Today is the United States’ National Day of Prayer, a day when our government is required by its own law to remind us to pray.
But many of us, if we’re honest, have lost faith in our prayers. We’ve prayed, and things didn’t seem to change. We’ve checked the boxes, but it feels like God’s checked out . . .
In Luke 1:13, there’s a moment between an angel and Zechariah, the father of the Baptizer. The angel says, “Do not be afraid . . . your prayer has been heard.”
You probably know the story but there’s something subtle in the verb tense and context that suggests Zechariah was praying for the redemption of his nation but had given up on praying for a child.
This story, among so many others, tells us that God hears us when we pray for our land. As we pray big prayers for our nation, though, we would do well to remember that God has a way of answering them through what He does in our own lives, our own families.
Luke 1:13 also reminds us that God even hears the prayers we’ve stopped praying. He hears them because prayer is an outflow of relationship . . . not a religious duty. When a prayer leaves our lips, it journeys to the Father’s heart where it stays and grows until its time has come.
While holding onto both mystery and certainty, I can promise that your words, groans, tears, and cries somehow participate in God’s plans for our world. So please. For the sake of both your family and this nation . . . pray.
Standing with you,
P.S. I heard a story yesterday about a lady who went into Barnes & Noble, looking for a book on prayer. She said out loud, “I need a book on prayer!” Someone who had just finished Words with God: Trading Boring, Empty Prayer for Real Connection happened to be in the area, and he grabbed the last book off the shelf, introduced himself, and handed it to her.
If you need a copy of your own, just click here.