Paul teaches us that we are not wrestling “against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Because of this, I believe we should be more earnest to spend more time in prayer. Below are some biblical examples that I hope will inspire us to spend more time in prayer; they will also teach us how to talk to God.
• Hannah’s Prayer for a Son, 1 Samuel 1 Heartbroken by her inability to conceive a child (and tormented by a rival who mocked her for it), Hannah turned to God in prayer so intensely that a priest who saw her thought she was drunk. Hannah answered the priest saying, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” — 1 Sam. 1 (NIV)
God answered Hannah’s prayer, and her son Samuel became one of the great prophets of ancient Israel.
• Habakkuk Rejoices, Habakkuk 3 The prophet Habakkuk’s prayer is both a song of praise and a plea for mercy, and is the perfect picture of a believer recognizing God’s power while earnestly asking for that power to defend God’s children from hardship:
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills. - 3:17-19 (NKJV)
• Jehoshaphat Prays for Deliverance: 2 Chronicles 20:5-12Faced by an overwhelming force of enemies bent on his destruction, the king Jehoshaphat called out to God with a prayer that acknowledges his own powerlessness, and entreated God to intervene. His closing statement, “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” - v. 12 (NKJV)
• The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13 Is there any prayer more simple yet complete than Jesus’ own prayer? Asked to teach his disciples how to pray, Jesus demonstrated how with a model prayer that is characteristically concise and memorable. Analyse, study and memorise it for your own benefit.
Let me close with the encouragement that comes from Psalm 10:17, which comes with a key to get your prayers answered. See if you can spot it: “LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear.”
Rev Robert Chew