August 1

It may be that the Lord will work for us, nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few. I Samuel 14:6

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  Mark 11:24

Prayer, that wonderful form of communication that we are privileged to have with our saving gracious God. There are four types of prayer according to tradition: Adoration or praising God, Contrition where we ask for forgiveness, Petition where we ask God for favors, and Thanksgiving where we express our gratitude to God for all He has done. Some would add intercession – that is petition is where we pray for something for ourselves, intercession is we ask on behalf of others.

When asking for something, you can check out wikiHow – there is actually an entry on “How to pray to God for a Miracle: 6 steps (with pictures.) The list of steps includes pray passionately, positively, pray with praise, persistence, precision and patience. Actually not a bad list but somehow a formula implies that you only have to do this step and the others and voila – a miracle will happen. Praying positively is much like our verse from Mark. To summarize, when a situation makes you doubt or fear, don’t spend time focusing on that, instead trust that you have done what you can, and trust in the Lord to make things happen. “Turn to God in prayer and ask that God alleviate you from the doubt or fear.”

Patience, how often is our prayer topic something we have worried over on our own and finally talk to God about? Then we want Him to fix it right now! We often want to take over control from God. There are many examples in the Bible where repeated prayer and talking with God finally leads to some sort of result, even if it is not the one that was hoped for. There is the parable of the persistent widow that the Judge finally hears and grants what she wants. Abraham and others in the older Testament also repeatedly speak with God.  We need to remember that our prayers are heard; that God is not ignoring us, but that everything happens in God’ timeline and according to His purposes. We need to wait patiently, continue in our prayer life and devotion, and continue to lean on God and others for support.

Ever-abiding God, we give you thanks that you listen, hear and act. Forgive us for not always trusting your promises. Forgive us for praying for things we want without knowing your will for us. May our prayers lead us to hear you better. Lord, lead us to pray for what you desire. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Chris Gabel