Josh Medlock, Director of Student Ministries

Working in Youth Ministry I often get asked this question:

“Why do I need to pray?”

Have you ever asked this question? I don’t believe there’s a perfect answer for everyone, but I do believe there are some universal truths about prayer. 

I pray because it makes me feel closer to God…

When we are intentional about our time in prayer, we begin to open a line of communication between ourselves and God.

Prayer is a perfect opportunity to explore our hearts, share everything with God, and begin relieving ourselves of things that may be weighing us down.

When we allow ourselves time to reflect and to deal with those things causing us stress, anxiety and emotional distress, we allow God to work from the inside out.

Leaving things unresolved can make it difficult for us to be honest, let down and vulnerable, sometimes causing our prayers to be distracted.

Come and hear, all you who fear God,
   and I will tell what he has done for me.
I cried aloud to him,
   and he was extolled with my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
   the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
   he has given heed to the words of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
   because he has not rejected my prayer
   or removed his steadfast love from me.

– Psalm 66:16-20

“Prayer lets me focus on someone other than me,
but I feel like I am being blessed too…”

Do we focus on God every day? I know this is a struggle for me.

In times like now, I struggle to focus on just about everything. This includes focusing on God.

I realize our routines are no longer … well, routine.

We can find ourselves filling our days with worry and anxiety about things yet to come, whose results are unknown.

When we allow ourselves to be weighed down and burdened with the unknown, we can find ourselves forgetting to set aside time to focus on God.

When we pray, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to center our soul and find that small still voice that says, “You are mine, and I am here with you.”

Prayer can unlock us. Prayer refocuses us on God and not on ourselves.

When we pray, we stop believing we’re the only ones capable of solving our problems. We can be honest with the one who loves us regardless of what we have done.

“I believe in the power of prayer and that it can transform…”

Have you ever had someone tell you they are praying for you?

Have you ever told someone else you are praying for them?

When I was a child, I remember my grandmother telling me every time she saw me, “I am praying for you every day that God will hold you.”

It gave me a sense of peace, even though I really didn’t understand why at the time.

In the darkest of times we, as the body of Christ, gather together to pray. Each of us praying in our own words and in our own way.

Praying that God will change the situation, or praying that those affected will know peace and love.

We pray for transformation. But we ourselves are transformed by prayer.

When we are praying for peace or strength for those we love, we often feel strengthened or at peace ourselves.

This is truly part of the magnificence of prayer.

Prayer is personal. Prayer is powerful.

I pray that each of you are blessed in some way today because each of you are a blessing.

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