I know that when you see this on whichever news feed you happen to be scrolling through it probably won’t take much priority on your ever so lengthy list of things to do, but I decided to write this anyway. Prayer is an area of my life that I have been continually challenged with. I am probably not the best person to write this as I haven’t quite gotten this one figured out yet, but then, maybe that’s why I should be writing it.
When I was asked to write this I was only given a few verses. At the time I was unsure as to how I was going to write a full article with just a few verses but now I am glad, as I was forced to really consider the meaning of those verses. The first verse I dove into was, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” Three words. But, as I began to think about it, I realized what that meant to me. What is the one thing I actively do without ceasing? Besides breathing, which really doesn’t apply in this situation, my answer was thinking. I don’t know if this applies to everyone, but my thought life sounds a lot like a conversation. I will ask myself various questions. Such as, what I want to do or what I want to wear. What would happen if we changed our thoughts into prayer? What if we stopped asking our ungratefully selfish selves what we should do and started asking God? What would God want me to wear? Can I use this time for God? If we became instruments of God’s, we could accomplish so much more. Someone who has learned to trust in God and pray to him without stopping can do so much for God. They don’t have to wonder what they should do or say, they know.
Colossians 4:2-4 says, “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” These verses tell us that our prayer must not be focused on ourselves. Look how convinced the author is that prayer will make the ultimate difference in what he is trying to do. When is the last time you prayed? Not at dinner, or in church. Don’t even count your prayer time before bed. When is the last time you spontaneously decided to pray? Probably the answer is too long ago.
Look what prayer can do for a person! It can change them. It can change the people around you. It can even change people you have never met. What a power! We can do that! But what do we do? We sit there and think about all the meaningless things that are happening in our tiny little lives. That has no impact on eternity. When you die you will not care if you ate a sandwich or a burger that one day. You probably stopped caring about the decision as soon as you finished eating. But what about your friend who could die today and go to hell? What about my friends? We have a responsibility to every unsaved person on this planet. Even if we can’t reach some people ourselves, we can pray for the people who can reach them. Short as it may be, I have seen God do some incredible things in my life time, but all the truly great things have been a subject for prayer with people I may never meet. I have seen some of the things prayer can do, and because of that, I know that I should never stop praying. If we all tried that hard to make that kind of difference, the world would be a very different place.
For those few amazing people who have made it all the way to the last little bit of my article, thanks. But also good luck. I have challenged you to something that takes a lot of discipline. I will never meet most of you awesome people reading this, but I want you to know that I am, nevertheless, praying for you, your family, and your friends. You don’t have to meet someone to change their lives. If you do this it will make a huge difference, both in your own life, and in the lives of people you will never meet.
~ The Heart of Teens Guest Author, Brandon Hawkins