Psalm 17:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Prayer is faith. This simple verse demonstrates that God not only hears when we call, but that He will answer. Have you ever prayed and felt like no one was there? Does prayer ever feel like a conversation that you’re having with yourself? Everyone feels that way sometimes. Hebrews 11:1 says “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” When you pray, faith is engaged. It’s the evidence that while you cannot see God, you know that He hears and will respond. Daniel 9:23 says “As soon as you began to pray, a word went out…”.
Prayer directs your focus. When Peter was called out onto the water by Jesus, he started to sink as soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the impossibility of his situation. After all, he was defying physics and all common sense by walking on a stormy sea! Prayer can be like that. Whatever we’re going through, praying takes our focus off of us…that is, what we can control, what we can do, and places it on the One who is truly in control. Peter realized in one quick and sinking moment that his own problem-solving skills were no match for the situation he was in. Prayer is the hand of Peter reaching out to His Savior to pull him to safety.
Prayer is trust. The easiest and most natural thing to do is to try and fix something yourself. I’m sure you’re acquainted with the saying “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”. It takes a lot of trust to let go of a situation and give it to God. You might even say it’s counter-intuitive…or the opposite of conventional wisdom. And do you know what? You’re right. And that’s where God is…in that realm of the impossible. Like walking on water and defying physics and all sense.
Sometimes the best prayer we can pray is the simple cry ‘Lord, help me”. When you’re in the middle of trying to fix a problem, or anxiety has gripped you, ask God to help you pray. It’s a prayer that God delights in answering!