Prayer Practice

In the dark streams of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, you will find fishes that are still alive but have lost their sight. These fishes have lived for many centuries in the darkened waters of the cave, as a result their optic nerves have become atrophied.

One new word to learn: atrophy. This is the wasting away of muscles through disuse or neglect. Atrophy (degeneration of cells) is a common condition among living t
hings. So where am I going with this? It is possible for mankind to suffer from spiritual atrophy. Charles Darwin admitted that he lost his love for poetry and music because he failed to develop them. Likewise, we can lose our vital prayer power through disuse. We have got to keep praying at all times, in order to avoid spiritual atrophy. We are even reminded in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18: pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

when life is great pray

The next major bible prayer was by Solomon as he dedicated the temple, and his main point was about staying “prayed up”. I understand being “prayed up” as being spiritually prepared and having a continual prayer pattern. This is a pretty long prayer (1 Kings 8:22-53) , I’ve taken out some verses but the most important sections are in the bold print.

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven 23 and said:Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today. 

27 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven,cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 28 Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.29 May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive. …

33 “When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, 34 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.

35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them,36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.

37 “When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, 38 and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their hands toward this temple— 39 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart), 40 so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.

41 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name— 42 for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, 43 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.

44 “When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, 45 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.

46 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.

52 May your eyes be open to your servant’s plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you.53 For you singled them out from all the nations of the world to be your own inheritance, just as you declared through your servant Moses when you, Sovereign Lord, brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”

To summarize this account, Solomon stood before the congregation and pleaded with God to always hear the people whenever and wherever they pray. This prayer benefited God’s people more than it would have benefited God. Of course Solomon knew that God will hear His people, but he wanted to remind Israel that they should pray in bad times as they do in good times.  Jesus even said in Luke 18:1: men always ought to pray and not lose heart.

To persist in prayer until the answer comes does not necessarily mean endless repetition or painfully long prayer sessions, which seem very daunting. Always praying means keeping our requests constantly before God as we live for him day after day, always believing that he will answer. Thus, when we live by faith we should not give up. God may delay answering, but his “delays” always have good reasons. In fact they aren’t even delays because God is never late, he is always on time. As we persist in prayer we grow in character, faith and hope.

In order to prevent spiritual atrophy, we must maintain a strong prayer life. There are times when I forget to pray and could go without praying for a long while, now I realize that such a lifestyle is steering me towards spiritual atrophy. Spiritual atrophy ultimately leads to us losing the power in our prayers, thus it is important for us to set aside a daily time to commune with God. Prayer practice keeps our muscles toned up for any crisis.

Stay blessed,

Dara x
P.S- Please share with friends, family and those on your social media. If you have any prayer requests, no matter how big or small the seem send them through this form (click here for the form) 🙂

Do your BEST and He’ll do the REST

So the exam season has finally arrived. 😳 The nerves may have kicked in and the butterflies may have begun to flutter in your stomachs. I just want to encourage you in this post, so that you’ll be able to face these forthcoming exams knowing that God has got your back.

The bible clearly says in James 1:5; “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”. This is one of my favourite promises in the bible.  I pray that the Lord will give you the knowledge and understanding in order to be successful in these exams you are about to sit. All your efforts, late nights, all nighters and neglecting of your social life will be crowned with success and shall not be in vain. 

In Timothy 1:7, we are told “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline”. My prayer with regards to this is that any spirit of fear, anxiety, worry or even procrastination in relation to your exams shall be deleted by The Lord himself In Jesus Name. When you think about that subject that you are struggling with, maybe its the knowledge aspect or the application aspect, think about God’s ability. Is anything to difficult for him? No! As you are well aware “With God all things are possible!” Ask him, to help you in that subject, to give you retentive memory, and through him excellence and success shall be yours. Adopt a belief that God is able to do abundantly more than you could ever think, ask or imagine concerning that paper and subject.

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, ” Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. (1 Chronicles 4:10)

Jabez prayed that God should;

  1. Bless him
  2. Help him with his work
  3. Be with him in all that he did
  4. Keep him from evil and disaster

From Jabez’s payer we learn that he acknowledged God as the true center of his work. When we pray for God’s blessings, we should also pray that he will take his rightful position as Lord over our work and in this case our exams. Now from Jabez’s prayer, pray that;

  1. God will bless you with wisdom, understanding and retentive memory
  2. God will help you remember what you have been taught, and help you revise effectively 
  3. God will be with you as you sit each paper 
  4. God will keep you from all harm and danger and any sudden illness that will inhibit your progress

In the same way God granted Jabez’s request, he shall also grant your requests In Jesus Name.

 Prayer for the Procrastinator:

Oh Lord, I pray that you will guide me.  Please help me set good time priorities and stick with them.  Give me self-discipline.  Empower me to ask others for help when I don’t know how to get started or how to finish up.   Give me confidence in my ability to do big tasks.  Help me to overcome the temptation to do other things that I’d rather be doing that are less important.  I know that you want me to live a healthy, productive life.  Help me learn how to break this habit.  Empower me in my weakness.  Bring me back when I stray.  Focus me.  Organize me.  Remind me.  Energize me.  Amen.

May you be like Solomon: “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.” 1 Kings 4:29 NIV

I saw this little prayer and wanted to share it with you, even though it has a little humour the words in it should still be what we pray about to The Lord.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not flop;
He keepeth me from lying down when I should be studying.
He leadeth me beside the water cooler for a study break.
He restoreth my faith in study guides.
He leads me to better study habits
For my grade’s sake.
Yea though I walk through the valley of borderline grades,
I will not have a nervous breakdown For thou art with me.
My prayers and my friends, they comfort me.
Thou givest me answers in moments of blankness;
Thou anointest my head with understanding.
My test paper runneth over with questions I recognize.
Surely passing grades and flying colours shall follow me.
All the days of my examination.
And I shall not have to dwell in this sixth form forever.
AMEN!!

Now, I leave you with this, Do your best and leave the Rest to God! Nothing and I repeat nothing is too difficult for Him to do for you, you just have to believe that. I wish you all of God’s blessings as you sit your exams.

 Stay blessed,

Dara x