Where are the prayer warriors?
Do you remember when Jesus cleansed the temple in Mark 11?
15 They came to Jerusalem, and He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves,
16 and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple complex.
17 Then He began to teach them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!”
I can’t think of Jesus being more aggressive or upset than this in all of Scripture. Why was He so upset? Because God’s house should be called a house of prayer, and people had turned it into a marketplace. He was restoring order in God’s house–shifting the focus away from money and back on prayer.
How would you describe your home? Is it a house of prayer? If not, it’s time to set things back in order. The value and importance of prayer is made clear throughout Scripture. We are called to pray so the sick will be healed, so others can proclaim the Gospel clearly, for the forgiveness of our sins, and just to show God love and respect.
Men, you need to lead your home in prayer. You need to pray WITH your wife and children and to pray FOR them. If you’re not married, pray with your family or friends (and have them pray God sends you a spouse soon ;). Spend time alone in prayer as well. We are called to pray constantly, in all circumstances.
Women, support your man in prayer. Take initiative and lead your children if you have to, but let your husband lead when he’s ready. And pray for him until he is.
Are you happy? Pray. Are you sick? Pray. Are you worried? Pray! No matter what you are facing, PRAY.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, take a look at a few of passages of Scripture that talk about prayer.
15 The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.
12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, 4 so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak.
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.
14 All these [the apostles] were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.
6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Prayer has brought me through the hardest times of my life. God is always present and always interested in our lives. He didn’t create us and then just forget about us. The Bible tells us He planned every day of our lives before we were even born (Psalm 139:16). So if you don’t understand what is happening in your life, ask God. He is the only one with all the answers.
You don’t have to use big, fancy words when you pray. And you don’t have to follow a formula. You just need to talk to God–and you can be open and honest. Read through Psalms and you will find men pouring their hearts out to God–from their biggest fears to their darkest secrets, from burning questions to uninhibited praise.
This isn’t something I’ve mastered–far from it actually. I’m still learning every day. But I know it is very important, and I want to encourage you to draw closer to God through prayer.