What is your prayer life?


By the Rev. Eileen Hix - Your pastor speaks



Our prayer life says so much about who we are. For the last several years I have been putting together prayer rooms with interactive stations for Kidmin Nation MegaCon, a conference in Nashville, Tennessee. It is an international conference for over 2,000 children’s leaders and pastors. While spending time in the prayer room many people came in and out and gave me the opportunity to talk with them about how they were doing and about their faith life. It is a Holy moment when someone lets you into their world and I do not take that lightly. Many were feeling empty and drained and shared that they were so busy doing the work of the church they were not able to spend time on their own personal faith growth.

Many of us feel the exact same way that these men and women were sharing with me. The last couple of years have been hard on us and it doesn’t look like it is going to get easier anytime soon. I got a new tee shirt people seem to love when I wear it. It says, “Normal is not coming back but Jesus is”. I’m not even sure what we want back!! But we are missing something and I’m going to respectfully suggest it is deep prayer life.

F.B. Meyer, the author of a great book, The Secret of Guidance, said, “The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but un-offered prayer.” Un-offered prayer! Instead of it being something we do every day, like breathing, eating, walking and talking, we save it for important things or don’t find the time. Prayer seems to have become like that little glass covered box on the wall that says, “Break in case of emergency.” It is true that so very often we associate prayer with crises in our life. I have family who are not believers and when something happens, I get a call, “I know you pray; can you pray for….” Absolutely I will! And I’ll pray for you, too!!

I read somewhere in an article, that I wish I could credit because I think it is a fantastic thought. “Prayer is, for the most part, an untapped resource, an unexplored continent where untold treasure remains to be unearthed.” Prayer is talked about probably more than any other discipline and practiced the least.

Yet for Christians, it remains one of the greatest gifts our Lord has given us outside of Salvation. The opportunity and ability to spend time with Christ himself! That he wants to hear from us and that He is still speaking to us if we would only listen.

The disciple Paul was somebody who understood prayer and its power. Prayer was a part of Paul’s life, and he took it for granted that it would be a part of the life of every Christian. You cannot really be a good Christian and not pray, just like you cannot have a good marriage if you don’t talk to your spouse. But in both circumstances, you will be miserable without sharing with each other. Prayer is the pipeline of communication between God and his people, between God and those who love Him.

There are several things prayer does. It deepens faith and our partnership with God. As we pray we become aware of how God might use us to answer the prayer, how he might involve us in ways we had not understood before. Prayer forces us to wait. Part of prayer is waiting for God’s will and timing. It is hard waiting and sometimes it is hard accepting the answers when they come. But, it is God’s timing not ours. Prayer opens our spiritual eyes enabling us to get in touch with what God is doing and how He is doing it. That we might see things we are blinded to without prayer, because prayer is communication. We speak to God, God answers us, speaking to us, showing us. Prayer aligns our heart with God’s heart adjusting our thoughts, emotions and actions. Prayer enables us to move forward and be His hands, His feet, and grace in the world.

What does your prayer life look like today? Are you persistent in prayer? How much time have you spent thanking God for all He has done for you? And who are you praying for? Is there a burden on your heart to see God’s kingdom expand, to see His will done?

Dear Lord, help me – today and every day – to find faith in the midst of the chaos. Give me the desire and ability to see you, hear you, talk to you, and give thanks to you. And as I do, I pray that I will draw nearer and nearer to you, and that my faith will grow as I understand in new, deeper ways, your will. And so much more. Amen.

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By the Rev. Eileen Hix

Your pastor speaks

The writer is the associate pastor at Sidney First United Methodist Church in Sidney.

The writer is the associate pastor at Sidney First United Methodist Church in Sidney.