Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | January 11, 2022

Recipe For Prayer

“Devote yourself to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2

Of all the words we can utter, prayer is the most important. With our prayers, we have fellowship with our Lord, we confess our sin, we praise God, we call on our sympathetic High Priest, and we intercede for one another. The Bible gives us lots of guidance on how to pray—Jesus Himself provided us with a beautiful model prayer (Matthew 6:8-15). There are countless “prayer directions” throughout the Old and New Testament, examples and exhortation that provide plenty of fodder for using our words in a holy manner.

Here are just three simple steps that create a fabulous recipe for prayer—simple, yes, but very challenging for even the most mature of believers.

Step 1: BE FAITHFUL. We’re told to pray all the time and in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18; Romans 12:12). And we’re to be courageously persistent. It’s no shock that God doesn’t always answer our prayers immediately—or the way we want Him to. (And I’m so very grateful for that, aren’t you—how often do we know best in our requests to God?) Praying can seem one-directional—us to God—but praying persistently is what makes it a two-way street. The more fervently and doggedly we pray (think wrestling with God), the more we are affected. It prepares our hearts for the answer God has in store as our spirit is aligned with His will. It’s His will we ultimately want anyway, right?

Step 2: BE VIGILANT. Jesus told His disciples to watch and pray (Matthew 26:41), and Paul reminds us to keep alert (Colossians 4:2). I don’t know about you, but sometimes my prayers can be listless—or, actually, kind of “listfull”, as it’s easy for me to go through my prayers like I’m checking off a to-do list. Instead, let’s be focused and specific! Instead of praying for “Jane”, let’s pray for Jane’s distinctive situation and needs. And that, sweet friend, requires we ask people how we can specifically be praying for them. (Again, more effort and vigilance, but oh so powerful.)

Step 3: BE THANKFUL. No matter the circumstances of our lives that are directing our cries to the Father, we can give thanks alongside our requests. I think of David’s Psalms, where he complains, rages, begs for rescue, and calls for judgment on his enemies…but his prayers always come back to worshipping God and thanking Him for who He is and all He’s done. This is a great example for us to follow. Gratefulness in our prayers recalls God’s faithfulness in our life, reminding us that His love never fails. Thankfulness also reminds us of His greatness. Seeing a gorgeous sunrise and saying, “Thank You, Lord,” speaks to the fact that He made everything, and He is Sovereign over all our circumstances.

So, friend, let’s pray without ceasing—make talking to God throughout the day like breathing. Let’s pray with vigilance and specificity. And, in all our prayers (and in all circumstances), let’s take a foundational stance of thankfulness.

Lord, as we launch into this new year, let us have a renewed focus on prayer—on using our words to connect with You at a deeper level and have our lives become more aligned with Your will.


For His Glory,

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life


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