“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
I belong to a small congregation. It’s truly a family of Christian believers who care about each other. I ‘ve been a member of a large church body who was connected in the same way. To think that we have an extended family, of like faith, who we can pray with, knowing that our corporate prayers will be answered, is really powerful.
We’re planning to revive a prayer chain at this new church. As we contemplate how to pray, we really need to include all kinds of prayer. There are prayers for the sick and dying and comfort to those going through those things. There are prayers for those experiencing financial difficulties or loss of employment. We pray for those going through marital problems which may lead to the break up of a family. There are countless reasons that weigh on our hearts for which we pray.
Often prayer seems to be reserved for those experiencing difficulty of some kind. Even in our own prayer lives, we often forget to pray for the good things – the blessings. It’s kind of like the ungrateful child, who begs and pleads for something they want, and when they get it, the forget to say “thank you.” Imagine how God feels when we forget.
Prayers of thanksgiving our as vital as prayers for assistance and healing. Our very lives are something to be grateful for. Our salvation – our being permitted another day to share the Gospel – provision and protection – undeserved mercy – God’s precious blessings. Those prayers are equally important to God.
When we receive a gift, it is customary to thank the giver. Think about the gifts we have received from God. Eternal life – forgiveness of sin – the promise of perfect, healthy bodies in eternity – no tears – no pain – no suffering – having enough to get by in this world – often having more than enough – friends, freedom to worship as we please, a country which still allows it. There are countless reasons to thank God, but like a spoiled child who has been given more than enough, we often continue to ask for more.
There’s another kind of prayer we sometimes forget to bring to God and that is the prayer of praise. Our God is beyond awesome. He created the world and all that’s in it with perfection and the use His words – “Let there be,” and there was. He intricately wove life of all kind to dwell within it. He separated the waters from the land. His power is greater than anything we can do. Lift His holy name in praise every minute of every day.
Today, think about the chain that binds all of us as Christians. Each link has a purpose. The connection makes the chain complete. When we’re united in prayer, God will hear us. Certainly He will hear the smallest voice, but when we are linked together, with hearts united, our voice becomes stronger and our bond becomes unbreakable.