“We seek out panaceas to resolve the conflicts of the world and to heal our own personal and private wounds. Many are consulting the psychiatrist, the doctor, the minister, and anyone else who will listen. But we do not seem to recognize that the great need in our own personal lives is prayer. Prayer is the greatest neglected resource that we have; it’s a power that we simply are not using today.” – J. Vernon McGee (emphasis mine)
Today is the National Day of Prayer, and so I want to encourage each of you to pray. We need to be on our knees for our country, our cities, and our homes instead of rioting, protesting, and cursing each other. Oh, how much could change if we would just take advantage of the resource that’s been provided to us!
However, be careful; prayer is nothing but idle words and wishful thinking, motivational self-talk at best, if the Object of our prayer is not God.
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him (Jesus), that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” – 1 John 5:13-15 (emphasis mine)
Pray, but go to God in prayer. Prayer doesn’t change things – He does.
When you pray, pray with intent. Don’t pray in generalities; be specific. If you don’t already have a list of specifics, let me suggest a few to get you started. Let the Holy Spirit guide you after these.
- Praise God for the opportunity to pray. Thank God that He even allows us into His presence.
- “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name.” – Psalm 100:4
- Confess your sins to God, and repent.
- “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” – Psalm 32:5
- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
- Pray for your President (or Prime Minister), your regional officials, and your local government leaders by name, if possible.
- “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-4
- Pray for Wisdom.
- “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with [my] whole heart.” – Psalm 119:34
- “Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [therefore] get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” – Proverbs 4:7
“A man is powerful on his knees.” – Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983)