“How many times a day do you pray?”
Oh, the awkwardness of that question. It’s like when the dentist asks if you’ve been flossing. You know the answer doesn’t give you a favorable report and makes you look bad. So you give the uncomfortable side grimace and shrug, hoping that if you avoid the truth and change the subject, the whole thing will eventually be forgotten and you can shove that icky feeling under a rug for the time being.
Sure, I pray. When I’m sitting around the dinner table with my 100% Christian family or in other socially obligated situations, I can bow my head and murmur a few “faith words” as well as anyone. But when I’m alone or with religiously ambiguous people, I give God the cold shoulder. I have yet to fully realize the power of prayer.
Because first of all, nothing happens without prayer. Trying to pull something off without prayer is like attempting to direct small children without talking: a whole lot of mess happens and productivity ceases to exist. It doesn’t work. We don’t live in the Old Testament when we had to speak through a priest. We have the amazing luxury of being able to talk to our Lord and Savior directly without any fanfare, yet we don’t take advantage of this gift.
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” – James 5:16b-18
And how many times do we simply thank God? Not necessarily when something good happens either. We should be praising God for His gifts no matter what, because we have the constant comfort of His love and mercy waiting for us.
“I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.” – Psalm 86:12
If you are in want, ask. God hears everything and no matter how inconsequential or small it may seem, you can ask him for anything. Nothing is too big or too small for God. He knows you and He knows your wants, but He also wants to hear you, His dearly beloved child.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7
And sometimes it feels like you have nothing to say, and that’s fine! Just start talking. Unlike humans, God will never tire of hearing you talk to Him. Speak to Him as you would your best friend and Father. You are His favorite creation, and whatever happens you may trust that His love will always be extended to you without fail and that your prayer will never fall on deaf ears.
“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” – Psalm 17:6