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Stop, Drop, Pray!

by: Ashley Do you remember a time when someone in your family got sick or passed away? What did you do? Can you recall a time when someone you know has told you their marriage has ended or is in turmoil? What did you do? Now, you are beginning to feel the weight of your finances - the mortgage payments are draining, groceries are sucking up the budget, and all the other bills just seem to pile up. What did you do about it? Many of us are faced with several situations where we ask ourselves- “What should we do?” In these moments, we should turn away from ourselves and ask, “What would Jesus do?” The answer is: PRAY. Even Jesus, who came down to us in our own flesh and blood, pursued the help of His heavenly Father for direction. In the same way, when things get tough, we need turn our eyes to Jesus through desperate means of prayer. Here are two quick reasons why you need to pray:

1. PRAYER BUILDS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus, our Saviour. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He broke all religious boundaries to pursue a genuine relationship with us. Think of a special relationship in your life now. What did you have to do in order to build that relationship? Yes, if you are thinking communication and quality time, you are RIGHT! Similarly, in order to grow our relationship with Jesus, we need to communicate and spend quality time with Him. Prayer is the way to do it. In Matthew 6:33, it states, “Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added.” To seek His Kingdom, you must turn your mind away from the world, get alone, and TALK to God. SPEAK! LISTEN. LISTEN. LISTEN. RESPOND. In order to get to know Jesus, you must communicate. 2. PRAYER SHOWS US GOD’S WILL Raise your hand! if you’ve ever been confused or puzzled about what to do in your life. I’m sure if I asked this question to a group of students or young adults, the majority would agree. How can we find the direction and purpose in our lives? We need to pray. How does prayer reveal God’s will? First off, it produces humility. Humility is the condition of thinking of oneself in low ranking or importance. Does having humility MEAN you’re less important or valued? Of course not! It just means that you view yourself as meek - thinking you are not better than anyone else. Humility in prayer is effective, because it reveals that you are not in control of what happens to you. “God, I need you! God, I cannot do this without you!”  - This has been my prayer countless times. I have given up my independence in exchange for dependence on God. In doing this, I have not had any regrets. The more I pray, the more I see that God is in control of my life. I am truly glad that through this prayer, I don’t allow myself to make decisions based on my own judgements, because I am a sinner. I view life through a broken lens. My sin blocks me from truly seeing the clear path. It is through prayer that God directs my path - from a crooked path to a straight one. In Hebrews 10:36, the Bible says, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, and you receive what He has planned.” Even if you don’t really know what God’s will is for your future endeavours, there is one thing that will never change - His will for the Gospel to be shared with everyone. God’s will is that you open your mouth to share the gospel, because the ultimate purpose of Christ was for “All people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth”  (1Timothy 2:4). In sharing His message of salvation with others, you are already doing the will of God, but through prayer He will show you His specific plans for you.

In conclusion, the only way to truly get through this life is through prayer. In John 15, Jesus uses the imagery of the vine and the branches. He declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” As we believe that Jesus is the TRUE VINE, we need to be directly connected to Him. We will know if we are truly connected to the vine by the fruit that we produce. This is the fruit, and example that the world needs. The fruit that we will be produce will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithful, and self- control. Without this fruit, the world will starve. It begins with PRAYER.

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