One of the three components of our mornings together on Tuesdays is prayer. This week our Prayer Coordinator, Jill Trucke, shared with us her thoughts on prayer and how it looks in our Tuesday Morning setting.
Prayer. It should be easy, but often times it’s not. At your tables this morning, some of you had the question “Why is prayer so hard?” Here is my laundry list of items of why it is sometimes hard for me:
- Takes time,
- Want to have perfect setting for prayer,
- Not sure of impact,
- Not sure if praying from the right motive,
- Fearful about what God will answer,
- Don’t want to be convicted today,
- Not sure what to say
But then I’m reminded of Isaiah 40:28-31:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might, He increases power.”
When I look at scripture of who God is– the Everlasting God, Creator of the World, the LORD–and remember because I am a child of God saved through Christ dying on the Cross that I have access to God’s throne anytime, anywhere, any place, I’m stopped in my tracks. Prayer only becomes hard when I choose to forget the love and power of my all-knowing, merciful God.
That is why we start our prayer time here on Tuesday mornings reminding ourselves of who God is. We call this the Upward Look. Based on the truth of God’s word, we praise and worship God for who He is. As practice, some of you were asked this morning to make a list of the attributes of God. It doesn’t have to be difficult.
Your upward look can be as simple as saying “God thank you for loving us unconditionally” or “Thank you God that I can trust you despite my current circumstances because I know that you have a purpose and plan. It says that in Job 42:2 that You can do all things; and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” Or maybe it is just quoting a Bible verse directly. “God I am thankful that ‘The LORD is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.'” (Psalms 145:8)
As we go back to the verses in Isaiah 40, we see it goes on to say “He gives strength to the weary . . . .” I don’t know what each one of you is facing today, but I do know that life is hard. I know that we all have issues and struggles. At some of your tables today, you were asked to make a list of struggles women face. I’m sure some of your lists included fear, anxiety, guilt, lack of self control, stress, perfectionism, an ugly tongue. Are those struggles making you weary today? Are you trying in your own strength to deal with your issues?
Isaiah reminds us that God gives strength to those who lack. Do we as women here this morning believe God is able to help us overcome our struggles, strongholds, and sins in our lives? Then let’s pray like we believe He can do something. This is our 2nd aspect of prayer time. We call it the Inward Look. After we have acknowledged and praised God for who He is, we then realize all the more why we need His help. Here we ask God to help us, forgive us, and strengthen us to live as He desires for us to live.
But maybe you are feeling weary and burdened this morning for all the heartache and pain the people around you are dealing with. Maybe your prayer request list seems never ending. Some of you were asked to write down frequent items women pray about for other people. Your lists probably included things like families, friends, sickness, jobs, spiritual condition of friends & family, church, government, leaders, school, etc. Again, we can return to Isaiah 40 where it says that God gives strength to the weary. How does He do that when we pray? Because He carries our burdens.
Look how Isaiah 40:31 ends:
“Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.”
Do we believe that God is able to handle all that concerns us today? Absolutely. We call this step the Outward Look. This is where we pray for one another. In this community of women, your small group is concerned and cares about what is heavy on your heart today. I realize we don’t have time to go around and share those heavy burdens during our prayer time. But one of the easiest ways to do the outward look is for you to pray your request.
We know God is the one who can carry the burden and answer the request, yet still all the women in your group are hearing that request and know what is on your heart today. For example, if I were to pray “God please help me to know specifically how I can encourage my cousin battling cancer,” every woman at my table now knows my burden. Now they can pray for my cousin this week and also for me to know how to encourage him.
One more question was put out for discussion on a few of the tables this morning: “Why is it intimidating to pray out loud?” I asked that question because sometimes I think we feel we are the only ones who are nervous about praying out loud in a small group. That is not the case. We all have times or places or groups where we get that nervous feeling. Just remember – we are having a conversation with God. He is not judging us and neither are the women in your group. This is a safe place, a confidential place.
I think of how much I love to hear Andrew, my almost 3 year old, talk to me. From the minute he started talking, I have loved to hear his voice. From early on, I could interpret what he meant even if no one else could. Just think about that with God as our Father . . . how much He delights to hear our voices and, even if our words don’t make much sense, He knows what we mean and understands us perfectly. He knows what we are going to say before we even say it. I hope that is a comfort to you as you go into your prayer groups this morning.
Finally, we have prayer journals available for everyone today. These journals go over the upward, inward, outward look and give lots of verses for each section. There is also room to add your own notes or verses. We hope this will be a beneficial tool for you. To download a pdf version of this journal, click on the A Legacy of Prayer icon below.