Hannah prayed so tearfully in the tabernacle that the high priest thought she was drunk. But she longed for a child because she couldn’t conceive. When she gave birth to Samuel, she dedicated him to God.
That happened before all the commands and prayer promises, yet because the patriarchs had sought out God with their concerns, she went to God.
I’ve seen answers to prayer too.
Mother mentioned she’d love to have carpet when I was young. So I prayed God would give us carpet. I didn’t expect to get carpet.
Later, my parents won a contest and received wall to wall carpet in their living room and dining room. Mom and Dad dubbed me their little prayer warrior.
Now I believe God was encouraging me to pray.
However, sometimes we pray and long for an answer. A lot. And we pray for years. Nothing happens. At least, we can’t see anything. Discouragement can take over.
I’ve met people who say, “Prayer doesn’t change things, it changes you.”
Or “God answers. But it might be no.”
Let’s consider prayer promises in the New Testament:
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7:9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
Matthew 7:10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
Matthew 7: 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
My husband, Ray Simmons, a teaching elder at our church, offers answers.
Prayer used to be easy for me. When I sensed God leaning over to listen. That was powerful, and I never wanted to stop. I’ve cried out in desperation and felt God’s presence. I treasure those moments.
However, life crushed some of my fondest dreams, and afterward I found prayer more difficult. When I pray and feel silence or feel as if I’m in an underground tunnel, I want to quit. Give up.
I am now working again at prayer. So I’m very interested in the experiences of other.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Satan does not want us to pray. He walks around like a roaring lion, and he would love to put barriers in our way.
Plus, walking by faith means we don’t see all that’s going on in the spiritual world. We don’t know what God might be doing that we can’t see. I have to remind myself infusing my ow feelings into prayer has nothing to do with the reality of God’s mercy and love. A good prayer time doesn’t guarantee another one, or mean he listened more that time than when you feel like the sky is stone.
He loves me and listens even if I am tired or feel grumpy. The idea is to pray. Pray when it’s hard. Pray when you are discouraged. Pray when you are happy. Pray when you know life is changing, and you don’t like change. Pray. Pray.
This morning, I went to the printer to get copies of a curriculum I wrote for my latest novel. And I got home to discover the man assembled it wrong. Ugh! Rather than getting mad because I am busy, I made myself pray. And the tangled mess unwound.
Today Janet McHenry is my guest. She has written Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She will share what she has learned.
Prayer: when you think back to the Garden of Eden, you remember Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the day. God made us to spend time with him, to enjoy him. Interacting with him sustains us. Sin broke that fellowship. When we don’t have friendship with God, we find our lives empty of meaning. However, Christ came to restore what our sinfulness ruined. When he died on the cross for our sins, God ripped the veil in the temple that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies. That event signified we have access to God now. And Scripture commands us to pray.
I find prayer a privilege and a chore. Over the years, I have had days I could pray and pray and I felt God was leaning forward on his throne, listening. Those moments I treasure. However, at other times, I would pray and sense a brick wall or I feel like I am reading off my grocery list. I hate that. All this is reading my feelings into prayer, but I know God has responded. I have a sense of touching my creator’s heart.
I’ve never liked making phone calls, but the moment I decide to pray, I have sudden urges to make phone calls or do a long list of chores. Now. I find it especially hard to pray when I am asking for something good, something commendable, and I cannot see God moving.
I Thessalonians 5:17 says Pray without ceasing. God wants us to pray regularly and all the time. Jesus prayed for hours while he was on earth, and he even fasted and prayed before he started his earthly ministry. He wanted to commune with the father, and I want that too.
Today I have Bob Hostetler to share with us about prayer. He has written about it and can offer guidance from his experiences and study. Learn more about Bob here.
Dr. James Dobson wrote a book called, Parenting isn’t for Cowards. What a true statement. What an incredible feeling to hold your first baby in your arms. It’s a miracle! You examine all the fingers and fingernails. And the sweet little feet. I was a registered nurse and I checked all their reflexes. Such an experience. I had five children and I found it overwhelming each time. But I also felt the weight of reasonability. You know that your choices will profoundly impact the baby’s future.
