"Privileges of Prayer"
We, at West End Presbyterian Church have had many opportunities to prray for those in need. It seems that each day brings additional praises and additional struggles in our lives.
I started thinking about the privileges of prayer.
First of all, we are privileged to have a God who invites us at all times and in all situations to come with confidence to prayer. Psalm 17:6 says, "I call upon you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayers." When we listen with heart and mind we will hear God speak. God may speak through scripture, through another person or through a 'still small voice' within, but God will indeed speak. The Bible reminds us that God is truly eager to hear our petitions and that God welcomes our prayers of thanksgiving.
A second privilege is that we have the awesome opportunity to pray for others. My devotional time each day allows me to draw closer to other people when praying for them. Petitioning God's intervention in their lives is an awesome privilege for us. "We can experience unique rejoicing when our prayers are answered."
When was the last time you were asked to pray for someone or after hearing their situation, offered to pray for them? My hunch is that it comes more often than you may think. The awesome privilege for me is also an awesome responsibility. We need to be persistent in our prayers. I keep a list of those for whom I am in prayer each day. This list helps remind me to pray for them specifically and often, and it also keeps me tuned in to when prayers are answered. Lately, I have been offering that quick 'breath prayer' as soon as I am asked to pray for someone in order that God can keep me faithful in prayer over the long haul.
Whether it is from our Sunday morning prayer time or someone asking you to pray for them or God placing someone upon your heart to pray for (even though you might not know the reason at the time), or prayers for yourself - thank God for the privilege of praying and meeting God in your prayers.
P.S. I ask you to take up the privilege of praying for me, your Pastor, that I may remain consistent in my prayers for you and the members of West End Presbyterian Church.