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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

All & Always

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:18

You can have different reactions to someone saying that we need to pray. Practically no one’s going to pull a Nancy Reagan and “Just Say No[1]” to praying. But then again, very few people jump up and down with excitement over an invitation to pray.

For some reason, people seem to like to ask me to pray about something for them. The assumption is that I’ll say OK and move on. But being me, I do something different. Something unexpected. I change the request into action. I say, “Of course. Let’s pray right now.”

That throws some people off. They thought that I’d put the prayer request in my pocket and pray somewhere else. Pray some other time. But my thinking is that if we pray right then, they know that I prayed

Being told that we are to pray on all occasions is a nice, general way of saying that we are to reach out to God at different points along the way. Like praying every time a commuter bus or subway comes to a stop. And that’s a nice way of looking at it.

But I think it’s trying to say something a little bit different. Yes, we absolutely are to pray on all occasions. All the time. At every stop along the path of life. Constant, intimate communication with our heavenly Father is the foundation for all of life. But not all of life is the same.

Sometimes life is just rolling along. Sometimes it seems like life is going really well without a lot of work or trouble. Sometimes life just seems to be stuck. Going nowhere. Sometimes life is hard. An uphill climb. Everything takes more energy. More concentration. More effort.

And then there are those times just before something big is about to happen. You believe that a change is getting close. Things are coming to a head. There is a sense of anticipation that life is about to come to a fork in the road. This is just the right moment and situation for something to happen. Something to change.

And that’s how we’re supposed to pray. Pray with anticipation. Pray with excitement. God is in control, and no one can stand against him. When he says that he’s going to do something, it gets done. Period. Since God is in control, things are going to change. And we can depend on God acting and changing things.

Yes, sometimes life can see dull. Even boring. One day followed by another where you don’t see anything dramatic changing. Your life has a pattern. But pattern is just another, fancier word for rut. You’ve done the same thing over and over so many times that you’re stuck and can’t seem to get out.

Which brings up the question, how’s your prayer life going? Are you and your prayer life living in a rut? Is it dull or filled with excitement and anticipation? Are you praying while sitting back or are you praying on the edge of your seat? Are you praying, just putting in time or are you praying with wonder and energy as you look forward to what God’s going to do next?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

Ephesians 3:20

If this promise is true, if we believe that God actually is able to do more than we can ask or imagine, then prayer is a really thrilling thing. What could be more exciting than having our heavenly Father, this great and all-powerful God, listening to us and answering our prayers?

Yes, God is able. And God is willing. There is nothing that can stop him. Nothing and no one can slow him down. But we have a part to play. We have to not just say the words, but really mean it when we say at the end of every request, “not my will but yours be done.[2]

Are we letting God’s power into our lives? And once in, are we letting his power work inside of us? Are we cooperating with God, allowing him to power us? Is he powering our words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes throughout the day?

If you’re like me, the answer way too often is no. I’m the one who’s holding God back. He wants to do something amazing, but I refuse to let him work in and through me.

God wants to do some incredible things in and around us. His power is unlimited. His knowledge is overwhelming. His plan and purpose are perfect.

Why are we unwilling to let him work within us? Maybe it’s seen by our friends as too different. Too old fashioned. Too narrowminded. Too religious.

So, are you going to get in the game and do you part? God is ready, willing, and able. Our part is to pray on all occasions, with all kinds of prayer, for all God’s people. Let’s get to work.

Noodling Questions

  • On a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), how would you rate your prayer life? Why?

  • What’s holding you back from those “more than all we ask or imagine” prayers?

  • How’s God’s power working inside you this week? Why?

[1] [2] Luke 22:24

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