"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places." – Ephesians 1:17-20 ESV
I had forgotten how to pray. It was my first Moms In Prayer group and we bowed our heads and hearts before the Lord to lift our children to him. Tears leaked from my eyes as I sat listening to the other women pray for my child. My pulse pounded in tune to my rapid heart rate as I sat humbled before God. I had forgotten how powerful prayer could be and I realized how I had succumbed to a fatalistic view on it.
Fatalism had crept into my heart because of unanswered prayers, prayers long waited for, and prayers that felt unheard. I had taken the concept of God's sovereignty too far and exchanged faith for the belief that God would do his will whether I prayed or not. This led to me not praying or at least praying less than wholeheartedly.
In Paul's prayer to the Ephesians, we discover God's highest desire for every follower of Christ. He longs for us to know his Son better, to receive more wisdom, insight, understanding, and to experience greater power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Forgetting to pray or giving up on prayer leads us further away from God's heart for us.
The disciples lived and learned from Jesus, and they still experienced some confusion. They needed the parables explained to them. They couldn't quantify how Jesus did miraculous acts. Sometimes he touched someone, and their miracle happened, or someone touched him and power flowed out of him. Other times he used his spit to make mud to give sight and for blind men, sight came through a command. Yet, God longs to give us more understanding about Jesus. Prayer is one way we can know him more.
In the book of Romans, we read that hope does not disappoint us because hope is a person and Jesus is his name. And in Hebrews 11:1 we read that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, of things not seen. What does Jesus want to do in our life? He can give us wisdom, insight, and understanding, but we need to press in close to him, to rely on him, and to hope in him. Prayer grows our hope.
This life is hard. We face difficulties of varying degrees daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Some of us struggle with debilitating physical, emotional, or relational pain. We know we have the victory because Jesus says we do, but when it feels like we're on the losing end of a daily battle with pain, that victory feels out of reach. But God. He makes a way for us to know him and his power. He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us and to help us walk in power and victory.
Thank you for that you gave us prayer as a way to communicate with you. Forgive me for treating it with carelessness. Forgive my fatalism. You long for me to pray in faith, believing and trusting that you will reveal yourself to me. Will you open my eyes to understand what's happening in front of me and behind the scenes? Give me the power of your Spirit so that I can believe that my prayers matter. Pour out your wisdom on me so that I can know how to pray and what to pray. Your Spirit in me is the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead and I long for you to flow through me continually so that I may be pure, refined, and prepared for your purpose for my life. Thank you for hearing my prayer and loving me.
In Jesus' name, Amen
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Jessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God's transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn't have to define or determine your future when placed in God's healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.
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