Finding Courage in Prayer
We are often faced with challenges so substantial in nature that our lives are shaken to their very core and our spirituality and relationship with God takes a blow. Romans 12:11-12 says, “Keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Christ’s experience facing His greatest challenge is shared in Hebrews 5:7-8. The verses tell of how He gained the victory through prayer to His Father: “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered....” There is a unique bond throughout the life stories we read in scripture among adversity, suffering, prayer, and victory. Here are three facets of this phenomena.
Prayer leads us to acknowledge that God rules over us. A conversation with God is so much different in nature than a conversation with a trusted friend, a trained counselor, or a professional problem solver. You can’t approach the throne of grace without believing at some level, even if it’s a mustard seed level, that God not only hears your plea, but is able to do something about it. In the book Steps to Christ, author and Adventist pioneer, Ellen White writes, “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.”
Deepening the Relationship
Prayer leads us to dig deeper in the storehouse of His love. You can’t be steadfast in prayer without striving to enhance your relationship with the Creator. This deepens your perception of His ways and means. Many Christians are trapped in neutral, unable to shift into a gear that would propel them toward victory in Jesus. We become complacent in either our sin or our indifference. Ephesians 2:6-7 says, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Those are the true riches we find when we dig in the storehouse of His love!
When we engage in prayer, Satan has no recourse but to back away in recognition that the outcome of the battle has already been decided in Christ Jesus. It was true in the Garden of Gethsemane and it is true for us today. Revelation 1:5-6 puts it this way: “and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.” Christ has already overcome! You need only to be with Him. Commit to let Him live in your heart and guide you through life today.