Yesterday, while walking to my car for the umph-teenth time before church started (aka Church Musician Syndrome), I said, “Good morning,” to a sweet woman getting into her car. She asked me if I knew a person on our church’s intercessory prayer list. I did. So, we discussed in further detail why I added this person to the list so that the prayer team would have more details to pray. Not that they need them, but, still, sometimes it helps us to know exactly what to prayer for…or against.

She also went on to add that she wished our church members would take the list of names with them and pray throughout the week. How easy it would be to lift up this list of names once a day struck me, so I wholeheartedly agreed to join forces with these powerful prayer warriors and pray every day for those in need.

So today I prayed.

“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 others. Truly I tell you, 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.

“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:5-14 (NIV)

Was I supposed to tell you? According to Matthew 6, we are to do these things in secret. I’m not telling you to prayer for my own personal glory. I’m telling you to pray to simply…

Urge you to pray.

Do you feel that God hears your prayers? He does! Even if right now you don’t see them coming into fruition. Even if now you don’t see the victory at the end, He hears.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

~Matthew 7:7-12 (NIV)

Ask. Just ask. The Bible says to ask for God’s will, and to keep asking.

And, knocking.

And, seeking.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

~Luke 18:1-8 (NIV)

And, as Matthew 6 says, your prayers do not have to be babbling over and over as the pagans do to be heard. A simple prayer — a few simple words — reaches the heart of God.

Don’t give up. Trust Him. Seek Him. He listens.

Heavenly Father God, thank you that you always hear our prayers. It is that easy to speak with you. You always listen. We love you. Amen.

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