You Can Pray


Photo of Jesus holding a key in his hand. When I was a little girl my parents taught me to pray. Our family prayed at meal times, bed times before starting on trips and at family gatherings. At church there were other prayers that were for specific occasions such as blessings, baptisms, ordinations and for those who were sick. Those types of prayers were given only by men who had the proper authority.

I faithfully said my prayers at night and when asked I prayed at mealtimes. My prayers were very structured and sounded like everyone else's prayers. They covered the basics and seemed repetitive almost rehearsed,1 but that was alright because I prayed like I was supposed to.

In the rebellious years of my life my prayers were more heartfelt, but not out of a desire to communicate with the Lord, rather a desperate plea for immediate help. They were, "Lord help me, I'm in trouble." Graciously he answered my prayers, or so I thought. I was getting what I prayed for but was that really what was best for me? Was the Lord really answering my prayers or was he allowing me the opportunity to see for myself that my way was not always the best.2

At times I would feel guilty asking the Lord for anything. I knew that the choices I was making would not make him happy. Deep down I was disappointed in myself and I felt that the Lord must really feel the same disappointment in me. I was his little black sheep that He was always having to rescue, the one who was bringing shame on the rest of the herd.

When the two men at the hospital asked if they could pray with us it really surprised me. I had never experienced total strangers praying for me. They didn't need to lay hands on us to pray they just closed their eyes and thanked the Lord that they had found the one He sent them for. Then they prayed for us. They sounded like they were talking with their best friend. The tone of their voice was calm, their words sincere and their request was made with confidence and expectancy.3   The peace I felt while they prayed and afterwards gave me hope and the heartfelt words stayed on my mind long after the men left.

As mentioned in Brock's Story a time came that he was unresponsive and almost in a critical situation. Brock desperately needed help and I called out, "Lord help him, he's in trouble." Honestly I felt that my prayer would bounce off the ceiling, why did I think that the Lord would help when I had made such a mess of things.4

Through that experience I was starting to see prayer differently. It didn't need to be structured or rehearsed, given at specific times or by those in authority. I could pray! I mean really pray with heartfelt words, with joy, with tears. I could ask the Lord why and not be afraid of being struck by lightning. My prayers started to be a little more frequent and definitely more sincere.

When I became a believer, I really started seeing prayer as my opportunity to speak with the Lord personally. At times I would imagine Him sitting right beside me while I prayed. That definitely helped me stay focused and not ramble on with meaningless words just to be praying. I also started to understand that all along the Lord has used prayer as a way of staying in touch with a wayward child. He was glad to hear my voice each and every time I called home, but he gave me the space and time to make my own choice about building a relationship with Him.

Once that choice was made I realized that prayer was the key. The better our communication was, the better our relationship would be. As I studied more about prayer I learned that He knows our requests before we ever ask and that our prayers are always heard.5   The stronger our relationship became the more I knew and trusted Him and I began to start praying for His will and not my own, knowing that His will6 for my life is always best.

As kids we would duck and turn to avoid being asked to pray, now being asked to pray, to talk directly to God is a privilege. We can pray anywhere, anytime, for anyone and for any circumstance.7   I enjoy seeing prayer requests on Facebook because it shows that we can pray together for others and we can ask each other to join with us in our need for prayer.8   How awesome is that!

I look forward to starting my day by thanking the Lord that I'm alive, that his mercies9 are new every day and for His incredible creation. Seeing His artwork in the sunrise10 reminds me that He is waiting to be invited into my day and sooner that invitation is given through prayer, the sooner I can be about what He has planned11 for me and know that He is with me every step of the way. He is as close as a prayer.


1 Matthew 6:5-7  "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
2 Psalm 106:15  "So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a leanness of soul."   KJV
3 1 John 5:14-15  "This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him."
4 Philippians 4:6-7  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. "
5 Matthew 6:8  "...your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
6 Romans 12:2  "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."
  Micah 6:8  "And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
7 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  "Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. "
8 Matthew 18:20  "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
9 Lamentations 3:22  "Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
10 2 Samuel 23:4  "he is like the morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth. "
  Habbakkah 3:4  "His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden."
11 Jeremiah 29:11-13  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

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1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  NIV

" Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. "

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