You Heard it Said (Day 4)

Your prayers are powerful. 
In a 24-hour news cycle, we’re no strangers to tragedy. One disaster strikes and then another swiftly takes its place in the headlines. And people commonly respond with comments like “thoughts and prayers.” But lately, people have been questioning whether prayer is actually much help.
We love being able to fix problems in our own power, but we often forget where our true Source of power comes from—God. Pastor Craig Groeschel says it this way, “Prayer is never a last resort. Prayer is our first line of defense.” 
We often don’t realize the power that prayer has to change circumstances, and we often forget that sometimes the greatest power of prayer is to change our own hearts and perspectives. Prayer reminds us that we are not in control but that we serve a God who is. Prayer allows us to surrender our worries, align our hearts with God’s, and practice depending on God. And prayer also changes us. It encourages us. And sometimes it challenges us to be an answer to the prayers we pray. 
Jesus taught a lot about prayer during his earthly ministry, and He even instructed us how we can pray through what’s known as the Lord’s Prayer: 
“… your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:8-13 NLT
You don’t need special language for prayer. God already knows what you need. But see how prayer shapes our perspective in that prayer. It invites us to depend on God by asking for Him to meet our needs today. And it invites us to take part in being an answer to God’s Kingdom coming to earth by the way we live and love others. 
Ultimately, prayer is less about getting what we want and more about realizing who we get to be connected to. It’s about surrendering control and trusting God to do things that seem impossible to us. And it’s something to do often, because it’s such a privilege to get to talk with the Creator of the universe. And we don’t just pray for something once. Jesus instructed us to keep praying. And we know that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful. 
So yes, our prayers matter. They move the heart of God. They have the power to change circumstances. But above that, they always change us. Our own power is limited. But God’s power? Limitless. So we pray. We ask God to move, to intervene, and to act. And when we feel prompted to be an answer to prayer by meeting a need for someone else? We take action, knowing that it’s God who is at work—not us. 
Prayer: God, I sometimes treat prayer like it’s a last resort. I’m sorry for that. Today, I come to You knowing that You have all power. I surrender everything to You, Lord. Give me today the resources I need. Change my heart and align it with Yours. And help me bring a little bit of Your Kingdom to earth by the way I love and live. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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