“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV emphasis added)
“Rejoicing always” and “giving thanks in all circumstances” are both acts of prayer. Prayer is talking to God and is His “will for you in Christ Jesus.” He wants us to talk with Him. Feeling lonely and isolated? Talk with God. Feeling stressed over finances? Talk with God. Be specific. Be honest. He’s waiting to hear from you (and me).
I want to channel my inner Pastor Scott and say, “circle the words ‘if’ and ‘then’ in 2 Chronicles 7:14.” It’s a conditional statement. God is outlining what needs to be done before He will act. God created us to be in communication with Him.
If Jesus, the Son of God, the sinless Savior of humankind, thought it worthwhile to clear His calendar to pray, wouldn’t we be wise to do the same? You may not understand the mystery of prayer. You don’t need to. But this much is certain. Actions in heaven begin when someone prays on earth. What an amazing thought! When you speak, Jesus hears. And when Jesus hears, thunder falls. And when thunder falls, the world is changed. All because someone prayed.
Prayer does not change God’s nature; who He is will never be altered. Prayer does, however, impact the flow of history. God has wired His world for power, but He calls on us to flip the switch. (Max Lucado’s Upward Devotional 5/3/18)
Have you flipped the switch on your prayer life?