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IT'S PRAYER TIME...

A phrase I've heard all my life. Growing up in church I first heard it from Elder Griffin, who would start 3pm prayer on Sunday with "I need thee ooohhh, I need thee, Eeeevery houuur, I need thee. Oh bless, me now my savior, I come to thee." And my grandmother, who recently passed, would clear the room no matter what was going on, who was visiting, would gently but earnestly break the program to pray everyday at noon. She'd call out every name of every family member, friend, or people on the sick and shut in list at church. She understood a principle that many people skip over and don't invest time in because they don't value the act of prayer.


By definition prayer is a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God. The verbs request or expression indicate that there would have to be a conversation or some form of communication. So to simplify this definition. Prayer is talking to God. Since God is the creator of all, it would seem necessary to occasionally, if not regularly, check in with him. We all have our set plans and agendas, but none of it happens without Him. So to be in direct communication with Him is necessary. Prayer is a necessary tool.


As the years have passed I've come to agree with the older saints, "I need Him every hour". Life is weird how it has seasons of good winds and seasons of storms. The constant, never changing, every present source of strength through it all, is God. He holds us up, encourages our hearts, gives you joy through a song you haven't heard or sang in a thousand years. He knows the desires of your heart, sees every tear that you've cried, gently corrects us when we go astray; all because He's a good father. When in close relationship with a caring God, prayer is currency. Prayer is an act of partnership. Not to mention partnership with others; an opportunity to "confess your sins one to another so you can prayer for each other and be healed" (James 5:16) of the things that are challenges to you and your life. Having a prayer partner is an absolute essential spiritual tool.


The consistent practice of prayer brings about familiarity with God and His ways. Overtime you begin to use His words as your own, sense His leading or hear His voice. Prayer creates a closeness that is intimate. Beyond how your mother and father know you, beyond how a spouse or child knows you. He avails Himself to you through a sensing in your spirit, a quiet prayer under your breath, or a thought that ran through your mind. His omnipresent ability allows you to benefit from the favor of being in close proximity to His greatness.


With time, prayer should age well, or mature. When you were young you like toys, they were ok then because they were "developmentally and age appropriate". As Christians walking along this faith journey, the longer we walk with God the more robust our prayer lives should be. We should practice relying on the leading of the Holy Spirit, to identify and discern distractions, unnecessary strife, tactics that would often trip up a novice. The experienced Christian should be able to teach the younger generations, the importance of prayer, the partnership you experience with God through prayer, and the closeness with God that's developed through time spent in prayer. All these things are necessary and for survival as Christ followers, and worthy of our time investment.

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