & honorable spirits. This includes shaping their world view. I pray with my kiddos for meals & before bed, when they're sick or something is bothering them, but I realized this wasn't enough. How do I show them how to go to battle for someone or something? How do they learn that their prayers matter to heart of God?
I did the only thing I could think of - PRAY! Instead of sequestering myself to lift up friends, family or situations, I stopped right where I was and pulled my sons close. It was almost as if I was carrying them into the throne room with me. At first they listened. Then they offered short sentences. And then they became bold in their conversations with Jesus. There was still the question of if God was really hearing them. And truth be told, don't we as adults we wonder the same thing sometimes. God is listening and one day a little more than a week ago He showed the boys just that.
We recently moved from the Fort Lauderdale area to Chicago. While we're adapting to the cold, our hearts are still on the warm, sunny beach. So when we received news that a shooting was happening at the Fort Lauderdale airport, we instantly started praying. The boys, without prompting, started asking the Lord to give believers in the airport courage to stand up and help others around them and to share His love in the midst of a scary time. Later that evening I came across a post from a friend of a friend who was in the airport at the time of the shooting. Christine shared her story originally on Facebook and later through several media outlets. Long story short - Christine was not supposed to be in that airport at the time of the shooting. After 8 hours of lock down, people were hungry & scared. She was able to hand out food, love on scared passengers and share Jesus with those around her. You can read the whole story here
The boys were so excited to hear Christine's story. They recognized the fact that their prayers had been answered. They were able to play a part in God's work even if it didn't directly affect them. They saw the effectiveness of prayer. When talking to Christine a few days later, I love what she said at the end of her email, "HOW COOL that you were a part of this story.... praying in the background... together we partnered!!"
And that is exactly why we pray...it's a partnership. We partner with God as He works. We join with fellow human beings in whom He is working. Does God need our prayers? No, but He wants to connect with us and connect us to people. He wants to share His victories with us.
We pray, So that God gets the glory and we are given hope.
My sons' faith in a God who hears was built up that day. My faith in a God who created young men for a purpose was strengthened. When we see God answer prayers it deepens our faith and gives us hope. For those times that we don't see answers right away, we must be persistent; holding fast to the truths that we have learned in the past. Past hope is the anchor that we grip tight to. God sees you. He hears you, so pray!
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for each other, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.