Prayer - God's Gracious Means
Our statement of faith asks, "What is prayer?" Now that is a good question isn't it? What exactly is prayer? Is it magical? Is it the passing on of positive vibes from earth to heaven? If God is sovereign and knows all that will come to pass and in fact has planned all that will come to pass - why should we engage in prayer at all? 

Prayer is the gracious means that God has given us by which he accomplishes His redemptive plan. In another words, God is sovereign over both our prayer and the events in all of history. In Revelation John lets us in on how prayer works. The martyrs who have been slain and now reside in heaven ask God, "How long do we have to wait until justice is served?" Later, in a majestic scene, as heaven prepares for war, we are told that an angel of the Lord brings the prayers of the martyrs before God in His throne room and after they are heard, heaven casts them down on the earth to bring judgment upon the evil and wicked kingdom of the world. In other words, in this grande heavenly scene, we are told that God hears our prayers and acts on them. 

Prayer is offering up our desires and needs to God. God wants to hear your voice. He loves you and is a kind Father who wants to speak with you. There is no need too small or too great that God has not asked us to bring before Him. Jesus tells us that if our Father in heaven knows what a sparrow needs, that even greater care will be given to those who have been created in His image. 

Prayer is offering up our desires and needs to God for things that are agreeable to His will. Now let's face it - we don't always go to the Lord for things that are agreeable to His will. That is why all prayer must be filtered through the words of our Lord, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Eugene Peterson says, "Prayer gets us in on what God is doing." Isn't that the truth? Prayer changes us not the Lord. If our ultimate good is found in glorifying God in all that we do, than our goal in prayer is to be changed for His glory. 

As we embark on our 40 days of prayer let us get in on what God is doing. Prayer is God's gracious invitation to His people to take part in His plan. What might God be planning for us in the days to come? Expect Him to do great things. 
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