God makes promises. Your prayers are not a formula to get things from God. God makes promises. We trust the promises, not our ability to pray. So why pray? Good question. To ask it will tell you more about yourself than God. God makes promises to actually shape our character to be like his.
Peter states that we participate in the divine nature.
- Prayer is a connection to God. We pray out of relationship. No human relationship of any value is made as a deal. The blessings of God come as we connect and cooperate with him. Why pray? God has something vastly greater for our lives than a life of ease.
- Prayer is identification with Jesus. We share in the “divine nature”. It means we completely identify with him and his way of life. We no longer live life focused on what we get out of God. Some say when going through hard times, “I just want my life back.” I have too. But then God reminds you and I, it was never your life anyway. You belong to God. Now He is in charge. We do not pray “on our own”. We pray in Jesus authority not our sincerity. The Apostle Paul says we share his glory. We participate in something wonderful. We pray to become like Jesus life.
- Prayer is identification with Jesus. Worry flees when we know we belong to him. Why? Because we trust he knows what he is doing and will take care of us. That also means we take on the things that pain him. A good friend shares both the good times and the pain of his or her friend. Paul says we also share in Christ’s sufferings. Bummer, you may think. What does that mean? It is some kind of mournful disposition? To “suffer with” is the definition of compassion. When we go though trouble it can be an opportunity to identify with Christ’s sufferings. We mourn over the pain, suffering and sin of this world. We refuse to ignore it. We are then becoming compassionate people.
- Prayer is a process we live. It begins on our knees, but then it is walked out in our lives. We become effective in expressing our Jesus life.
Prayer Is Movement
Prayer is waking up to life all around us. Prayer readies us to be energized by God’s presence that is beyond us and to discover the inner strengths to live his purpose for us. Through connecting with God we realize that living with Him is an adventure.
The four movements of prayer:
- Gratitude. Through gratitude we become more present to the gifts that are given to us everyday. The very act of thanking him awakens us to the people and place that we live with everyday. Gratitude asks, “Where is God working that I can be grateful for? “
- Confession. Gratitude allows us not to run from things that trouble us, but to name it and face it. Confession is not merely naming sin, but letting the pain of our sin and the world trouble us. It alerts us to what is distressing us and letting that distress give us a wider ability to care. Confession asks, “What is hindering God’s work that I should mourn for?”
- Listening. Gratitude and confession puts us in a place for God to reveal more of himself to us. As we listen to his word, God opens our eyes to see fresh opportunities for his grace and truth to be known. He helps us see what is possible in a world that is blind to His workings.
- Taking action. Here God’s power and love are poured out as we do what he says. We pray for our families and our church family. We pray and act for the healing of our world. Here God widens our circle of care and deepens our capacity to accomplish God’s purpose everyday.