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To Pray or NOT to Pray
by Michael Daniel

Dear Michael,

I have been reading some of the things you have written and they speak to me. Christ in you to Christ in me. I wondered if you had written anything else on prayer. I struggle so much with that. How to pray. I feel silly in my homeroom when my students ask every day for the same thing. And I repeat it every morning. A friend of mine once said that my life is a prayer. But I guess I want to spend more time in prayer and I am at a loss as to how to do it.
Sincerely,

_________

____________________________________________________________________


Dear _________,

It is so kind of you to write. I am thankful that God has spoken to you.
After all he is the One that writes these things, it is merely a physical hand that pens them. A vessel is all that I am.

As for the matter of prayer, you'll be happy to know that you are in good company when it comes to struggling with it. Would you believe that the Apostle Paul himself did? I quote him from the book of Romans chapter 8, verses 26 through 30.

"And in the same way the Spirit helps our weakness for we do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He Who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the Will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work for good to those who love God, to those called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. And whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; And whom He justified, these He also glorified."

Prayer is not something we are obligated to do, it is something that we can't help but do. Praying without ceasing has confused and burdened many children of God because instead of being something that happens spontaneously in the Spirit, it has been perverted into something we must do in the flesh. Nothing could be further from the truth. Note that in the previous quote, Paul says that even though we don't know how to pray, God searches the HEARTS according to HIS WILL. That means that nothing has to come out of minds or mouths for God to be moved. He moves because He has chosen to move not because we manipulate Him to do so by ANY means, even prayer.

Many will ask; "So why should we pray at all if it doesn't produce any results?

Ah, but it does. Prayer is faith in action and is prompted by our Father and actually given to us by God. When we pray outwardly it is simply the external expression of what God Himself has compelled us to pray inwardly by His Spirit within us.

"Okay, if prayer is faith in action and is given to us by God, how do I get the faith to pray?"

The answer is glorious and wonderful and effortless. Yes...EFFORTLESS!

"For by Grace you have been saved through faith; and THAT not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created IN Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should (WILL) walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10

Thank God we don't have to struggle to get what we've already got. Faith, prayer, love; all are manifestations of the Spirit of God within us. We don't have to struggle, even though we do at times, and that doesn't bother our Loving Father one tiny bit. If it didn't bother God that His precious Son struggled with prayer on the eve of His death, it most certainly doesn't bother Him when we can't find the words.

Know that you are a saint and child of God in Christ, and amidst the chaos and confusion of this world Jesus Christ Himself is interceding for you every single moment. How wonderful is this truth!

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

God reveals to us what He wants to when He wants to. When, in His perfect timing, He wants to say something it will flow into you and from you like rivers of Living Water.

God bless you in all He does through you.

Eternally in Christ,
Michael Daniel