40-Day Prayer Challenge // Day 31
“Lord, teach us to pray”…and He said to them, “When you pray…” (Luke 11:1-2).
Answered prayer comes from asking God not from advising Him. All it takes is one person to begin a movement of God. One disciple, interceding on behalf of his friends, made a life-changing request. Jesus responded by teaching His disciples to focus on “when you pray,” not on “if you pray” or “how you pray.”
Jesus offered His disciples a model to guide them when they prayed. He didn’t teach His disciples how to pray it. He taught them to pray. He knew the circumstances of their lives would present many opportunities for them to turn to God in prayer. He expected them to pray. He expects no less of you.
The prayer of Jesus, also called The Lord’s Prayer (see Luke 11:2-4 and Matthew 6:9-13), was provided as a model for voicing personal prayers to the Father. This was not a collection of magic words given to the disciples to be memorized and utilized as a substitute for crying out to God in believing prayer. When words are parroted back to God in meaningless repetition, they offer little comfort and generate no power.
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:7).
Answered prayer is ushered into your life when you pray, not if you pray. God’s solution to your dilemma is delayed when you implement an “If Clause.” Jesus did not say to pray if you felt like it, if it was convenient, or if you were in a good mood. Jesus expected prayers to be lifted up to the Father in His name, not as a last resort, but as a first choice.
Breath is a basic necessity of life – so is prayer. Neither one is optional. Both are essential. When you stop breathing, you stop living. When you stop praying, you start doubting. Take a deep breath and pray – early and often. Breath brings life. Prayer brings God.
Easter Challenge: Nine days from Easter one question remains: Have you chosen between if you will pray and when you will pray? Prayer will open your life to a greater intimacy with the Father, and His Spirit will release the character of Christ in you so you can face each day’s challenges with child-like, godly confidence for your life, family, church, community, and country.
Prayer for the Day: Father, thank you for the gift of prayer, through both the intercession of Your Son, and the voice of His Spirit who cry out to You on my behalf. Empower me with the courage to share the life-changing Gospel with my ONE. Prepare our church family to receive guests with warm hearts and open arms at our Easter services. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my Savior. AMEN.
There is no power like that of prevailing prayer; it turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings life. It brings God. —Samuel Chadwick