Infusing Prayer in Your Life
This year has been difficult. Many of us have experienced loss, new challenges, maybe a grim medical report. As we are coming to the end of 2021 and looking toward the new year, I challenge you to consider infusing prayer in your life. Infusion is a slow continuous introduction of an element into a foreign body. In this case, the element we are infusing into our lifestyle is prayer.
When we consider people throughout history who were devoted to prayer, such as Gandhi, Helen Keller, Mother Teresa, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we realize we can significantly benefit from prayer. What can prayer accomplish in our lives that can be practical and effective?
• People who pray are successful. As Ellen G. White wrote, the secret of success is when the divine power is united with human effort. Those who achieve the most remarkable results are those who depend on God. Joshua had developed an intimate relationship with God through prayer. “The man who commanded, ‘Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon,’ is the man who for hours lay prostrate upon the earth in prayer in the camp of Gilgal” (PP pg. 509). As you pray, ask Christ to infuse you with success.
• Prayer will make you a better person. When you pray and meditate on God’s sacrifice for you, a transformation begins. Then, as you pray, ask Christ to infuse you with the sweetness of Jesus. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Ask Christ every day to renew your mind. “Ask Him to help you speak words that will inspire those around you with hope and courage and draw you nearer to the Savior” (SD pg. 199).
• Prayer will give you strength. “Our own strength is weakness, but that which God gives is mighty and will make everyone who obtains it more than conqueror” (PR pg. 174). One of the reasons Jesus was successful in His mission was the time He spent praying to The Father. Jesus faced the power of darkness because God gave Him the strength to do so. When we pray, we recognize our weakness and depend on God to provide us with strength. As you pray, ask Christ to infuse you with strength. Just realizing that God will never leave or forsake us gives us comfort and strength to continue. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
• With prayer, you have a friend. How many of us need a true friend who has our back? When we pray, we open our hearts to God as to a friend–a friend in good and bad times, who is present in sickness and in health, who is always cheering for you and desiring the best in your life. This is the kind of friendship we get with Christ. God desires an intimate relationship with us. “Prayer does not bring God down to us but brings us up to Him” (SC pg. 93). As you pray, ask Christ to infuse you with His friendship.
If prayer can do so much for our lives, why don’t people pray? I did some internet research for the top reasons Christians don’t pray, and here are the top three:
1. Because all their needs are already met. When we live in a materialistic world, we define our needs as material. Most of us live comfortably, have too much to eat, have enough clothes to wear, and sometimes even rent a storage facility to store the excess. We live in a performance-oriented culture. We do not count emotional and spiritual needs as actual needs. We do not consider having a closer relationship with our Savior a real need.
2. Because we live in a culture of instant gratification. How many of us remember dial-up internet? Nowadays, we cannot even imagine waiting ten seconds for our stories to load on our smartphones. While at Costco, I stopped to speak with the lady handing out brownie samples. I asked her if people were interested in the brownies and was surprised to hear that people were not buying the bag of brownies because it needed to be baked instead of already made. “Nobody wants to wait,” she said. The reality is that we live in an instant gratification society with instant messages, fast food, microwaves, and cars, and we have forgotten how to wait. God doesn’t respond to our prayers like a vending machine, and because of this reality, people don’t believe that prayer is effective and that God can hear us. They don’t believe prayer can work for them.
3. Because we forget to pray. How many of us have hurriedly left the house, without breakfast, flying down the highway (or logging in to the computer) only to realize we haven’t talked to God for hours? I certainly have. We get so caught up in our obligations, commitments, schedules, and selfish plans that we don’t prioritize time with God. We live life like God doesn’t mind, or we don’t need Him.
We know that prayer provides more than physical benefits. There are so many spiritual benefits that await us, more than I can enumerate. For example, when we pray, we ask for God’s presence to be with us. Psalm 22:3 says that when we praise God, He sits in our midst. And we are promised in Matthew 18:20 that when we pray with two or three people, He is with us, too. What better experience than to be in the presence of God? In God’s presence, we are safe, have peace, feel loved, and are blessed. Thus, we can be a blessing to those around us.
When we pray, let’s ask God to keep His promises. Psalms 146:6 reminds us that God is faithful forever. We can even claim the promises God made to someone else! We can see this example with Solomon when he said to God, “let your promise to my father David be confirmed.” And God kept the promises made to King David and blessed Solomon with wisdom, knowledge, and much, much more (2 Chronicles 1: 8-12). There are thousands of promises in the Bible waiting for us to claim them. Let’s do like Solomon and ask God to confirm these promises in our lives.
Lastly, when we pray, let’s ask God for power. We can read how Jesus spent nights praying for God to give Him strength and power. Just as Jesus did, the early church also prayed until the place was shaken and the people were filled with the Holy Spirit, strength, and power (Acts 4:31). We are living in difficult times, and more than ever, we also need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and experience all the fruits of this relationship. We need to pray and ask God for power.
Do you see why I challenged you to consider infusing prayer in your life? With prayer, you can be successful, prayer can make you a better person, prayer can give you strength, and with prayer, you can have a best friend. Let’s pray and ask God to be present in our lives, let’s ask Him to keep the promises we need, and most importantly, let’s ask Him to pour the Holy Spirit into our life. There is so much that prayer can do for our physical, emotional, and spiritual life. We need prayer like we need air, water, and food. I want to grow and benefit daily from having a life infused with prayer; how about you?