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June 2023 Student Minister’s Note

by: Lilly Hunter

The Scriptures have a lot to say about prayer. That we should be praying always, without ceasing (Eph. 6:18, 1 Chron. 16:11, 1 Thess. 5:16), that the Lord hears our prayers (1 John 5:15, 2 Chron. 7:14, Jere. 29:12), and that he is faithful to answer them (Ps. 66:5, Mark 11:24, Ps. 17:6).

But if we are being honest, prayer can be difficult for us, or even tedious. I know at many times in my life I have felt guilty for not praying, or not wanting to pray- knowing that it is one of the greatest privileges of a follower of Jesus to commune directly with the Father. I seem to pray the same old things, and prayer list or no, I seem to not know what to say when approaching God. The bible recognizes this, and offers instructions on prayer. James 5:13 says,

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise."

But how do we do this, without feeling guilty for slacking, monotonous in our requests, and lacking in our praise for God’s character?

The Lord has provided us a prayer book in his word! Theologian Gordan Wenham said

“The Psalms: they are designed to be prayed”.

Many of these outpourings from the heart of David, Solomon and others were songs but were first prayers to God. We can take from them as we pray, delighting God in the reading of his own words, and finding inspiration for how to speak with him in them. There are psalms for doubt, discouragement, and disease. There are psalms for victory, overcoming, and joy. We can celebrate the goodness of God in creation (Psalm 8), and weep with God over our own sin (Psalm 51).

John Piper says to open the bible, start reading, and turn every verse into a prayer. The psalms do not have the monopoly on prayer. Open the letters of Paul and find prayers, or the poetic crying of Moses in Deuteronomy. The Lord desires us to spend time with him daily- time that is without distraction of our cellphones or our anxious thoughts. Putting our phones on silent, or listening to worship music before we go to pray can focus our hearts and our affections on the One with whom we are allowed to speak. This month, I challenge myself, and all of us, to see the Scriptures as a prayer book, and to devote more time than we have in the past to sitting at the throne of grace and speaking to the Most High.

I can not wait to see how God uses our faithfulness in prayer to change our community in this season of outreach here at Calvary.


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