Praying is one of the most important things we can do as a child of God and yet so many of us have a hard time doing it.
We have a group of people in Bismarck from Liberia, Africa. They have started a Liberian church in town and have been attending the weekly community prayer meetings that take place every Wednesday at NOON.
I will admit, I do not make every prayer meeting. One meeting that I missed was at the Liberian Church and I must have missed a good one because all the pastors who attended were talking about it! From what I could tell, these people from Liberia knew how to pray and they prayed in a way that many of the attendees had never experienced. The result of their prayers was excitement within the group that meets.
The next week, the prayer meeting was at PFC and there was about 7 in attendance from the Liberian Church. I made sure to pay attention to what they prayed about and how they prayed. I wanted to know what got everyone so excited.
As they prayed it became very evident what the difference was. Every one of their prayers was stocked full of rejoicing, thanksgiving and praise for all that God had done, was doing and was going to do. These great people who were relocated to North Dakota as refugees were teaching the church of Bismarck something important by the way they prayed.
They were teaching us the principle that the Apostle Paul wrote about in 1 Thessalonians 5.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
Paul’s final instructions to the Thessalonian church in his first letter include some really good advice, especially for those who are looking to deepen their connection with God!
As a people who are closely connected to God through Jesus Christ, we should make sure that we are living a life that is free from sadness and lacking joy. Living in such sadness is often a sign that we do not trust God and His power, providence, and forgiveness. It can be a sign that we do not take God at His word.
Instead, Paul encourages us to maintain our rejoicing, to continue to pray and to be thankful
Yes, I will admit, this is easier said than done sometimes, but what if we began to thank God for things first? Thankfulness is always possible! He
What am I trying to say? Simple, when you pray, always come to God with joy and thankfulness, no matter what the situation is. Thank Him for what He has done, what He is doing and what He is going to do!