Alexis Carrel, a renowned surgeon, won a Nobel Prize in 1912 for his contributions to science. He wrote about seeing the power of prayer heal people from disease in a miraculous way. Then he added, “But a constant, quieter miracle takes place hourly in the hearts of men and women who have discovered that prayer supplies them with a steady flow of sustaining power in their daily lives.”
Have you discovered that sustaining power of prayer in your own life? Let’s face it: prayer is hard work. It’s hard work because we would often rather be doing “something” than “nothing.” And when we look at things in a practical, carnal sense, prayer can seem like we’re doing nothing much.
But would Jesus have instructed His followers to pray if praying was not really accomplishing anything? Would Jesus Himself have spent so much time praying if it were not an effective, powerful practice? Of course not!
Time and time again in Scripture, Jesus set an example of a healthy prayer life. He stayed up late to pray (Mark 6:46; Luke 6:12). He got up early to pray (Mark 1:35). He left the crowds and found a place of solitude to pray (Matthew 14:23). He also encouraged His disciples to pray.
So, if prayer is so important, why don’t we do it more often? Here are a few possible reasons. (And you can probably think of more.)
It is not possible to briefly state all that prayer is and all that it can do – but suffice it to say that prayer is connecting with the Lord of all Creation. Prayer is communicating with God, the only one with power enough to answer every prayer of your heart, and the only one with wisdom enough to know what prayers should be answered, and how, and when.
So, if you’re discouraged by your prayer life today, we want to encourage you to take up this age-old, tried-and-true practice once again. There’s no better time to start than a day honored for prayer: National Prayer Day! And you can start simply. Just talk with your heavenly Father in the name of His Son. He will hear, and He will answer in the way that He knows is best.
Lord, teach me to pray. Help me to replace my worries with prayer and self-reliance with surrender to you. I want to seek your heart before I seek my desires. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.