Daily Devotional

Learning to Pray

Philippians 4:6,7

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The most important prayer of my life was the day I prayed to receive Christ! My life was forever transformed!  I admit, as a new believer, prayer confused me.  Why did I need to pray when God already knew my thoughts?  Why does God not answer all my prayers?  God was patient with my ignorance. His lessons on prayer in my life began. I learned Prayer grows my relationship with God. I grew to appreciate the times my wise God lovingly did not grant me some of my prayers!  I learned the value of praying out loud with other believers which creates a sense of community in the Body of Christ.  I realized it was not about the words I use—but my heart responding to God. My intimacy with God was growing.

A few years later, as a young mother, one day I felt compelled to ask for something specific from God. I prayed for clothes for my kids.  Money was really tight at the time.  I sincerely prayed that God would provide the clothes.  The next morning, I opened the front door of our house and discovered 3 large bags of beautiful, second-hand children’s clothes on the step.  I was overjoyed!   On a roll, I asked God for bunk beds.  Two days later, someone called and asked if we could use a set of bunk beds! The clothes and bunk beds were wonderful, but the greatest joy was the knowledge that God cared about our needs and answered my specific prayers.

Another lesson in prayer came at a time when I felt overwhelmed with the burdens of ministry and condition of the World in general.  I felt like I was living in a swirling, destructive, hurricane.  This World was so chaotic, evil and powerful. This day, I fell on my knees in discouragement and poured out my heart to God. My noisy, crushing thoughts became silent.  I felt God’s presence. I felt the quiet. I felt the peace.  I was in the eye of the Hurricane!  Through cleansing tears, I soaked up the comfort.  God spoke to my heart like I had never experienced before in my life.  I drank in His strength. My thoughts were refreshed with purpose and direction. When my prayer time was finished, I stood up with a new perspective.  The Hurricane was still raging —but I was different. I was refreshed in my spirit and empowered by our Mighty God.  
I learned one of the most important purposes of Prayer. Prayer connects us to our power source--God!  He changes and refreshes our thinking and spirit. In response to prayer, God changes our thinking to align with His purpose.

I cannot say I understand completely how prayer works.  Prayer is mysterious.  I do know that I hunger and crave to talk to God every day.  Most amazing is that God wants to talk to me every day! Are you talking to God every day? Don’t miss out on the blessings and adventure!
  • Pray often with your kids.  Speak on their level. Don’t use words they do not understand. Keep prayers short enough so they won’t get bored.  Keep your kids interested in prayer by making it personal and relevant to what is happening in your home.
  • Post a list of prayers and their answers in a visible area in your home. Teach your kids to celebrate “yes” answers to prayer.  Help them to understand sometimes the answer is “no”. Tell your kids about a prayer that you prayed and are glad God’s answer to your prayer was “no”. 
  • Assure your kids that God listens to their prayers. God loves to hear them to talk to Him.
  • Remind your kids that prayer is not about perfect words—but their heart.

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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