Six years ago I was disenchanted with prayer. Discouraged. Confused. And angry.
“Why do we pray?!!” I screamed into the heaven-lies.
It was a time when God went silent in my life. His presence stealth.
I would run outside into the sunset every evening because that was my only tangible promise of God’s presence and goodness. That knowing only lasted until the sun slipped beyond the horizon, then emptiness crept back into my heart as dark as the night sky.
Verses like the one above, promises of answers to prayer confused me. Were those promises only for the disciples? Are they for us today? [Photo by Lauren Lee Luce. Sky by God.]
Why do we pray?
That question haunted me for awhile. I had been so sure before this faith blow that I had a handle on prayer. It was not that I believed I’d figured it out completely, but I had learned to ask God how to pray. I felt I walked daily with Him. I abided. There’s always something to learn from the ancient language underneath our English words. Read the meanings of this Greek word:
Meno; a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) abide, continue, dwell, endure, last, live, permanent, remain, stay, still, wait.
A good friend of mine has written a book on prayer, Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet. In her book she explains that our prayers are eternal.
Prayer is a spiritual force in God’s economy that can’t completely be understood by our finite minds. Our prayers are not just temporal, but eternal. (Sandra Chambers)
This has been an intriguing thought for me. Sandy used Revelation 5:8 to prove her point.
. . . .And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Think of it . . . prayers in heaven. Stored in heaven. And they smell good.
Why do we pray if our prayers are not always answered as we petition?
We pray because it unites our hearts with Jesus as we . . . meno, abide. . . stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) continue, dwell, endure, last, live, permanent, remain, stay still, wait. . . on Him.
But Christ not only told the disciples that they must abide in Him, He also told them that His words must also live, stay, continue, endure, and wait in them.
It’s one thing to pray our hearts desires; it’s another to pray Scripture.
I learned the hard way that there is no magical routine or method to prayer–and actually, I’m grateful for that.
But how would our prayers change if we prayed first waiting on Jesus for wisdom on how to pray using scripture verse to incorporate in that prayer? Does it encourage you to know that not one prayer is lost or falls through the eternal cracks?
[bctt tweet=”Would our faith grow if we knew that the prayers are being answered in the eternal realm?” username=”wordsbyandylee”]
What do you think?
Do you think that prayer is a gift for some or a tool for all? Have you been disenchanted with prayer and scriptures like John 15? Does this post encourage you to pray or do you disagree?
Leave a comment and I’ll throw your name into a hat for a free copy of Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet!
And if you want to double your chance to win, share this post on your favorite social media site and leave a comment letting me know. (You’ll get two names in the hat!)
I’ll announce the winner Monday, August 22.
I’m praying for charis grace in our prayers,
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Hi, Andy! Life without prayer is like trying to eat while wearing a straitjacket. (anything that severely confines, constricts, or hinders)
Praying without ceasing is like sauntering through a garden holding hands with the lover of your soul. It’s like reclining at a banquet table being served the most delicious and savory moments of abundant life-giving nourishment.
Hi Jan! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, prayer is wonderful and freeing! I’ve entered you into the giveaway!
Life changes and financial decisions have been plaguing me recently. I’ve been praying for solutions. Two close friends have cancer. I’ve been praying for strength and healing for them. Other friends are missionaries in Turkey. I’ve been praying for their safety and their work for Christ. To read your post and realize the significance that God puts on those prayers that they are stored in heave – beyond that thought, words escape me.
Wow Cindy, you have so much going on. Yes, your prayers are so important to Him. He hears every single word. Blessings! I’ll enter you into the giveaway. Thanks for stopping by!
Andy, I posted my comment on Facebook and I tweeted. This post came on a day when I really need it. I am in deep need of some guidance right now, listening for His voice moment by moment. God always knows where to send me.
Hi Anne! I’m so encouraged this post spoke to you today. I’ll be praying for you. Praying His peace on you. Thanks for stopping by and sharing a lot! You’re entered three times!
The topic of prayer is one that I have been thinking about for the past 6 months. What I have concluded is that prayer changes you, whether they are answered or not, and it is a commitment to come before the throne of grace whether we feel like it or not because God deserves our praises, thanksgiving and our time. It is a self-discipline that is needed and what holds our armor of God together. I have learned that God desires a relationship with me and that is only accomplished by how much time I spend with Him. I have been encouraged these past few months to deepen my prayer life and intercede for others as well as myself and have seen His incredible hand moving. I endeavor to trust, and this is something I must do daily, that God understands my needs and those that I present before Him even better than I do.
Shared your post thru facebook as well.
Amen! Amen! Yami! You go girl. I love hearing the depth of your growth in the Lord. It is obvious that you love Him so much. Keep on keepin’ on. I’ve entered you twice. Thanks for stopping by and sharing on FB. Blessings!
Andy, thanks for this reminder that we do need to listen for God! Prayer is one of the things that continually baffles me. I have learned, however, the difference between praying for God’s will and my hopes. I just have to keep remembering that difference!
