January 16 – Prayers of Jesus

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:17

One thing that not a lot of people may not know about me is that I am very much an introvert. Sure, part of my job is being around people but that doesn’t mean it comes naturally to me. This past fall, Kelly, the kids and I went into the fair, as is customary for Wayne County residents. We weren’t more than 20 yards past the gate and I could feel my chest getting tight with anxiety.

It’s even worse when I have to talk in front of a lot of people.

One time, I led a portion of our Communion services here at Grace. I had written out what I was going to say and had rehearsed it over and over again. As I was sitting at the table getting ready to take the stage, I couldn’t help but think about the lights turning on and everyone turning from their tables to look at me. I was uneasy and sweating. It must have been obvious because Kelly leaned over and said, “Don’t worry, you’re going to be fine.”

As I walked on stage, I began to pray. As a pastor, your main goal, in communicating, is for people to see Jesus through you. You don’t want people to say, “Good job” but, instead, how God worked in their lives through your words.

I was trying to re-center my thinking as I went to the middle of the stage and, with trembling hands, set my notes on the table. I reached to my hip to turn on my mic and prayed the very simple words:

“Your words not mine, God”

Prayer is a very common practice for believers but it’s easily overlooked. In its simplest form, prayer is a conversation with God. However, rather than it being a common practice, we tend to only utilize it when we need something from God, as though He is a magic genie that is going to grant only a select number of wishes.

Rather, prayer should be used to help change our perspective. God has a holy perspective on life and prayer is you asking Him to realign your thinking.

It’s one thing to talk about our praying, but did you know that, throughout His time on earth, Jesus practiced the future words of Paul to continually pray?

Over the next several days, we are going to be studying some prayers of Jesus. Before we do, I want to challenge you to think of your own prayer life.

In what spirit do you pray? Is it to get something or to change your perspective to a holy one?

What do you most often find yourself praying for?

How often do you pray? Would you say that you are anywhere close to praying without ceasing?

Jake Lawson

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