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Approach Prayer With Confidence And Thanksgiving
Prayer is an essential component to our relationship with God. We offer prayers for those who are sick or in need of help and prayers of thanksgiving for our blessings. Prayer is also a time for us to be quiet and listen for the gentle voice of God. The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” We all would be wise to focus on this promise while we wait on the Lord.”
Even if I don’t hear a response to my prayer, I can still come away with peace and comfort knowing that God is God and He loves me more than I can begin to understand. His presence and promises can give us a peace that transcends all understanding.
It is important for us to approach prayer in the right manner. The Bible tells us what to pray — “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13) — and also where to pray – “In your room,” (Matthew 6:6). However, it does not necessarily tell us how to prepare for prayer.
Good works are how we show Christian love to others. However, our works should flow naturally as a result of our love for Christ and our desire to share His love. Ephesians 2:8-9, teaches us, “8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”
I think too many Christians approach prayer in one of two ways. First, many come to God in fear and doubt. We know that God can do what we are asking — but are fearful that He will not do it as we want or when we want.
The second group of Christians I refer to as the “Santa Claus Christians.” They think that if they are good all year then when they make a prayer request to God that He is “obligated” to do as asked. In both cases, resentment can develop if God does not provide what is asked and when it is asked.
It is important at this point to note that we follow God. God does not follow us, and this fact provides the opportunity to tell the story of God leading His people in Exodus 13:21-22. “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.”
I encourage you to approach prayer with confidence and thanksgiving that God already knows what you need and is already at work in delivering it to you. Also, what He provides will likely not be what you requested. Instead, it will be better and it will be a holy blessing upon you. God loves you more than you can ever understand.
He will most certainly listen and respond to your prayers. We must be open to His response and accept it with gladness and thanksgiving because any gift from God is precious and holy — as was His son.
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for the blessing of prayer and may we always be grateful for this means of grace.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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