Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.— 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Prayer. We hear it all of the time. People say often, “I’ll pray for you.” But do they really? I can look back over the years and think of countless times where I said those very words to someone, only to become “too busy” to remember. And yet, a simple prayer can move mountains.

In Matthew 21:22, scripture says:

And everything —whatever you ask in prayer, believing—you will receive.

This doesn’t mean that you can ask God for a new car or a bundle of money and it will magically appear. Sometimes the answer to prayer is “no.” God does not grant all of our requests. And he shouldn’t. He is all-knowing. Because of that, he knows exactly what we need and what we do not need. Trusting Him is key to understanding His answer.

This past week, I have witnessed clients ask for prayers for situations in their lives. But they always seem to hold on to control themselves. The faith in God’s answers simply is not there yet. It helps when they begin to recognize their control and ask God to release them from that need.

I urge my clients to embrace prayer in their daily lives. In fact, I believe prayer is the single most important tool we have to fight against the evil one. Without prayer, we cannot have the intimate relationship with our Lord that we all seek.

The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful.— James 5:16

I gave this homework assignment to a couple experiencing marital problems and now I’d like to give it to each of you. Spend time with the Lord everyday. If you are married, reach for your spouse, and pray together. If you are single, spend time praying with a friend or loved one. But pray daily. Pray about the good, bad, and ugly. Too often, we do not talk with God about the blessings in our lives. Instead, we wait until we are at our rock bottom then scream out in pain. Kay Arthur, a Christian speaker and writer, said, “Are you weak? Weary? Confused? Troubled? Pressured? How is your relationship with God? Is it held in its place of priority? I believe the greater the pressure, the greater your need for time alone with Him.”

Lord, forgive me for not coming to you with everything and anything. Instead, I tend to hold on to the good and try to control the bad. I ask, Lord, that you take that control from me. I no longer wish to be the driver of my life. You are my GPS and will go where you tell me, when you tell me. Amen