Hi Christine! Yes, prayer can be baffling. :) What helps me is resting in His goodness in His answers. He sees into eternity. I can’t. Much love! You’re entered.
Thank you, Andy, for digging deeper in to all of those good hidden meanings in Scripture. I’ve recently purchased The Complete Jewish Bible and can’t wait to study it and dig even more! You’ve taught me so much. Thank you!
**Shared on Facebook**
Hi Diane! I’m excited for you using the Complete Jewish Bible! That’s awesome. It’s so much fun to dig. Thanks for stopping by and sharing on FB. I’ve entered you twice. :)
Dear Andy, Thank you for your thoughtful blog and sharing from your heart.
Yes, I do believe prayers are eternal and that we must have faith (the unseen sometimes) in the love of the Lord who answers our prayers.
Hi Perri! Thanks for stopping by today! I know you are a prayer warrior. I’ve entered you into the giveaway! Blessings!
Thank you so much for this. I needed it!! I am in a tough storm in several very sensitive areas in my life right now. I’m learning to continue to pray and worship while waiting.
This has been shared on my Facebook as well. Would love to have a copy of “My Prayer Closet is Boring”
Thank you for sharing! I’ll enter you again! :)
Hi Brandi! God is so good to lead us to words we need right when we need them. I’ll be praying for you. Keep worshiping. That is huge! I’ve entered you. Blessings!
I remember the first time I experienced direct, immediate answer to a prayer about a small matter. It was so clear, so obvious, that I was thrilled and terrified, awed and amazed. Since that evening decades ago, I trust God hears every one of my prayers and always answers. Answers are in process, visible and invisible, on hold or perhaps, with a firm no. But always heard. My battle is to continue to trust God when I weary of continuing hard situations and the painful growth that happens in those times.
Amen, Amen, Patricia! I think that is the battle for most of us. So good to hear from you today! I’ve entered you into the giveaway. Much love!
Thank you for the words of wisdom! I will now look at abide differently
Hey Tambria! So glad you stopped by today. God’s Word is amazing, isn’t it. Enjoy chewing on what it means to abide. I’ve entered you into the giveaway. :)
Hi Andy, Thank you for this post. I appreciate the word study on abide as it truly expresses the meaning that often we lose in translation. I take away the emphasis that as I wait (abide) in Him, I also allow HIS words to live (abide) in me. Powerful! Blessings to you!
Hi Shonda! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, what an amazing thought of His word sitting in us and with us, marinating. Good, good stuff. God’s Word is alive and active! You are entered into the giveaway! Thank you for the blessings!
Prayer is my lifeline to God. Prayer is hard especially when what I want I know may not be what God wills. My best prayer answer was not what the world would think. It was when my 11 year old daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer. We were told 9 months to a year. My prayer was God please limit her suffering and pain. Rebecca died 4 1/2 months after diagnosis. We had 3 months of doing everything she wanted and only about 3 weeks of bad times. That was a blessing and answer to prayer. Praying thou will be done when all I wanted was a total cure was so difficult but God have me the awesome peace that only He can.
Oh Donna, thank you for sharing this testimony. I am so sorry you lost your daughter. You are an overcomer, a warrior, a daughter to the highest King. Bless you, my friend. I’ve entered you twice for the giveaway counting the comment and share. Much love!
Hi Kim! Thanks for dropping by today! I can’t imagine what I would do if I wasn’t doing what I feel called to do. Love you my friend. You’re entered into the giveaway!
Thank You Andy…
Also, Thank You for being faithful to your calling by Our God.
Andy, you’ve hit the nail on the head again. I love the image that abide, remain, continue conjures. It’s not brief, although sentence prayers are good too. But we need quiet, listening, abiding prayer when we commune with Jesus.
Lovely. Thank you
Hi Cathy! I love the images that come with the meanings for “abide” too. So powerful to think of just walking or sitting with the Lord in our prayers. Thanks for stopping by! I’ve entered you into the giveaway!
Someone recently shared with me that the most powerful prayer is silence before the Lord that way He can share His Heart with you. Meaning sit quietly before Him Shutting your mouth so He can Speak to you. I am learning to do this and it has been powerful as God has been sharing with me. It is a discipline. Learning to wait and Trust Him. Thanks Andy for the study today. Tina
Hi Tina! Prayer does become sweeter when we listen as well as speak. I like to think of it as a dialogue with the Lord rather than a monologue. :) A conversation. You’re entered!
I was surprised as I read your blog this morning to see the quote from my book. Even though I penned these words, I too need to be reminded of this truth. Life sometimes beats us up, discourages us, and draws us away from the very One whom we need most. Prayers seemingly go unanswered, but our hope lies in knowing the heart of our God and the truth of His Word which says He hears our prayers and that they are precious to Him.
Surprise! Isn’t it funny how prayer is something we are continually learning and re-learning. Hope I stir up some interest for your book! I felt it was a God thing and His time. Much love!