Prayer is powerful. For me as an individual, it is the most powerful force in the world. And you’d think, with the most powerful force in the world at my disposal, I’d take advantage of it, but I don’t.
In the past, I’ve prayed for what some people have called ‘the most ridiculous things’. As a 7 year old, I remember praying that I’d wake up the next morning with a unicorn in my room – this didn’t happen, strangely enough. I, of course, never thought that was a ridiculous prayer. In my opinion, a unicorn was a perfectly reasonable request. At around the same age, I also remember praying for the health of my family and friends and for God to send his angels down to protect them as they slept. The reality of it is, whether what I was praying for was ‘ridiculous’ or not, I was still praying. Every prayer, I find, brings me closer to God, like a stepping stone.
Many persecuted Christians will pray at every given opportunity – they don’t have the ‘distractions’ that we do and that could be seen as a good thing. These Christians will have a stronger relationship with God, which is rooted with a deeper faith, as they make the most of prayer.
My relationship with God is far from perfect, but I work on it, so that’s better than nothing. I take the same approach to my relationship with God as I take to my relationship with my friends. I mean, I wouldn’t expect my relationship with a friend to develop if I didn’t put in any effort to make it work, would you?
Jesus paid the ultimate price by giving his life for us; it’s only fair if we make a small attempt to improve our relationship with Him in the simplest and easiest way, just by talking to him. And not just when we need something. Just spend some time, forget about the rest of your commitments, and pray. Speak to God and thank Him. Or don’t say anything and just spend time with Him. And you will feel so much closer to God after it.
It goes to show that we have so much to learn from the persecuted church, about strengthening our faith, and worshipping to achieve a better relationship with God. It seems to me, that if we pray with the same devotion as those who are persecuted, maybe our faith will develop and grow too.
“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.” CS Lewis