Do you remember playing the game “telephone” in elementary school? Everyone sits in a circle and a special “secret” is whispered into a child’s ear. The secret is passed around the circle, one whisper at a time, until everyone has heard the message. By the time the message has made it around the circle, usually the secret has been so distorted that it is hardly recognized by the one who began the game.
(This game is also hilarious to play with adults–try it at your next church function!)
If we’re honest with ourselves, we sometimes feel like our prayers are similar to the telephone game.
We call on God in prayer, but often feel that by the time we’ve prayed, God must not have heard our message correctly. We question whether God heard us because the outcome of our prayers may not always be what we’ve hoped it would be. Or our situation grows worse. We wonder to ourselves,
Did God hear me correctly? Why hasn’t he answered? Does he really care?
I am convinced that contrary to our thoughts, feelings or the state of the circumstances around us, God hears our prayers. Not a single word or tear goes unnoticed by our El Roi–the God who sees. He knows. He hears–and He answers.
Over the next several weeks I am excited start my very first series on prayer! In the next six weeks we will look at what it really means to call on God in prayer, and why we can expect our powerful, omnipotent God to move mountains on our behalf!Join me for a new series on prayer! Click To Tweet
This week, let’s look at what it means to call on God in prayer.
The first account of people praying can be found in Genesis 4:26,
At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord.
In the context of this chapter, we see that the first act of sin has been committed. The world had already become saturated with sin through the disobedience of Adam and Eve in chapter 3, and now we see the reverberating effects of their choices in their children. Cain, in his anger and jealousy of his brother Abel, struck and killed him. (Gen 4:8)
Six generations after Cain, the people of that time found themselves seeped with sin, murder and hate. Several verses later, the people began to call on the name of the Lord.
What about us?
We are also living in sinful, desperate times. All one needs to do is turn on the news to realize that we are living in a murderous, increasingly wicked world. The question is, are we as the people of God in this day and age, calling on the name of the Lord as the people did in Genesis 4:26?
The word call in Hebrew does not mean to call someone your cell, or “phone-a-friend like” in the show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
It means to call someone by name or…
- to call out, recite, read, cry out, proclaim, summon, invite, commission and appoint
Is this not the essence of prayer?
Prayer is not fancy, fluffy words. It’s not complaining about a person or a difficult situation. It’s not rubbing a spiritual genie bottle or sprinkling pixy dust on your problems.
Prayer is calling God Almighty by name, and crying out to Him in the midst of our pain. Prayer is calling God Almighty by name, and crying out to Him in the midst of our pain. Click To Tweet
Our prayers don’t transfer, like the telephone game, through others, but to God Himself–and He hears our cries.
- Calling to a God who intimately knows us.
- Crying out to our Abba Father in the midst of our brokenness.
- Inviting the Holy Spirit to move in our midst.
- Commissioning a divine appointment with the Creator of the universe.
- Proclaiming His promises in His life-giving Word.
So will we be a people at who call on the name of the Lord in the midst of a dying world? We must be men and women of prayer, and I am so excited for what we will learn in the weeks ahead!
Shall we pray?
Oh Lord, we call upon your name, your Name that is above every other name. You are Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End, the Bright and Morning Star. Everyone who calls on your name will be saved and completely transformed by the power of your Spirit. Just as your disciples asked, we ask that you will teach us to pray. Help us to truly understand what it means to call on your name in faith, hope and trust. You are a good, faithful and loving God, and those who trust in your name will not be disappointed! Heal our broken hearts, our families, our cities and nations of this world. One day every knee will bow and confess that you, Jesus, are Lord, and we ask that you will bring your mighty Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven!
In Jesus’ name,
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24
Linking with these lovely bloggers here!