Nov 26th, 2021
The Secret Sauce: Pray Continually
By: Lydia Florence
2 minute read 

James 4:2 ... Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. (NLT)

I once heard a wise person say “prayer is rarely the ONLY thing that we do, but it should always be the FIRST thing that we do.” In our culture now, it’s not uncommon to hear people mock believers for praying as a first response. But their skepticism might not be all that different from the question that we too, ask: what does prayer do?

Prayer transforms us. Because it is conversational and relational, not transactional and impersonal, prayer is transformative. It conforms us closer to the will of God and draws us nearer to the heart of God. Whether the answers to our prayers are miraculous and swift, or they aren’t what we wanted or expected, prayer is as much (if not more) about changing US as it is about changing circumstances. 

Prayer gives peace and power. These are two very prominent things that accompany prayer in the Bible. Just like certain metals make excellent conductors for electricity, prayer makes an excellent conductor for peace and power. Even the act of prayer is a revolt against chaos, an invitation welcoming the sovereign Lord to bring order and peace to our hearts. And God also gives power for all kinds of things through prayer—salvation, healing, resisting temptation, preventing harm, altering situations, just to name a few “prayer power moves” we see in the Bible.

Prayer catalyzes change. Gary Black recently wrote this: “Suffice it to say that some things will happen when we pray, and some things won’t happen if we don’t.  James said, ‘You have not because you ask not.’ (James 4:2). In other words, if we don’t use the key to the door, the door... won’t open. It’s that simple. God sometimes prompts things to change because of our prayers.

Talking (and writing) about prayer is important, because it helps us understand the questions we’ve asked this week:

  • When do we pray?
  • Why do we pray?
  • How do we pray?
  • To whom do we pray?
  • What does prayer do?

But even better than talking and writing about prayer is just doing the thing itself: praying. Maybe we all ought to just do that right now. Can I get an amen?

If you’re having trouble getting started, choose a few of these prayer prompts to help guide you.

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