I took psychology classes as part of my nursing, and it was impossible not to notice how many things get blamed on parents. There’s so much to think about.
I can recall wanting the very best for each baby, but I was taken aback by how different each child was. With my first two children, I said I had opposites, and then as I kept having children, they were different too. How many opposites are there? They have different needs and respond differently to every situation. I was intensely aware that I needed godly guidance. I had a disabled child, and after all the experience I had, I needed the Lord’s help.
Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
What a command! That verse is enough to make you nervous.
Melissa Spoelstra wrote a book called T0tal Family Makeover, and she’s here to share with us.
God make mothers to be nurturers. He wove that desire into our design. In fact, I still want to mother even though my kids are grown, so I use my mothering instincts on my cats.
There’s a story in 2 Kings four about the Shunammite woman. She noticed the prophet Elisha walking past her house, and she chose to help him. Her husband built a room for the prophet so he’d have a place to stay when he passed through town. Elisha was grateful, so he asked what he could do for her. She didn’t give him ideas, but Elisha’s servant pointed out that she had no children. So Elisha prayed for her to have a child.
After the boy’s birth, he went out into the fields where his father was working and became ill. He fell to the ground screaming, “Oh, my head!”
The father immediately ordered his servants to take the child to his mother. His mother held him until noon that day, and then he died. The mom went to find the prophet who raised him from the dead.
Let’s focus on that one phrase, the father said the moment he knew his son was ill “Take him to his mother.” That describes us. (of course, there are exceptions). We care for our children and will move all sorts of obstacles to make life work for them. However, we must learn to let our children go and face life on their own. It’s a tough assignment for us.
Today, my guest is Edie Melson. She had a son who became a soldier and went on active duty to fight. How scary. She wrote the book, While My Child is Away. She will give some tips on mothering that child who is leaving the nest.
2:10 What is the Headless Horseman of Faith?
3:30 How can we as mothers listen to our emotions and yet use them appropriately?
5:24 What about those times we fear failing as a parent?
6:45 Tell us the frog story? What does it teach us?
9:00 Share about loving the people your kids are with.
10:30 You had a son in the military, and you know about the ‘what ifs.’ How can we handle those?
13:00 Leaving the child with the Lord:
14:05 How can you avoid the trap of allowing your kid’s choices to define you?
16:10 What about the stuff that hurts?
[tweetthis]Prayer is the most important thing you can do for your child[/tweetthis]
Prayer. We know we need to do it. The Bible commands us to pray, because we have a God who wants to interact with us. However, praying is not easy. It’s not easy! Trying to set up a regular time to pray takes herculean effort. Whenever I prepare to pray, I feel a sudden urge to do other things. Suddenly I have to make phone calls, and I hate phone calls. During a crisis, I can squeak out one work, “Help.” My creativity gets tangled up, and I can’t slow down long enough to concentrate on a conversation with my maker. At a time like that, I recall the Apostle Paul’s command to pray rather than worry. How fast that rolls off the lips, but doing it requires effort.
Once when Spurgeon was very ill, he wrote to his congregation to pray at a blood heat. What an image. Truly he understood the importance or prayer.
Julie K Gillies is my guest today. She believes prayer ministers to a woman’s soul and can even bring healing. We are going to get her input and learn from how it’s ministered to her. She’s the author of Prayers for a Woman’s Soul.
1:45 Do you consider yourself an expert on prayer?
2:20 What practices help you to pray?
7:06 Are you talking about praying through the day or that concentrated time when all you do is pray?
7:52 How do you keep from getting distracted?
I really like the statement, “You are worth praying for.”
9:15 Did you ever feel like you were cheating God when you showered AND prayed? I’ve heard people say to only pray because God must have our full attention.
11:06 Do you see any differences in yourself because of your prayers?
11:51 How do you keep other issues from crowding in?
13:01 Tell me how the Holy Spirit brings up your needs?