**Friends, welcome to my very first 7-day series on prayer. While I’d love to talk exclusively on prayer in this one post I’m afraid you’d all be reading an essay rather than a blog post and the sure way for you to walk away with the teachings of this post is to go at it one day at a time.
A morning prayer is a great way to start your day. It allows you to seek God’s plan for the day ahead and prepare yourself for His goodness. Whether you need encouragement, peace, strength, wisdom, happiness, or patience God can meet you when you come before Him with your head and heart bowed. Let His Word go before you everyday of the week as you pray because a life full of prayer is the secret to a happy life. However, prayerlessness is the great enemy of true happiness. If we give up on prayer, or refuse to pray, we surrender our seat at the throne of grace.
However, it is not just the act of praying – the words, knees bowed that bring results, but the that the heart bows along with our knees. Some of us who do pray can find ourselves in danger of forfeiting prayer’s fullness as we fall into stale ruts of familiar words and repeated requests. We wake up each day, say the same prayers, and wonder why it doesn’t feel more real and life-changing. The problem is that while prayer should be our heart’s cry we distance our heart from the act and rely solely on our words.
There are also some of us who walk through the valley with our heads down and our mouths shut. We find no strength or rescue in prayer. But the Bible speaks too often and too highly of prayer for us to let our temporary situations pull us away from what brings us closest to God. Yes, we may know the Lord’s Prayer by heart, but those five verses are not the only guide we have to help us pray. It is the template. God has given us many different routes for getting out of our daily ruts through prayer. He has given us the tools of prayer through His Word. Take Psalm 86, for example. Here is the first of seven simple daily prayers drawn from David’s prayer.
Hear my cry
“Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace” (Psalm 86:6).
David wrote an entire book of songs/prayers to God and the common theme for all was his plea with God to listen (Psalm 4, 17, 27, 28, 30). David never took the ever-present help of God for granted. He never took it as something that is handed out to all without any work done on our part.
God Almighty, the sovereign and infinite, Maker of heaven and earth, hears your prayers. But, don’t take God’s ears for granted. Acknowledge His holiness and your sin when you pray. Think to yourself if you heard the same plea from a friend who promised never to make the same mistake ever again after you warned them and continues to do so. Imagine they call to talk to you, never asking for you to hear them out – instead they assume because you’re their friend you’d automatically give them your ear, your forgiveness and your advice. Wrong. We make the same mistake with God. We must plea for His ear, His forgiveness, His answer. We must not presume he will listen, but for Jesus’s sake we must ask him to hear one more prayer. It is the act of asking that he longs for, that is not only done through prayer but in asking that he hears our prayers.
A prayer of David.
1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
Before you pray today remember to ask God to “give ear” – to first listen to your prayer, from there make your requests known.
Tune in for Day 2 tomorrow with a focus on preservation.
P.S If anyone has any prayer requests please make them known via comments or email and I’d be pleased to make my requests for you known.