Is any of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoit him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
This scripture has been on my mind and heart a lot lately and has caused me to be on my knees much more. A lot of people will disagree with this, but I have learned that just praying accomplishes nothing. God requires us to be right with Him (which is the very definition of righteous) and it is only through Christ that this is possible. I am only just beginning to get into the habit of dealing with the Lord about everything- from the moment I wake up, to the time my head hits the pillow at night, and everything in between.
Oswald Chambers wrote:
"If you ask me to pray for you and I am not complete in Christ, my prayer accomplishes nothing. But if I am complete in Christ, my prayer brings victory all the time."
Even still, I won't ever fully know if my motives have been completely pure (which I don't think is actually even possible), but I do know that the wonderful thing about prayer is that it changes me in the process. I am learning to submit to this transformation, moving closer to the Father as I am transformed into the image of His son. There is still SO much to grasp and I long to be emptied of myself as I become more intimate with the Savior.
A book that Randy has read and one that I am hoping to go through together with him soon is Richard Foster's PRAYER: Finding the heart's true home. There are so many different kinds of prayer and this is one of those timeless books that impacts those who read and learn from it. I have seen the transformation in my husband's life by taking prayer seriously and I am so encouraged to follow his example.
"The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives- altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure. But what I have come to see is that God is big enough to receive us with all our mixture. We do not have to be bright, or pure, or filled with faith, or anything. That is what grace means, and not only are we saved by grace, but we live by it as well. And we pray by it." -Richard J. Foster
"True, whole prayer is nothing but love."
"What we need is a desire to know the will of God, with a fixed resolution to do it."
"To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world."
"I do not believe that one can earnestly seek and find the priceless treasure of God's call without a devout prayer life. That is where God speaks. The purpose of prayer and of God's call in your life is not to make you number one in the world's eyes, but to make Him number one in your life."
"Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom."
"Be joyful always; PRAY continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
-The Apostle Paul