Prayer - what comes to your mind when you hear that word? A rushed sentence before a meal, a quick word before you go to sleep... asking for help when things are hard.. these are all probably things that come rushing into your head when you hear the word PRAYER, but none of these things fully encompasses what payer is. Our lives are so full and busy we often rush through praying or skip it all together because we rationalize that God can see us as we walk through our day - and He knows what we are thinking and what is already in our hearts - so why pray? The reason we rationalize our thoughts this way is because we don't understand what prayer is. Prayer is so much more than asking God for help in our situations, or to bless our food - Prayer is how we communicate to God.
Who of you would say that your best friend and you never talk - and that the only times you do talk are when you need something? Sounds ridiculous, right? There is no way your best friend would put up with you only talking to him/her when you needed something, because they want to talk to you too - and be able to have a friendship, a relationship with you. God, like your best friend also wants to talk to you - and He wants to hear from you, and not just when you're rushing off to bed or before a meal and you jokingly say 'grace' before stuffing your face. Yet we've all been there, not making time for our God - our Father, and telling ourselves it's okay, it doesn't really matter, does it? Just like how when you only talk to your friend when you need something, the same is true when we treat God this way, our relationship with Him suffers. So yes, prayer matters.
So where should we start? How do we pray? Jesus lays it out in Matthew 6: 5 - 14 on how we should pray, but if that seems like even too much for you just start small and work your way up to bigger/longer prayers, simply start by saying 'Hey God,' or 'Father,' or 'Jesus' whatever feels like the right way to address our Saviour. Remember though, our God is a relational God - He isn't stiff or prim and proper, and always saying 'Dear God' can make it feel like He isn't close or our Father, so try out different ways of talking to Him, like 'Papa,' or even 'Pops.'
What should we pray about? Everything. Protection over our day, for more love for others - forgiveness of our sins, encouragement, that you would have boldness to speak to that kid at school who doesn't know God. We can thank God for the things that bless us, and ask for help when things are going wrong - we can ask God to heal the sick, pray for His miraculous hand.
When should we pray? The scriptures say to pray all the time, without ceasing. When we read this, it's possible that we feel a little overwhelmed and exhausted, but let's think of it in a different way - Invite God into your day, and when you have a moment (maybe Grade 12's its when you're driving to school or work, maybe Grade 6 - 8's its when you're at track and field or sitting on the bench waiting for your turn to jump into whatever sport you're playing...) and in those moments - talking to God about your day.
What if it seems like God isn't answering you when you pray? Well - that can be hard. God doesn't just say 'yes,' or 'no,' sometimes He says 'wait.' In those situations pray for discernment from the Holy Spirit that you would understand if God is saying yes or no or wait. Remember God has a plan for your life, a good plan - and He is our Father and sometimes like a Father would - He will say no to something you ask for because He has something better in mind for you OR He might say wait - because it isn't the right time. God can see the whole picture of your life, but we can only see fragments, of what is happening right this second. God wants to bless you, so when you're in those moments of waiting or God saying 'no' just remember there is a reason, even if you can't see it.
What if you need prayer and it seems too big for you to face on your own? Well, that is why we are hear for you. You can reach out to any of your leaders here at Rev - or if you want to remain anonymous then you can submit a prayer request through the Rev App. Sometimes a situation can seem so overwhelming and we get it, we've all been there - but we want to pray with you, we want to walk through life with you.
Today - remember to pause and pray, whatever you are facing, wherever you are, God is with you, and He like your best friend, would love to hear from you. Invite God into your day, and whenever you get a moment - talk to Him, He's waiting to hear your voice.