When we get in trouble we pray. When we have an emergency we pray. Sometimes people pray when they don’t even have a relationship with God at all. My Dad was a great prayer warrior and man of God. People in his work place would often ask him to pray for their situations because they knew he had a “direct line” to God and could put in a word for them. But does God just hear the 911 prayers or can we talk to Him about all things?
I know in my head that God wants us to pray about all things but I often keep all of those “all things” prayers to myself. I didn’t think people really wanted to know when I as a young mom was praying over my washing machine, or the car tires, or anxious about the kids’ colds. After all, those were not really “important” prayers. In my mind important prayers were deep and religious sounding, like far off missionaries, church vision, world peace, and hungry children in foreign lands. Does God really want to hear about “all things?” Does He really want to hear about “everything” that concerns me? Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6. With a promise like that I can know in my heart and not just my head that He wants to hear from us. It sounds pretty clear to me, what do you think?
My parents were prayer warriors. I remember as a teenager coming back from choir trips late at night and not wanting to wake them, I tiptoed up the stairs, stepping over the steps that squeaked only to hear them praying. My name was mentioned a lot. I think yours was too. I wanted to be able to pray like that. God had a lot to teach me and He gave me a wonderful opportunity to learn.
I found myself face to face in my living room with the women of my bible study. As we made relationships we began to feel safe. As we felt safe we began to talk, and as we began to talk, we learned that many of the concerns we had as women were the same. One woman brought a notebook where we recorded our prayer requests and I was amazed to see how many answers to prayer we could see right before our eyes while others we waited on. Prayer became an all day dialogue with God concerning every part of my day – “all things.” And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18. I was glad God gave me a way to pray my “all things” prayers with others. The bible study notebook got scooped up and stashed away and a couple of years later it resurfaced. I began to read about the promises we had claimed and with growing wonder and excitement I got out my pen and checked off some more answers to prayers that had happened while the book was stored away. Some I had forgotten we had prayed about.
God does not forget our prayers and God’s promises do not have an expiry date.
Life presented me with many a quandary and decisions weighed me down. All of my wisdom was not enough and many times I had no clue what to do. Job decisions, child raising, future planning, and financial decisions perplexed me. I have prayed for wisdom more times than I can count. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 Read it! Note the words “gives generously” “to all” “without finding fault” and it “will” be given. Now that is a promise I am going to grab hold of!
We all have those times in our lives when we have 911 calls to God. You know those times … when you are distraught and upset and unable to pray, those times when life is dark and you are unable to string a logical sentence together. God understanding the limitations of our humanity gave us a verse to reassure us that He would understand those distressed prayers and that they would be crystal clear to Him. I love this verse. … the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26.
What is your “all things” prayer today? Is it for yourself, your family, your friends, your church? Are you in a season of 911 prayers? Do you believe God hears you? So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. Hebrews 4:16. Pray. Trust. Listen for His voice. Expect to hear His voice. Thank Him and praise Him and most of all, Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
By Cyndi den Otter (C)
Copyright 2013 April 12 Cyndi den Otter – All Rights Reserved May be used with author’s permission