Having been brought up in a Christian family, I learnt or rather heard of praying from as early as I can begin to remember my childhood experiences. I loyal fully attended Sunday school classes (thanks to my mother who could never allow a Sunday to pass by without taking us to church). From the Lord’s Prayer to the words of grace, I knew them all since my childhood. I even suspect that even if I were to get into amnesia I would probably still remember them. In the recent past I have had a desire to understand prayer better, and even as I write this, I am first of all writing to myself then to you.

Caption this; you meet a stranger in a PSV from Nairobi to Marallal and strike a conversation that translates into a friendship. You really get excited over him, especially when during the conversation you find out that this friend is such a great man of influence (he is just the MAN you should have in your contact list) and he is able to offer a solution to that one thing that has bothered you for quite some time now. And so being an opportunist (and charismatic perhaps) you don’t allow a chance to pass by but present your problem (and surprisingly find out that indeed he has helped so many people with that kind of problem and he really seems to have foreseen it in you). You are amazed at his humility and simplicity and get vulnerable to him and from henceforth, you become friends. But sooner than later, you begin getting bored and stop communicating to him (even though he keeps on contacting you). You turn to be a snub to him, and you completely forget how much he helped you……. Does that sound familiar to anyone? It does to me (sadly).

There are good questions to ask every time we hear of prayer, or think of praying. Why am I praying? What am I praying for? How long should a prayer be? Can I pray enough? Do styles matter in prayer (shouting, walking around, sitting down, kneeling etc)? Do I have to pray alone? Is prayer all sufficient? Well I know the list of questions could be endless, and I may not answer all of them, however am quite certain a couple of the questions will get answered.

It’s quite obvious that we get to pray more often when in distress (and well, as finite beings perhaps this isn’t uncommon), and it wasn’t different in king Hezekiah’s reign in Israel either. The Assyrian king was here, intimidating them and the Southern kingdom had already been taken away into exile by the Babylonians. Let’s have a look at the King’s prayer in Isaiah 37:14-38 and what we can pick from it concerning prayer;

  • Adoration; even in time of distress the nature of God doesn’t change. “Oh Lord Almighty…..you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth…..” God is Sovereign and regardless of our situations we should never be little-Him. No wonder in the Lord’s Prayer our Savior taught us to pray “Our Father who art in heaven, hallow be thy name…..”
  • Pouring out our hearts to God; in distress we are often faced with many options to take, among them telling our friends, getting upfront to head-on confrontation with the ‘enemy’, blogging or even face booking about it, etc. Hezekiah’s reaction was to go before the Lord in prayer. It is in the Lord that he trusted in.
  • God speaks through the Word, and we respond through prayer; Isaiah was the prophet of the Lord then and God spoke to His people through him. When Isaiah brings the message to Hezekiah, Hezekiah speaks to God through praying. This is in contrast to a common belief that prayer is listening to God…… God speaks to us through His Word, and we respond in prayer. God, (in His Sovereignty) humbles us by letting us know that we can communicate to Him by praying. Our prayers don’t work out things per se, but God in His plan puts the prayer in our hearts and works out things. Every outcome is for His sake vs. 35.

We pray because God has instructed us to pray. I so often fall into the temptation of the guy up there who forgets of the goodness of the Lord (in delivering me from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light through Jesus Christ) and push my Bible away and throw prayer time out of the window, but the King and Master who has called us friends is reminding us just yet again, that we need to keep communicating with Him.

It is on that note that I remember this classic hymn;

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Saviour, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Saviour, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.

A parting shot?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ‘Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus’.

Mary Njeri,

iServe Africa.

3 thoughts on “…..TAKE IT TO THE LORD IN PRAYER…..

  1. Njeri, a wonderful article there! I like this, “…even in time of distress the nature of God doesn’t change.” Many are times we think God changes with our circumstances. I also like the classic hymn. Reading it and not singing it makes it better…


  2. A great read indeed, an eye opener as pertains that common misconception about prayer and oh! how the reality of the man above applies to me. How many times I prefer other things when I should be on my knees and shamefully come before His presence when troubles push me there. I seek and pray even to pray more. Thanks for this Njeri.


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