The power of prayer is the secret to a closer relationship with God. Learn how your prayers bring joy to the Lord and strengthen your faith.
God Rejoices When We Pray – The Power of Prayer
When my little boy decided he wanted to play football, I never in a million years would have thought I would be that mom. You know the crazy one, who wears the football earnings, the football mom t-shirt, and carries a larger-than-life cowbell. Well, here I am – a proud high school varsity football mom.
I attend every game with my oversized tote filled with gear for stadium cheering. Coming prepared is part of this two to three-hour fall event. One minute you may have sunshine, then the next you could be covered in bone-chilling rain.
Preparation is a big part of playing football, or any sport. Before each game, I see my son mentally review his list of items he needs in his duffle bag. Early in the season, he would spend a lot of time dressing up his uniform with matching leggings, a black cloth ski mask, and gloves. Making sure his uniform was well coordinated. The biggest decision was his leggings. Does he wear one leg pulled up or does he have both showing? He put a considerable amount of effort into looking just right.
After his second game on the field, he was especially upset with himself. He said he could have done better and didn’t play his best. It was an awful car ride home. Through tears, he criticized every move he made. It broke my heart. I know, as a female, the effects of negative self-talk. I could give him a long weighty speech about how beating himself up will get him nowhere, but instead, my only suggestion was we need to pray. So, this is what we did.
A partnership with God
After we prayed, I felt God press up on my heart, to tell my son, that not only does he need to dress the part to play football – pads for protection, shoes fitted for grip and speed, but he also needs to prepare his heart and mind for every game through prayer. If our soul is not right, we won’t perform our best, even if we are dressed and ready on the outside.
I want to be honest here. After this conversation, I prayed to God, asking Him to show up big for my son. Truth be told, we speak the name of Jesus to our kids, go to church on Sunday, and raise them to the best of our abilities, but they can still fall away from knowing God. It’s not what we want, but sin can play a powerful influence if we aren’t careful. This is why I prayed.
My son’s mental list of preparations now includes the armor of God. And guess what? I watched him grow in confidence on the field, so much so, I saw my son taking a knee with eight other players on the sidelines to pray. I cannot tell you how much joy and pride arose in my soul. From the stands, my husband, my parents, and I pulled out our cell phones to capture this moment. If prayer makes us this excited, how does it make God feel?
Prayer changes our margins
I often wonder why it takes some of us so long to conclude, “We should be praying?” Could it be our pursuit to go after personal goals or solve problems within our own limits? Giving us the confidence to maneuver decisions within our comfort zones. I say, yes!
Prayer is the first line of defense when we are seemingly at the end of our rope. After exhausting every measure of trying to control what we can’t, we pull a “hail Mary” out of desperation for change. Out of necessity, prayer becomes a priority, when instead it should have been our initial act of obedience.
We want to have a willful mindset, but as Jennifer Herdt put it in her book, Putting On Virtue, “God wants to give us a gift, and we want to buy it.” We naturally want to earn salvation, gain success at work, or resolve dilemmas without seeking counsel. This is called self-righteousness. It says we can make ourselves right before God needs to intervene.
- the pursuit of knowing Christ.
- an act of worship.
- the ability to recognize we need God’s guidance.
- communicating our deepest feelings from the heart.
- is fellowship with our creator.
- a surrendering obedience.
- a shared notion of speaking on behalf of others.
But what happens when we lean on ourselves instead of the Lord for help? I am sure you can answer this without my extra input. After all, we have all fallen short. The Bible says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” (Psalm 118:8 HCSB)
Rather than fret and be filled with chronic worry, we are given a better option – to seek refuge in the hands of our Lord. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) Choosing Jesus first equips us for the journey ahead. Our brokenness will only lead us to failure, but with the goodness of God’s grace, He will lead us to victory.
Resting in prayer displaces fear, anxiety, and worry. God’s promises of truth will widen the margins of what we know to be true. The world’s view only reveals a distorted picture of God’s purpose for our lives. The enemy will try by any means to inhibit spiritual progress. When we glorify God through prayer, He saturates our hearts with only the peace He can provide.
Jesus rejoices when we pray because we are building and developing a relationship with Him. He wants to hear from us!
Let’s Pray Together
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for us. We know that when the veil was torn, the division between prayer and communication with you became openly available. Give us the ability to push aside our worries and make prayer our priority and not a last-ditch effort. We want more of you, Jesus, and less of the mess. Thank you for always being faithful when we are not.
In your precious name, we pray, Amen!
Read More on Jen Schreiner
- How to Get Closer to God When You’re Feeling Distant
- God Rejoices When We Pray – The Power of Prayer
- When God’s Timing is Taking Too Long
- Finding Unshakable Hope in the Waiting
- Releasing Your Expectations into God’s Hands