I do not know about you, but I have a more difficult time in prayer when in difficult times versus in times when everything seems to be going well. Prayer is one of the great mysteries of the Christian faith. We know we are to pray, intercede for others, and seek the will of our Heavenly Father, but moving beyond a wish list prayer time and spending time in prayer seeking His will and not getting the answers we are looking for can make our prayer time difficult.
I think the greatest example of honest prayer seeking our Heavenly Fathers will and wrestling through the answer is Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. This prayer is found in Matthew 26:38-39, “Then he said to them, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Submission to the will of His Father was the priority, but if there was another way, please let it be known. This is the perfect example and reveals the purpose of prayer for each of us.
The Purpose of Prayer
The idea that we come to the Father with our request and needs when He created us and knows our every need and desire before we ask is a mystery to me. When we think about why prayer is necessary, we begin to understand that prayer is more of an alignment tool to align us to the will of God as we pray as Jesus prayed, “not my will but Your will be done.” The revelation is for the person praying, to commune with our Heavenly Father and understand His will for us or our situation.
There are many times when we do not know what to pray for, or even how to pray, but the Holy Spirit empowers us in our weakness. The Apostle Paul provides encouragement to followers of Christ and provides one of the many roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives in Romans 8:26-27, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” This encourages me as I understand the purpose and provision of prayer and the need to seek His will in prayer, even as I become weak or frustrated on my journey.
Seek His Will in Prayer
Jesus is our perfect example and as His disciples saw Him pray, they desired to know how He prayed and Jesus’ answer is found in Matthew 6:9, “Pray, then, in this way, Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus teaches us here that the key to prayer is seeking the will of our Heavenly Father and not our own agenda.
The Apostle John discusses the confidence we can have when we are seeking God’s will in our lives. I John 5:13-15, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” We can be confident in prayer. There are also times we must persevere in prayer as the answer or solution may be delayed.
Persevere in Prayer
There are so many great examples of prayer warriors in the Bible praying through difficult circumstances and having to wait on the solution. Some had to wait for years like Abraham and Sarah, while others had to wait for days, like Daniel. I love the example found in Daniel 10:12-14, “Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
Daniel persevered in prayer to gain understanding, and the angel told him his prayer was answered we he first prayed, but the answer was delayed due to a spiritual battle Daniel was unaware of. In our lives, an answer to our prayer may be delayed due to timing, circumstances, or revelation that is to come later. There are many prayers that I have prayed that I am thankful were answered with a no, because I was being protected and did not realize it.
Pray for Our Community
I ask each of you to pray for C3 in this new season. Our vision is to connect Christians to transform our communities and more than ever we, the Body of Christ, need to come together to be the light and example for our communities. God is doing a new thing and we want to be aligned and empowered to accomplish all He has prepared for us.
I am reminded of God’s words to Jeremiah found in Jeremiah 29:7, “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
During these challenging days in which we live we, the Church, need to increase our focus on prayer, seek His will, and persevere in prayer as we shine His light into our lives, families, and communities.
To get more information and join the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3) movement, go to www.sc-c3.org and become a member today!
Jamie Jordan is the State Director for the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3). His passion is to see unity and excellence exhibited within the Christian community. Jamie can be reached at jjordan@stravico