What is Prayer for You?

Last week around the US people gathered for National Day of Prayer. Prayer is an important part of our faith lives, it’s how we primarily communicate with God. We don’t always get the answers through prayer, but the words that we share with God are important and valued by Him. It would be easy to just pass off prayer as mundane and a regular task we have to do, but it’s so much more than that (although it is a task we should be doing regularly). It’s an opportunity to share our lives with God, to share with someone who truly cares about what goes on in our days and the things we’re dealing with and to celebrate the things that we enjoy or that go well.

There are many verses throughout the Bible that talk about prayer, one is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

This Bible passage is interesting because it sandwiches prayer between two very positive instructions: being joyful and being thankful. Are you joyful and thankful about what goes on in your life? Yes, circumstances can be challenging and can be depressing sometimes, but prayer is a great opportunity for us to really analyze and work through the details of the circumstance, which allows us to move beyond the possibly negative emotions and first reactions to the circumstance and see how God could be working in and through it and what we might learn from it.

So how do you view prayer? Do you see it as a chore? Maybe you’re just frustrated because you’re expecting something specific in return instead of seeing it as a great opportunity to share with someone who won’t look at us in judgment and interrupt our telling of the story, and find some quiet time and peace in a turbulent world. What are you thankful for about prayers?

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