It has been almost a year since I wrote the post An Attitude of Kneeling about how I had begun literally kneeling to pray each morning. It has been a wonderful habit that has gotten me through many a difficult day. Prayer is such a powerful antidote to the human tendency to give in to worry, doubt, fear, and heartache. The devil tries to keep us down with these negative feelings and thoughts. I think God knew this year was going to be a challenging one for me in many ways when He spoke to me about the importance of kneeling to pray.
Paul, in his letter to the church in Ephesus, encourages the believers on how they can resist the schemes of the devil to paralyze them with fear and doubt, closing with the instruction to pray.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. . . . And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:10-11, 18.
But this weekend, for some reason, I skipped my morning prayer time all three days. I never even thought about it. Saturday was a day spent with my family, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and playing video games. Sunday there wasn’t time before church because we had to be there early so my son could be ready to run the slide show. Monday was a day off from work and I was busy writing on this blog and reading other blogs, doing more laundry, and thinking about what to make for dinner while my husband was off playing frisbee golf. I was listening to my iPod and the day was going fine.
Before I knew it, a dark cloud of worry, doubt, fear, and heartache came over me on Monday afternoon. There was a sadness in my heart that is difficult to describe. But still I did not pray.
This morning, back to my routine of getting ready for work, I kneeled to pray. It was then that I realized I had skipped my prayer time all weekend. By doing so, I had failed to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” I had not put each day in God’s hands and asked for His wisdom and guidance. Had I done so, I would have been prepared for the doubt and worry that came to my mind mid-afternoon. I would have been prepared to take my stand against the devil’s schemes.
Many people dismiss the power of prayer, but in reality it is not the prayer itself that is powerful. It is God, on whom we call and in whom we trust when we pray, who is powerful. Prayer reminds us of the wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit within us and puts Him in charge of our thoughts. Time spent talking with God, sharing our concerns and stopping to listen to His counsel, is essential in a world filled with difficulties and challenges. Often when I kneel to pray I hear Him say, “Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10. When I reflect on that thought, just knowing that He is God and that He loves me, because God is love (1 John 4:8), I am strengthened for the day and am reminded of the blessings He has given me.
Throughout the Gospels, we see examples of Jesus praying. If Jesus, who was Himself God incarnate, believed it was important for Him to be in communication with the Father through prayer, why should I be any different? If I am struggling through a day, just an ordinary day like any other, besieged by doubts and fear, the first thing I must ask myself is, “Did I forget to pray?” Most likely the answer will be “Yes.” Because if I remember to pray, if I remember to kneel before God and seek His wisdom and strength, I will be able to stand against the devil’s schemes.
The next time you are struggling through an ordinary day or a particularly difficult one, remember God is there to help you through. All you need to do is remember to pray.