Prayer. Again.

(Paul Merrill writes here every First Friday)

I constantly seem to forget how important and real prayer is. A few months back, I wrote about a friend who was facing foreclosure because he had not received a paycheck in over a year. I prayed with him for several months. God brought a job! Another friend had been looking for a job for a long time. I prayed with him. He has a job! A third friend – the same.

My prayers are certainly not amazing or special. But God is. He must realize that my trust in Him needs some bolstering right now, so He is clearly answering some of these requests.

I’m asking God to provide a “yes” for another friend who is looking for a job. Heather and I haven’t received an answer to those prayers yet. (Maybe we have received an answer – and it’s “no” – but I still want to keep praying.) Paul reminds me in Romans 12 verse 12 to “Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.” The being patient part is hard.

God simply wants us to talk to Him. And a great thing is that He doesn’t mind if all we do is talk about ourselves. I’ve read books and heard sermons about how our prayers need to follow formulas. I don’t think God uses many formulas. He just does things like an artist – effortlessly. He is like a good father who loves hearing what His kids did that day. (What good father would tell his kid, “But you didn’t ask me the right way or in the right order!”) He also doesn’t mind hearing us cry about our problems. As Jon mentioned, David did a lot of crying to God in the Psalms.

So be honest with God. Your earthly father may have rejected you. God won’t.

5 thoughts on “Prayer. Again.

  1. Pingback: How it works | Shiny Bits of Life

  2. John

    Have been praying for wisdom in my job and the way I do it. Flying to a training course today, the person next to me was the only person on the flight that I had met – one of my instructors for the course- we had a 2 hour conversation that was very beneficial to me. Free tutoring! God provided in a way I never could have imagined through the wisdom of a more experienced mentor.


  3. Ronda

    Like you, I found myself constantly forgetting how real and important prayer is. In January, I dubbed this the “Year of Prayer.” I chose to focus on my prayer life and the desire to pray without ceasing and to pray about absolutely everything. The results have been astonishing and amazing. And you’re right…it’s not that our prayers are special, but God certainly is. And He wants us to know that He hears us.


  4. Rich Dixon

    Paul–this raises two issues for me. First, I don’t pray well and I need to do better.

    But I’m conflicted about statements like “God brought him a job.” I absolutely believe in His sovereignty, but I have a hard time imagining Him orchestrating every detail of our lives like pieces of a complex chess board. Taking it to the silly extreme, did my team lose last night because God said “No” to my prayer for a home run?

    I’m thinking that our prayers have power because they bring us closer to God–that’s the only result that matters. And I lean toward the idea that listening is more important than talking in most conversations.

    God knows about our need for jobs (and home runs)–He just wants us to talk–and listen–to Him.

    And I’m probably completely wrong! But it’s a confusing issue for me.


  5. phmerrill

    John – very cool how God provided.

    Ronda – I love your idea of a Year of Prayer”. It’s great to do a special focus to help us move our eyes off the ordinary.

    Rich – God does not answer every prayer we ask. (That would make us God!) But I see God’s provision of jobs in these cases along the lines of Job 1:21 (New International Version) – “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In these cases, He gave. The role of our prayer in these matters is mostly a mystery to me. God will explain it when I’m in heaven, I hope.


Comments are closed