26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
~1 John 5:14-15 (CEB)
Prayer is many things.
It is a form of meditation which can ease our soul and bring peace to a weary spirit.
It is a form of conversation in which we can take our worries, our concerns, our hopes, our joys, our celebrations, our desires, our secrets to God… and God will listen. Patiently. Kindly. God will listen.
It is a form of listening, so that when we finish with our litany of concerns and celebrations we can simply listen to God. Through prayer, God will teach us, instruct us, give us wisdom, and call us to service.
It is a way to build community and relationships. When we pray for each other, we remember that God is the creator of all things and everyone. We see the divine image of the other. And we etch their names on our hearts and minds.
Prayer lifts us up when we are down. Prayer humbles us when we are soaring too high. Prayer reminds us of our mortality and our need and desire for salvation. Prayer allows the voice of God to echo throughout our souls and to reverberate through our actions.
But above all prayer is a reminder of God’s promise to be our God. Prayer is an act of faith. We believe that an invisible God will hear our prayers and will answer.
John the Evangelist tells us that if we ask for anything in agreement with his will, he listens to us. And if we know that he listens to what we ask, then we have received what we asked from him.
This is an extraordinary testimony to the act of faith through prayer.
John doesn’t tell us we will receive it. He tells us we have received it. In past tense.
We may not always see the answer clearly at first.
It may not always look the way we imagined it would look.
But when we go to God in faith, willing to open our hearts, spirits, and minds to God, God will do amazing things.
God has done amazing things.
Devotion written for Prayer Ministry at Gooding UMC, August 1, 2018