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  • Writer's pictureCedrick Carter

Pray With Me!

Prayer. Something every believer does right.


Oops, sorry. Let me rearrange some of the punctuation in that sentence.


Prayer: something every believer does, right?

I will say this ... it's something we cannot do enough!


Here’s a question: when you consider the act of prayer, how much is really enough, or too much, or is there even such a thing? A friend of mine recently posed a question to those gathered in a room for an hour of prayer and intercession hosted by our church. He asked, “Wouldn’t it be great if we, as believers, spent more time praying for the will of GOD to be done, rather than just praying for the things WE want to be done?"


We often do spend a great deal of time praying for ourselves, our family situations, and the things that directly affect us. We also find ourselves praying much more when we find ourselves in tight places. And to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, God’s Word encourages us to not be consumed with worry, nor to be anxious for anything. God cares for us; He is our good and faithful Father and we absolutely should make our requests known to Him. While all that is true, I feel the need to dig a little deeper.


I believe the true challenge coming from our brother is, could there be more for which we should be praying than merely the things that directly impact us? Absolutely YES! So then, how and for what should we pray? I would say, for one, we should pray from the same posture and motivation from which Jesus prayed. He prayed often. He prayed whenever He was moved with compassion for others. He prayed as He was directed by the Holy Spirit. He prayed simply for the need, desire, and privilege to pray. Jesus knew His purpose in the world, and He knew the only answer for the world was in His message of love and salvation. Jesus prayed not because He was in need, but because He was in relationship. Ah! That's it! That was His motivation. He cared about others. He cared about us!


Is that even possible for us to do though? If we pray like Jesus prayed, would we have time to do anything else? Well, Jesus didn't JUST pray. For me, the hope is that by praying as He did, we’d have less time to do less productive things; and that we would be more productive in the time remaining. And here is the beauty and rhythm found in the body of Christ: when each of us is praying somewhere, more of us will be praying everywhere. Through Christ we are united as one. When we are all praying together there will be a constant rhythm of intercession rising from the earth that will have a great effect on the world. We accomplish so much more together and continuously than in just pockets of prayer here and there around the world.


So, bottom line, I believe the challenge is to not fill our times of prayer with just the immediate needs around us, but to also consider the things which may not be right in our faces. Rather, let's put our faces in the Word and discover the patterns and instructions for prayer we will find there.


Back to my original question - how much is too much? Forget about it, just pray! Pray as you are moved with compassion for others. Pray as you see or come to know the needs of others. And when you hear of other's needs, it's nice, I guess, to send them your "thoughts and prayers", but include times of fervent, reverent prayer as well. Pray for the things that are occurring outside of your own front yard. This is true “Christ culture”, placing the needs of others ahead of our own. This is the Kingdom of God. Seek it first, and the righteousness of the Father, and He promises to add to us everything we will need.


Last, I believe one of the greatest prayers ever prayed by Jesus is recorded in chapter seventeen of John’s Gospel. Jesus says, “Father I am not asking that you to take them out of the world, but that you would preserve them as they live in the world. Make them one as you and I are one. He goes on to ask, “... not only these, but all of those who will ever believe on me”. Jesus not only prayed for the disciples that walked with Him then, but also for us who walk with Him today!


My prayer today is that you would pray with me! That together we can be the fulfillment of the prayer of Jesus, the Word, Himself. That we’d be one, in the world, loving one another, praying for one another, and praying for the world. Amen!


Philippians 4:6-7

Matthew 6:25-34


John 17:1-26

1 Peter 5:6-7

Colossians 3:12-17

 

The author: It is with honor I welcome today’s author, Pastor Cedrick Carter, of Life Elevation Church in Avondale, AZ.

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