Prayer. While it seems to be a common, everyday thing, prayer also can be seen as intimidating and riddled with questions. Why should I pray? How do I pray? When should I pray? What if I pray wrong?
We have been spending a lot of time in Paul’s letter to Timothy with our Epistle readings the last month, and here is what Paul has to say about prayer:
“1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the mana Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.’1 Timothy 2:1-4
In summary of these 6 verses, you are to pray for all people, and you are to pray to God – the Father, Son, and/or Holy Spirit, any of these titles are appropriate. It does not matter if you like the person or not, agree with them or not, or even truly know them. Perhaps now as we approach election time we must be reminded to pray for all those in positions of power that (as Paul writes) we may lead a peaceful and quiet life.
As long as you send the prayer to the right place, there is not a wrong way to pray. I’ll even go so far to say that in simply addressing God in a time of prayer is the most important part of prayer since as Paul writes to the Romans, “the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.”
When should you pray? Whenever. There is never a wrong time to pray. God’s ears are always tuned to your voice. Even in the most insignificant moments: pray. Whenever you feel joy, sorrow, strength, weakness, literally anything: pray.
Which of course leads to the “why”? Not because Paul tells you to. Not because Luther tells you to. Not because your Pastor or even your parents tell you to. But because God wants you to. Because God is a jealous God and wants you to come to Him, to rely on Him, in every aspect of your life. Because God has called you His child, and as the Good Father that He is, He wants nothing more than a relationship with You.
God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth. Let us pray that all of those with ears to hear may be sent a preacher – it could be you – to speak God’s love and promise to them.
And may you know that God’s love and promise is for you. He has called you His own. He hears and listens to your prayers. May you trust that He will respond in all the ways He sees fit.
This is most certainly true.