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Dear Christians, your prayers make a difference

When you are struggling is exactly the right time to pray

Dear Christians,

When was the last time you really prayed? I mean like really prayed? I’m referring to that heartfelt, earnest prayer that comes from deep within you. Not the go-through-the-motion prayers, but the prayers you pray when you are really desperate for God to change things or to show up.

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“I hadn’t yet been ‘tainted’ by life-experience and disappointment.”

Recently I rediscovered this kind of prayer – and it is changing my life. When I was a teenager, I would go out into the bungalow behind our house with my Bible and a stack of worship music CDs. I’d blast the music loud, and I’d march around the room declaring scriptures and prayers over my life and circumstances.

I remember those days fondly as I seemed to have such a childlike faith. I prayed with gusto and zeal. It felt like I had faith to move mountains back then. I hadn’t yet been ‘tainted’ by life-experience and disappointment.

Then, my twenties happened. As I’m sure many can relate, this period of my life exposed me to painful experiences and decisions I never thought I’d go through. Even though I never completely walked away from God, you could say I walked away from my prayer life.

It happened slowly. I’d pray for something and get full of anticipation while awaiting the answer – only to be left disappointed when the answers never came, or at least not in the way that I was hoping for.

“I’d still read my Bible and devotionals, but I stopped asking God to help me.”

I think if you experience enough consecutive disappointment you eventually want to avoid what ‘seems’ to have let you down.

So after a series of ‘unanswered’ prayers, I eventually stopped praying. I stopped believing that God would actually respond to my prayers. I’d still read my Bible and devotionals, but I stopped asking God to help me.

But in recent months, something’s shifted for me and I’ve been reminded in such a real way about the power of prayer.

“I think the change came from a place of frustration and desperation.”

It wasn’t a mind-blowing ‘moment’ or incredible story. Instead, I think the change came from a place of frustration and desperation.

Almost every day I call my best friend who lives interstate and we vent to each other about everything. She offers me great advice, and I like to think (and hope) that I try to offer her some sound advice too. For all our failings and flaws, both of us genuinely want to live in obedience to God.

But there are many occasions when after talking for hours, reminding each other of scripture, and sharing wisdom and learnings, words don’t cut it. Sometimes, I just wouldn’t know what the answer to her problem is, and I’d get frustrated that the situation wasn’t changing. I’m sure she’s felt similar when I’d talk about the same thing over and over.

“We stopped trying to solve each other’s problems and took them to the Lord instead.”

So one day I just said to her, ‘can we please pray?’ And right then and there on the phone, we prayed for each other. We stopped trying to solve each other’s problems and took them to the Lord instead.

Our situations didn’t miraculously change overnight, but something within me did. I felt stronger within myself – in my mind and heart and more full of faith.

“I can’t emphasise more strongly how much this has strengthened my life.”

Now, we do this pretty much every single day. We still talk about our ‘stuff’ (we’re girls, we have lots of words to use up per day!) but then we take it all to God in prayer. I can’t emphasise more strongly how much this has strengthened my life, and I’m pretty certain she would say the same.

“…nothing really compares to talking to the Maker of the heavens and the earth.”

Can I encourage you that if you’ve been struggling to pray lately, to join with a friend and suggest that you pray together? You don’t even have to live in the same place! It doesn’t have to be daily, maybe you just do it once a week. But maybe you’ll be so encouraged by it that you start doing it every few days, or even daily.

May we remember that nothing really compares to talking to the Maker of the heavens and the earth.

God cares about you, and you can pray about any and everything.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– 
Philippians 4:6

“You can approach the throne of God boldly.”

Can I encourage you today that your prayers do matter, and they do make a difference.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.-
– James 5:16

United with Christ, you have a right relationship with his Father, and so your prayers are powerful and effective. You can approach the throne of God boldly. In fact, He encourages us to!

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
– Hebrews 4:16

Think about that for a second. That’s an incredible thing. We can go to the throne of God with grace and confidence and find grace to help us.

“…whatever difficult decision you need to make – take it to the Lord in prayer. Your prayers make a difference.”

Whatever you might be facing today, whatever mountain in your life that you can’t seem to overcome, whatever difficult decision you need to make – take it to the Lord in prayer. Your prayers make a difference.

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