By Erin Bird
Today, we are concluding our short three-week series on prayer. In week 1, we talked about how often you can pray to God (anytime!). Then last week, we discussed how we are to approach God in prayer (authentically!). But if I were to put this into a math formula, I think it would look like this:
As we saw in week one, when the Apostle Paul told the church in Thessalonica that they should "pray continually," that would mean they could pray anywhere at anytime. They weren't relegated to just praying in the temple, or at the dinner table, or at the foot of their bed before sleep. They had the freedom to pray to God at any hour in any location.
Likewise, as we saw in the psalms last week, we can come into God's presence authentically. Having a bad day? You can tell Him about it. Have something to celebrate? Praise God for it! Angry at Him for allowing something hard in your life? Share your feelings honestly. (He can handle it!) In other words, you have the freedom to just be you before God.
But let me warn you: When you come to God freely in prayer, you are also giving Him the freedom to work in you and around you as He sees fit. When you pray, you are ultimately surrendering to God. This is why Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." (Matthew 6:10) However, I think you will discover that when you freely surrender to God in prayer, you will find your greatest joy as you see Him do what only He can do.
So even though our 21 Days of Prayer ends this Saturday, may you continue to realize you have the freedom to come to God at anytime, in anyplace, with anything on your heart. He loves you, and because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, God welcomes you with open arms to approach His throne of grace with confidence.
Heavenly Father, help me to realize I have the freedom to talk with you through prayer. Forgive me for not coming to you more often, and when I do, for not bringing my full self before you. Grow me as a pray-er. Help me find joy in your presence and to trust you to answer my prayers as only you can. Thank you, though, for the freedom you have given me to come before you, the Holy One of Heaven, and bring my requests freely before you.
In Christ I pray,
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