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“Please pray.” Two simple words that conveyed a novel’s worth of need. At a loss for words over my current circumstances, all I could offer were those two words to a trusted friend.
Prayer warrior friends
I am blessed to have a few steadfast prayer warrior friends in my life, who I know will pray as soon as the need is expressed. I can recall times when all I could pray was a feeble whispered, “Help…” and other times when my utterance was a simple, “Jesus…”
Perhaps my most honest and vulnerable prayers were the times I offered up my wordless tears to Him, knowing I could trust Him with even the hurt parts of my heart.
Praying for yourself
But have you ever had a time when you found it hard to pray for yourself? You could pray for others, trust that your prayers were heard on behalf of others, and believe that He would answer for others, yet you weren’t so quick to pray for yourself?
Recently a friend was struggling with a health issue and I offered, “We need to pray about that and ask for healing in Jesus’ name, rebuking any spirit of infirmity.”
“I should do that, you’re right. I pray for everyone else. Why do I sometimes not even think to pray for my own needs?”
I related to her sentiment. How many times do I readily pray for others when they express a need, but don’t think to pray for my own needs. Or worse yet, don’t believe that my needs are as important or that He will answer my prayers spoken for myself?
What God desires more than anything is relationship with His children, and He longs for us to come to Him and share our lives with Him, including our needs.
Recently one of my children was faced with a significant concern. He was trying to be responsible and independent as he faced it head on, but in doing so he was reluctant to share his needs with anyone, including us, his parents. While I was attempting to let him make his own decisions, including about what to share and with whom, my heart hurt. As his mother, I wanted to share in his life and support him in any way I could.
If I felt such angst over not being able to more adequately support my child because of my limited knowledge of the situation, how much more must God grieve when we don’t share our hurts, concerns, and needs with Him, knowing He is more than capable of supplying our every need? He is our refuge and strength and an ever present help in times of trouble.
Jeannie Blackmer, author of the book Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer shares through a fictional account of real people in the Bible how we can approach Jesus in our prayer lives for an even more fulfilling encounter with Him. She takes the reader through the book of Matthew, depicting different Biblical figures’ approach to Jesus, such as the leper, the disciples in the storm, the two blind men, the bleeding woman, and the rich young man, to name a few.
Through such accounts, Blackmer helps us take a deeper look at our approach to prayer. For example, she used the two blind men as an example of the importance of our willingness to come together and agree in prayer. Further, sometimes when we don’t know what to pray, an appropriate prayer would be that Jesus would open our eyes to where we are spiritually blind.
In Talking to Jesus, Blackmer posits that there are several beneficial character traits that will bless our prayer life: 1) humility, 2) persistence, 3) boldness, 4) faith that God will answer, and 5) gratitude for His answers.
Blackmer relayed, “Jesus invites us to tell him our unspoken yearnings, our hopes and our dreams. Any healthy relationship possesses a sense of safety so strong that you can share both your struggles and dreams without fear or embarrassment.”
Through her recount of the encounters these Biblical figures had with Jesus, Blackmer reinforced that Jesus delights in our bold willingness to pray for the impossible like being healed of incurable diseases in the case of the leper, or for blind eyes to see as in the case of the two blind men. I wholeheartedly agree with her when she says, “No one is unworthy of Jesus’ touch, no matter what.”
If you are looking for a book to help broaden your perspective on prayer while simultaneously challenging you to go deeper in your prayer life, I encourage you to read Blackmer’s Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer.
Have you ever struggled with your prayer life? What has helped? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
May I pray for you?
Dear Heavenly Father,
I come boldly before your throne of grace now on behalf of the one reading these words. Father, you know our every need before we say a word, yet you invite us to share our lives with you. No need is too great or too small for you. You are always ready to be our help in the troubling times. I pray for this one today, that you would show yourself in a fresh way. That you would show yourself faithful to answer the cry of their heart. And that you would tenderly woo them into a deeper relationship with you through prayer. There is no greater privilege than being able to come to you personally with our praise, our concerns, and our gratitude. I pray your blessing upon everyone who reads these words. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Find out more about the author, Jeannie Blackmer, and the book here.
I was provided with an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.