The COVID-19 Devotionals (Day 23)| Growing in My Understanding of Prayer

Well here we are! We’ve made it through 3 weeks of being cooped up and confined to our homes and nearby essential businesses. Walking through the neighborhood, it’s good to see more folks enjoying time outdoors. Driving the streets, the lack of vehicles is eerily reminiscent of a movie about the end of times.

As we step forward into our fourth week of staying home and social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we are starting to see bright spots along the journey. We’re also seeing tensions increase as people grow weary along numerous fronts of this battle. On Sunday night, creation reminded us of its awesome destructive power as over 40 tornadoes ripped through the Southern United States. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those impacted by the storms.

In these times of uncertainty, people turning to prayer and seeking spiritual connection appear to be on a rising trajectory. It is in this way that I see God taking something evil, like COVID-19, and working it for our good by drawing us nearer to Him as we navigate this crisis.

man in black shirt and gray denim pants sitting on gray padded bench
Photo by Inzmam Khan on Pexels.com

What is prayer?

Prayer is simply conversation with God, or with God as we understand Him (I’ll explain that more in moment). It is more than reciting well-known, worn-out phrases. Prayer is an outpouring of our hearts to the maker of the universe. You don’t need to know a lot about the philosophy of prayer or be an expert in the art of how to pray in order to pray. You can just start the conversation, trusting that God is listening. It is more important to believe in the power of prayer than it is to know all the techniques and do’s and don’ts. Personally, I’ve found prayer is something you get better at by doing it. I have found that growth in my prayer life is directly connected to my spending time in prayer.

As a child, like many of us, I learned to recite my bedtime prayers. I also learned about the Lord’s prayer and the different expectations— like kneeling at my bed, bowing my head, and closing my eyes—that surround how to pray properly. As a child, I wasn’t completely sure who this God is that I was praying to but I knew He was powerful and that He heard my prayers, especially if I was a “good boy.”

Later in life, as I found myself in attending addiction recovery meetings, I learned that I needed to grasp that only a power greater than me could rescue me from the depths of depravity my life had spiraled down into. That power greater than me–GOD–would meet me as I understood God to be, not based on some preconceived religious or spiritual constructs. After years of not having any conversation with a higher power, other than those leaning over a porcelain god, I began talking to God through prayer.

To learn more about my recovery journey, read this post.

In recent years, as I rededicated my life to Christ, I have grown to lean on God throughout my life, good times and bad. By spending time in prayer getting to know Him, through regular time spent in God’s word, and through careful study of God, I believe I have a greater understanding of who God is than I did during my first days of recovery. Prayer plays an important part of my daily life.

These days, I often pray with people while standing, holding my head up, and keeping my eyes open. I’ve come to learn that God hears those prayers too. I pray with people in their workplaces while they are performing their job and in numerous places that aren’t as safe as the foot of my bed. In all these circumstances and situations, I’m able to engage God in a conversation through prayer.

Your understanding of God may be different than mine. You may be at a different point in your spiritual journey. You may be a seasoned prayer warrior or prayer may be a totally foreign concept to you. All that is perfectly okay.

Just start the conversation…

Cross
A Cross made by Karin I. Bantau

Prayer:

Father God, help us continue to grow nearer to You through our prayer lives. Draw us closer to You as we talk to You through our prayers. We know that You don’t always answer prayers in the time or in the way we expect, but we know that You are listening to us. For those of us who are new to prayer, guide us and direct us. For those among us who are prayer warriors, show us how we can pray for the world during this difficult time. We know that suffering precedes glory and that You work for the good of those who love You and call You by name. My our prayers bring You delight and may our thoughts, words, and actions glorify Your name. We pray all things In Jesus’ name, by the power of Your Spirit. Amen.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are some routines or practices you incorporate to help make your prayer time effective?
  2. Do you have a special place where you go to pray or do you pray wherever you find yourself in the moment?
  3. When someone asks you to pray, do you tell them you’ll pray for them later or do you pray for them immediately?
  4. How have you grown in your prayer life over the years?
  5. Has COVID-19 caused you to pray more often?

Well, that wraps up my entry for The COVID-19 Devotionals | Day 23. Thank you for taking time to read my blog. I appreciate the feedback I’ve received about this series chronicling my COVID-19 experiences and focused on sharing hope during this dilemma. I pray that you continue to be encouraged during this predicament we find ourselves in globally.

During this weird time in our world, The Devotional Guy™ continues to battle certain social media platforms who have banned/barred us from sharing our content on their sites. With the help of our friends at the First Liberty Institute, who have recently come to our aid, we are fighting to resolve this issue not just for our own site, but hopefully for anyone exercising their inalienable rights protected by the Constitution. Your continued prayers in this matter are greatly appreciated.

Marked (scarred?) by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Year 2020 is enveloped by a huge degree of uncertainty. During these unusual times, my Christian faith serves as an anchor keeping me firmly grounded. Know that Terri and I continue to pray for you as you endure through these difficult times caused by COVID-19.

Stay healthy. Be safe. Keep the faith.

The Devotional Guy™

the devotional guy™_preachingABOUT: The Devotional Guy™ is a writing ministry of Rainer Bantau, a seasoned gospel preacher, church musician, and chaplain ministering to individuals in their workplaces, to the homeless, and wherever he meets them.

Highly skilled in listening, caring, and helping others as they navigate life’s challenges. He shares helps, hope, and insights on his blog, The Devotional Guy™.

 

I believe that in order to experience life the way God intended, you and I must receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ, God has made this gift available to all who ask.

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:13

Will you personally receive the gift of eternal life so that you can experience the total forgiveness from your sins that come through believing in the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

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7 thoughts on “The COVID-19 Devotionals (Day 23)| Growing in My Understanding of Prayer

  1. I loved the message that we’re not all in the same place in our faith. I just had an experience with my sponsor the other day, as a matter of fact. We have to be patient to let others catch up. Great post, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, we do. We need to meet people where they are not where we wish them to be. It’s a message God has hammered into my head this past year in my work as a chaplain. I knew it to be true through my experience in recovery. Thank you for reading brother.

    Liked by 2 people

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