Prayer is such a crucial part of our faith journey. As a Christians living in the modern world we have direct access to throne room of God and Jesus our advocate is continuously interceeding on our behalf before the Father. I am currently praying and believing God for some pretty audacious prayers!
My friend Susan Macias is a mighty prayer warrior, and I am excited to invite her to By His Grace this week to her heart on prayer. Please welcome Susan to the blog today.
How To ALWAYS Pray
By Susan Macias
The days were closing in on Jesus’s earthly ministry as He traveled up to Jerusalem with His disciples. Along the way, He explained what was coming—that He’d be betrayed and suffer.
Soon He’d go to the cross for His people’s sins and they’d no longer be able to hear Him teach or receive His touch. What would happen then? Would they persevere?
It was at this moment we come to Luke 18 where Jesus gives two remarkable parables, both about prayer. But the verse that stands out the most to me is the introduction in Luke 18:1, which says, “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (ESV, emphasis added)
Jesus knew His people would soon be tempted to lose heart. To despair. To feel abandoned and alone. His solution was to teach them to ALWAYS pray so that wouldn’t happen.
I’ve found no better antidote to the struggles and despair the world dishes out than to pray. Having continual conversations with my Heavenly Father keeps my eyes on Him and my heart resting in His work. ”Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.“ (Psalm 55:17, ESV)
But the instruction to ALWAYS pray can also feel overwhelming. What are some ways we can keep praying always without falling into legalism or frustration? One of my favorite methods is to look for triggers that will act as calls to prayer for me. Then, instead of the struggles leading me down a dark path of despair, they lead me to the enveloping arms of my Savior.
Here’s what it looks like:
Let Worry Be a Reminder: do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6, ESV) Worry always shows up whenever I struggle. But worry destroys. So, I use that awful feeling of anxiety as a warning signal—I need to pray! Then instead of fruitlessly fretting, I’m fighting for a solution.
Let Someone’s Unkindness Be a Reminder: “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44, ESV). Whether it comes from someone I love or a complete stranger, unkindness hurts. It’s hard to love anyone who works against me. Usually, I’m tempted to give them back what I think they deserve. But, when I use that pain as fuel to pray for that person, not only do I not make things worse, I’m actually building toward God’s solution.
Let Suffering Be a Reminder: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” (James 5:13a ESV). The bank account is low. The children are sick. The neighbor is difficult. The job is a struggle. The list of sufferings, small to large, stretches endlessly before us. But, when I use each and every one as a trigger to pray, I cut off despair, anger, and loneliness before they develop.
Let Joy Be a Reminder: ”…Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” (James 5:13b ESV). I miss out on wonderful communion with the Lord if I only go to Him with my problems. Joy, happiness, and success should also be launch pads for prayer. The praise kind of prayer helps me see the Lord’s hand in every part of my life, and keeps me from becoming self-reliant or prideful. And, I get to share the joy with the One who loves me most.
Practice Thanksgiving Always: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV). Practicing thankfulness for every little or big thing, whether good or bad, is the best habit for maintaining a constant prayer life. When I give thanks in everything, I never run out of things to pray about.
Prayer initiates me into sweet communion with Jesus. He invited and commanded me to pray, which means He wants that relationship with His people. I would be foolish to miss out on such an amazing gift. When I use the circumstances in my life as reminders, I ALWAYS pray. And I’m also much less likely to lose heart.
What a privilege. And a precious gift.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12 ESV)
Susan writes and speaks with the goal to train an army of women to confidently stand their ground and fight offensively in prayer for their kids and families.
Her award-winning book UNCEASING: A Parent’s Guide To Conquer Worry And Pray With Power is available on Amazon, as is her prayer devotional 31 Days Praying For My Daughter. She loves coffee, queso, reading, playing with her grandkids, and hosting ridiculously large dinner parties.
You can find Susan at her blog, susankmacias.com.
Thank you for joing us today. I hope you will listen to the podcast Suan and I recorded it is chock full of wisdom.
We would consider it a blessing and honor to pray for you. Drop your prayer request in the comment section below or email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org.