Welcome to the #GoodandFaithful Movement! We inspire, educate, and train God’s people to leverage ALL that He has given us to bless the nations and advance His Kingdom!
This week we’re talking about living a life of prayer. Not only did Paul exhort the Thessalonians to rejoice in the Lord always and to pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5: 16-18), or the Philippians to not be anxious about anything, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4: 4-6 ESV), the Lord Himself told us to not lose heart and pray continually (Luke 18: 1-8) But how? How does one live a life of prayer?
We tackled that question by addressing a separate but related question that the Lord asked: “…[W]hen the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18: 8 ESV)
A life of prayer is intimately attached to that question. When He returns, will there be anyone left who trusts God enough to continue to rejoice in Him regardless of circumstances and continue to make all their needs known to Him, like a child who depends completely on his Father? God-willing there will be, because Jesus told us that unless we become like children, we will not see the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt 18: 3).
In many ways, children are the standard for the Kingdom. They have a natural unadulterated draw towards to God, spiritual realities, and love for others. What can we learn about living a life of prayer through our observation of children?
We see that children are really good at making their needs known. The younger the child, the more readily he or she cries out in his or her time of need. Before the delusion of self-sufficiency kicks in, children are really good at communicating their needs to mom and dad. Children are also spared the burden of experiences that teach them to silence their voices. They have not yet been told by others to stay quiet or been made to feel that their voice was not welcome. They retain a simple childlike faith.
It’s only as children age that they begin to imagine themselves more independent from mom and dad. They are less likely to make their needs known as they prefer to increasingly attempt to do life on their own.
And that’s part of the beauty of what Jesus says to us regarding the need to become a child. Young children don’t have an intricate “parentology” yet. They don’t contextualize life based off of past traumas. All they know is they have needs. They know they’re hungry, or tired, or uncomfortable, or scared, or excited. And they know who mom and dad are and that they are the ones who meet those needs. Simple childlike faith in mom and dad. So, they ask.
So, how then does this perspective help us live a life of prayer? The first thing is to recognize that we ALWAYS have a reason to pray because as God’s children we are always in need of what only He can provide. Secondly, as children, born-again into a new life, we do not need to approach God our Father with the insecurities we once had that silenced us. He welcomes us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4: 16 NKJV).
I believe our prayer life is meant to be so childlike and so genuine that we would be embarrassed for our Christian friends to hear it. What do I mean? The things that children share with parents are intimate and silly and expose quirks about the kids that they may not otherwise share with friends. That’s how our prayer life should be. Why not? It’s a line of communication between us and our Heavenly Father, isn’t it?
Are you hungry? Ask for food. Are you lonely? Ask Him for a friend. Are there dreams you hope to accomplish? Share those with Him. Are you insecure about something? Let Him know. Don’t let your so-called theology get in the way of genuine prayer. Don’t let your doctrine or the doctrine of others serve as an obstacle. Stop calculating God’s response. Stop trying to figure out if it’s a worthy prayer. Just share yourself with Him in prayer. Turn and become like a child. Let Him be your Father.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4: 4-7 CSB).
For more on how to live a life of prayer, listen to the podcast! I provide more examples of prayer and share how God has used those prayers to shape me. You can also check out the FB Group or follow us on Instagram. No matter what, don’t get discouraged. God hears you, and He is listening to answer your prayers. You ARE the Good and Faithful!