Prayer can change a situation. Prayer can change your life. Whenever I have found myself consistently praying on a day-to-day basis for extended periods of time those have been the happiest times of my life, I seemed free of my worries and more grateful for the things that I had in life. There’s something about it that drops your cortisol levels too, relieving you of stress (but we’ll leave that for another article, stay tuned!)
Prayer is not just asking, it’s thanking too. The thing most important about consistently praying is this …
We need to develop our relationship with God during the ‘good times’ by thanking him for what he has given us and showing our appreciation, even for the small things.
If we neglect to do this, we feel ashamed to ask for help when we need it because we feel inauthentic. We ask ourselves, How can I come to God only in my bad times, when I didn’t thank him for all the things he has given me? Whilst it doesn’t matter whether you have thanked him before or not for a long time, God’s love is ever-present and he will still hear your prayers of need, even if you don’t feel like you deserve to be heard – you do.
So my main point is that you will gain more out of developing your relationship with God in both the good and bad times in your life. If we understand our relationship better with God and we start to see grace appearing in our life, when the bad times come we already know what we need because we learned that in the good times, by showing gratitude for the good things we had, and we can simply just ask for those things again.
One of the most famous bible passages (Ecclesiastes 3) puts this perfectly.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
- a time to be born and a time to die,
- a time to plant and a time to uproot,
- a time to tear down and a time to build,
- a time to weep and a time to laugh,
- a time to mourn and a time to dance,
- a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
- a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
- a time to search and a time to give up,
- a time to keep and a time to throw away,
- a time to tear and a time to mend,
- a time to be silent and a time to speak,
- a time to love and a time to hate,
- a time for war and a time for peace.
There will be all these seasons we encounter in life, both the good and the bad, both the times for rebuilding and clearing out, but why?
The truth is, to be wholesome people we need to be able to act courageously and lovingly in both the good and the bad seasons, that is why our relationship with God is so important. Think about the greatest leaders you know – they were able to persevere despite unfavourable circumstances that surrounded them – they didn’t make excuses and give up – they found a way through faith, faith of their own kind – but they couldn’t only have faith in the good times – they needed to have faith in the bad times too, otherwise they would have given up much earlier.
Whatever you believe in, I will not judge – because the fruit of all religion and human life leads to the same light. To show love and compassion and view our role as part of something much bigger than ourselves.
The most important thing is not where your belief in this moral stems from but your ability to be consistently faithful to this message by praying, thinking and reflecting so that you can strengthen your faith and be a light to others who feel lost and just need someone to follow for a little while until they find their feet – you can be that leader!
We’re all in this together, part of something much bigger than ourselves.
The power of prayer is limitless.