I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. 1 Timothy 2:8 NIV
Prayers. They’re powerful things aren’t they? Many believe that prayers move mountains, heal the sick, win battles, avoid catastrophes, and save relationships. The truth is that all these things are answered prayers. We offer them. God answers them. We ask. God acts.
What do your prayers look like? Eyes closed? Hands folded? Head bowed?
Paul instructs us through 1Timothy 2:8 that men everywhere should lift up “holy hands in prayer.” The notion of hands raised towards the heavens while in prayer may seem out of the ordinary, if not downright strange, to many of us. Why is this? As children, our natural instincts are to reach up to our biological fathers when we need help, or just to be loved. Why wouldn’t we do the same with our heavenly Father?
What do your prayers sound like? Are they silent offerings or barely audible murmurs? Are they only faint echoes in your mind?
When you’re in prayer in a private setting, when it’s just you and God, do you pray out loud? If not, perhaps you should try it next time, for two primary reasons.
· When we pray in silence we have a tendency to be distracted, not by outside influences, but by ourselves! How many times have you gone into “mental” prayer for one particular thing, only to find yourself praying for everything other than your primary intention? You’ll find that praying out loud will keep your attention drawn to the need that is greatest on your list.
· There’s something about hearing ourselves offer petitions to God that give them more credibility, not for His benefit, but for ours.
What do your prayers consist of? Do you pray for your personal needs? Do you offer prayers for your family and friends? How about the sick? The lost? Do you ever include church and government leaders? Your enemies?
Well, do you pray for the needs of others? It’s easy for us to remember and to pray for our own needs, for our family and friends, and for the sick. Sometimes we forget to include our leaders, and unfortunately, the lost who don’t know Christ. Do you pray for your enemies? Yes, it’s hard to do. Be that as it may, there is selflessness in praying for all of God’s children, even the ones that you don’t like, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by God.
Do you pray with expectancy and boldness?
When you pray, are you bold enough to petition God, not only for your needs and the needs of others, but for the desires of your heart? Do you pray to Him for miracles? Do you believe that He hears all of your prayers? Do you pray to Him with unwavering, audacious faith, not knowing if He will answer all of your prayers, but believing with all that’s in you, that He can?
2:1 The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. 3 This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. 1 Timothy (The Message)
Prayers are our direct connections to God. Prayers are one of the ultimate forms of worshipping Him. They are an expression and validation of our belief in God. They are invitations for our real Father to work in our lives. Prayers are powerful expressions of our love for God, for others, and for ourselves. And of course, answered prayers are yet another visible sign of God’s immeasurable love for us.
Prayers. They’re powerful things, aren’t they?