1 Thesalonians 5:17:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Even the national tabloid newspapers are now telling us to: “pray at home.”
Not Christian newspapers, not local newspapers who may have Christian owners and editors; but national, well-known tabloid newspapers, which are followed by millions of readers; they are calling us to prayer. Whether they are saying it to create a sensational headline that will sell their newspapers, or saying it because they actually believe that prayer will make a difference, it matters not.
In September last year (according to my online research) the Sun newspaper reached 32.8 Million people across the globe – that’s 5.4 Million more than any other national newspaper. That’s 32.5 Million people across the globe being called to prayer – far more, dare I say it, than if any Christian organisation were to call the country to prayer.
Will you heed the call?
No doubt, millions who read the headline will do just that – read the headline. But they won’t pray. And they will be missing out. They will be missing out on the opportunity to actually speak to God Himself; they will be missing out on the opportunity to be part of something bigger and reaches further than the walls of their house or the fences of their gardens, and they will be missing out on the opportunity to hear back from God Himself!
Yes, God speaks to people through prayer – as a response to prayer, but as a response that reaches the hidden recesses of their hearts.
No doubt, those who do not currently believe in God, or who are not Christians – if, and dare I say, when – they hear something from God; whether that is an audible voice, a gentle whisper to the subconscious, or just a “feeling” that they experience – it will kindle a curiosity. They will begin to think, is there something in this, after all? Maybe there is a God? And if there is a God, maybe He will answer their prayer? Then they will have other, more personal things, to pray about. And as they start to pray about those things, something will change – something will change within them – and, I believe, some prayers will actually be answered!
Wow – how amazing would that be? Your prayers answered?
Maybe you don’t believe in prayer – but I would encourage you to give it a try! You won’t know until you try! It always makes me smile when my grandson says to me, when I am offering him something to eat that he’s never tasted before and he says: “I don’t like that!” He’s never tasted it before – how does he know?
Maybe you’ve never prayed before? Or maybe, you have prayed, but you haven’t had your prayers answered. As faithful Christians, we have all prayed for loved ones who have been ill but who have not recovered as an answer to that prayer, or we have prayed for a change in circumstance that is desperately needed but nothing has changed. Not all prayers are answered the way you would like them answered – it would be a very different world if they were!
But prayer will change something in you, whether it is answered or not. And the more you pray, the more often you pray, the more frequently you pray, the closer you get to your prayer answered. It will happen – it may not happen exactly as you expect – but when you look back, you will recognise something that is different because of your prayer. It may not even be in the outcome – but something will be different.
One of the consequences of prayer – heartfelt prayer – is that you will experience change. Your heart will change, as you grow closer to your heavenly Father, the Lord our God, as He makes Jesus known to you. You see, we are all spiritual beings – we have a spirit of fun, a spirit of adventure, and so on – so we have a spirit within us. When you pray, your spirit connects with the Holy Spirit, which is connected with your heavenly Father and His precious Son, Jesus. This is what is known as the ‘trinity’ of God – they are all connected. And when you pray, you are also connected.
I challenge you to give it a go. If you’ve never prayed before – don’t decide the outcome, like a child who says, “I don’t like it,” when offered something they have never tasted before. Give it a try. After all, nobody needs to know, you don’t have anything to lose – but a wholy different life to gain! So give it a go!
Maybe, you would like to try right now:
May we pray …
Heavenly Father, we are called to pray. I don’t know if I believe in prayer, and I don’t know that I believe in you, Lord. But I am going to give it a go – please listen to my prayer, and please make Yourself known to me in some way. There are so many things that I would like to pray for – but for now, I just pray for your peace to fill my heart and mind during these troubled times. In the name of your precious Son, Jesus. Amen.”
If you’re a Christian, and would like to learn how to pray more effectively, you can join our Discipleship Programme, where you will find a number of resources, including The Prayer Course. Find out more here.