An older pastor got into the habit of challenging his congregation by quoting Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Leveling his eyes at those gathered before him, he would say, “Try it. It works!”
This is a simple thought, but it carries a tremendous truth: God wants us to call to Him. In fact, many times He allows disappointments and difficulties into our lives so that we will draw closer to Him in intimate communion.
Prayer is a very powerful tool for believers—through it the Lord blesses us and frees us from bondage. In prayer we profess our need of Christ and ask for His solution to our problems. We also learn to worship Him and grow spiritually in His loving presence.
As we spend time with Him, God lovingly teaches us how to communicate with Him and listen for His still, small voice. Through it all, we grow deeper in our relationship with Him.
Several things are essential to establishing a powerful prayer life:
1. Choose a definite time to spend with the Lord in prayer. Setting a time, whether early in the morning or late in the evening, is not the issue. Rather, consistency is the key. Ask God to show you the perfect time when you can be alone with Him.
2. Select a place where you can be alone with Him. Although you may be limited as to where you can go to have time alone with the Lord, He will provide the perfect place for you to seek Him.
3. Make the commitment to pray daily. This alone tells God that your heart is open to Him and that you want to learn more about Him and what He has planned for you.
4. Keep a journal that contains your requests and how God answers your prayers as a continuing testimony of God’s work in your life. Remember to write down the specific verses that He applies to your situation and the promises He gives you from His Word.
God honors the prayers of His people. If you go to Him—seeking Him earnestly and obeying His commands—He will provide all you need. So don’t worry about what to say; the Holy Spirit will show you. At times, tears are just as effective as words, and God is sensitive to every tear you cry. Just as He understands the hurt you feel, so He knows how to deal with and guide you through any trial you must endure.
Therefore, whenever a trial strikes, turn to Him immediately in prayer. His presence will fill you with hope, and He will give you the strength and wisdom you need to face the situation with confidence. Throughout your lifetime, you may face many difficult situations. Some will be very exciting, while others may feel as though they will break your heart. No matter what challenges come, you can be sure God is in the difficulty with you. He enjoys seeing you rejoice over His blessings, but He also mourns with you when tragedy strikes.
Always remember that God is bigger than any problem you face, and the distance between your success and failure or your victory and defeat is the distance between your knees and the floor as you kneel before your wondrous Lord and Savior in surrendered prayer. You are never taller or stronger than while on your knees! Why? Because He knows the way before you, and He can guide you through the difficulty if you will trust Him. And when you submit to Him in obedience, He applies His unlimited resources, wisdom, and power to help you.
My challenge to you is simple: whatever you’re facing, trust God with it. Ask Him to take away the anxiety, fear, and feelings of frustration. Have faith in the Lord and rest in His care. You will never feel more accepted or secure than you do in the presence of God. Victory awaits, so come to Him.
Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.