Pray First and Pray Again

Good afternoon everyone.  I’m doing new things that I have never done before.  I am working every day to advance my new ministry.  I am learning new things, having conversations with pastors, and now starting to work with grant writers to provide scholarships to the churches that want to work with me.  I have been highly involved with a new church start that focuses on supporting and bringing the Gospel to those who are recovering from addiction or those that want to start their recovery.  These challenges I look forward to every day.  My personal challenge is that I want to accomplish all of this on my schedule!  Hello… That’s not how this works.  I need to be in tune with God’s timeline!  I need to slow down and pray for God’s guidance and then listen to his voice.  I get so caught up in my work, I forget to ask God for his plan.  This topic is something that I need to remind myself of every morning before starting my day.

Ask first for God’s guidance and blessing in everything you do. Through prayer, ask for wisdom and for God’s will to be done.

Pray for others as well, that God’s love and blessing would be revealed to them in good times and in bad.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3: 5, 6)

“May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6: 10)

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6: 18)

Prayer is not a vending machine nor is it magic. We cannot say the right words or offer the right things to get our desired outcome. Prayer is difficult and frustrating because prayer is relational, and we are speaking to a personal God who has the right and the understanding to choose. Pray First and Pray Again because God values persistence, because it takes time to draw our will in line with God’s, and because prayer is an intimate time with our Lord. Pray First and Pray Again because listening to the Spirit first involves knowing God’s voice.

We can become of the opinion that when there is nothing else to do, we can pray. Ephesians carries a different connotation. Like a night watchman, we must keep alert. Prayer is not the last-ditch effort; it is the first line of defense against the enemy. Be alert and Pray First and Pray Again because the devil prowls like a lion waiting to devour.

Prayer rightly orients work in your life. When we pray or when we sabbath, we acknowledge that there is a greater power than us. We pray, not because we are out of options, but because for God, all things are possible. Don’t worry about what you can or can’t do, Pray First and Pray Again and find that God is active and willing.

Do you know the shepherd’s voice? You can learn to discern God’s nature in Scripture, but you can only know his ways through intimate relationship. When you Pray First and Pray Again, you learn how God works in this world and in your life. In short, you learn his voice.

God will direct our paths. Like the pillars of fire and cloud through the wilderness, God will lead the way. God wiled Pharaoh through dreams, Abraham through angels, prophets through insight, and that same Spirit of the living God dwells in each one of us. Pray First and Pray Again because you are not alone, but the Holy Spirit is with you and will guide you wherever you go.

Ideas for Action: When your eyes open in the morning, begin the day with a conversation with God.  No need to end the conversation with Amen… keep the conversation going all day.  Two words: pray continually. Prayer is not the space between “Dear God” and “Amen.” A life lived in relationship to God is prayer. Raise silent praises or petitions to him wherever you go. Pray First and Pray Again so you can seek his presence in everything you do. On your next walk, run, or in your quiet time, intentionally pray for neighbors, other churches, schools, EMTs, police and fire personnel, and local officials. If you’re stalled in your prayer life, reach out to others for help and suggestions.