This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. – 1 John 5:14
In Origins, we believe our faith should drive us to be interested in the people right in front of us, inspired to explore their needs and engaged in meeting those needs. Often when we think of helping and loving others we focus most heavily on the active, physical and tangible aspects of serving people. But as people of faith we shouldn’t overlook the powerful gift of prayer.
Prayer is such a common part of religious vernacular that it’s easy to forget what an incredible concept it is. For Christians, prayer is an interaction with several beliefs that many people find preposterous: the idea that there is a God; that God is available to listen; that God cares about the details of our lives; that God can do something about our situation; that God wants to do something about our situation.
On the whole, we should never discount the fact that the creator of all things is listening to us when we pray. On the one hand, it should fill us with a sense of awe and wonder, of humility and reverence. As the writer of Ecclesiastes 5:2 acknowledges, “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” But on the other hand, we hold our awe in balance because – as Jesus himself taught us to pray to “our Father in heaven” – we accept that we have a personal relationship with God as his very children.
Prayer then is not a silly thing to offer; it’s a powerful thing to give. And while we can acknowledge that prayer is not a substitute for action, and that it’s not the only answer to the needs of communities, it should be a prominent part of any Christ follower’s response.
This week, as you explore and engage the needs of the people right in front of you, embrace a rhythm of prayer.
Creating a rhythm of prayer will look different for each of us, but if you’re not in the habit of praying for others on a regular basis, here are a few practices to try:
- While getting ready for your day, pause and think about the glory and nature of God – consider how special prayer is and enter into it with holy reverence. Thank God for the gift of being able to talk directly with him, thank him for the people in your life and ask him to help you serve them.
- Select a handful of people to pray for each day this week. As you pray for God’s blessing in their lives, ask God to reveal to you any way you can be an extension of his blessing to them.
- When someone shares a need or concern with you about something in their life, commit to praying for them – perhaps even ask if you can pray with them on the spot.