His jersey barely hid his bulging muscles. He was 250 pounds and started as a defensive lineman for the local high school football team. He dwarfed his youth pastor who was earnestly listening to him. I unexpectedly intruded upon this intimate conversation when I entered the room. As I quickly turned to leave, I overhead a portion of their conversation.
“I don’t know what to do!”
“You know what to do. You must pray about this!”
From the corner of my eye, I saw the hulking teen collapse in tears and into the arms of his youth pastor. The issue was clearly painful for both and I pondered the advice the pastor gave to the teen. Was prayer enough or was this just something that Christians say to one another to sound pious and caring, a pretext for practical advice?
… if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
Jesus would spend entire evenings in prayer before making critical decisions. He awoke early each morning to spend time with God. In the last moments of His life, as He hung on the Cross, He prayed for those who persecuted Him. After the Resurrection and before He ascended to Heaven, He prayed for all His followers. At this very moment, Jesus is in Heaven praying and interceding for all believers who know Him. Jesus openly prayed so all would know that He was completely dependent and obedient to following God’s will in His life. The entire Bible is replete with examples of the great saints of the Bible turning to prayer during times of distress. God answers all prayers and gives all believers the answers to the problems they face. It may not be the answer we are expecting but it is the answer we need. It may not be immediate but it will be answered. He will open the door and smooth a pathway for us to resolve our problems with His guidance.
Jesus Christ prayed continuously to God, His Father. He lived a sinless life and showed everyone that by following His example, and confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, we will be adopted as fellow heirs to God’s blessings.
We must always pray to God. It is not a pretext for sound advice or a pious aphorism. It is necessary and sufficient for a life of fellowship with God.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.