11th January 2013

A Prayer For All Seasons

“Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty.”
Ephesians 6:18 (AMP)

Last Friday we discussed the ideas that we can talk to our Father at any point as we go through the day, and that, in addition, we should close the door on all distractions and spend dedicated time with our Father in prayerful reflection (see http://www.daybyday.org.uk/?m=20130104).

In the passage above Paul encourages believers to engage in prayer, not just when we want to or feel the need, but on all occasions. We are to seize the moment in the Spirit. He also explains that there are different expressions of prayer. The New International Version of the Bible puts his words this way: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”

There is variety in prayer. There does not always have to be the spoken word. We can pray in our mind as Nehemiah did when he was before King Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 2:4). We can sing our prayers to God in praise. Some of our Christians songs are phrased to be prayers, such as The Power of Your Love, which begins with “Lord, I come to you, let my heart be changed, renewed”. Prayer can be a poem, a dance, a thought, a song, a letter written in gratitude or in distress, tears of joy or of pain, a heartfelt groan within us when words fail us and the Spirit expresses for us our innermost cares to God (Romans 8:26).

Prayer is for all times. When we wake up in the morning and when we go to bed at night. When we join together in collective prayer, when someone is sick, when something good happens, when we are in a dilemma, when a new child is born, when someone dies, when we get married, when we hear the news on TV, when we read the Bible, when we see how many people need the gospel, when our relationships go wrong, when something amuses us and we want to tell God: every time is time for prayer.

Take the chance to pray at all times. Pray both as you do normally and with all kinds of prayers and entreaties. As the English poet, Tennyson, said in his famous poem about the legendary King Arthur, “more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”.

Help us, Father, to pray to you in every season, on all occasions, with all manner of prayers and supplications.  In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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