Prayer is a traditional form of guidance for Christians seeking to follow Jesus into the world.
Prayer is vitally important as one of the primary ways we communicate with God.
But we must recognize that prayer is not only how God listens to us, but also how we learn to listen to our own hearts.
It is through prayer that we often learn what God wants us to do, where God wants us to serve, and whom God wants us to love.
We learn such things, not just so we can pray about them, but so that we can open our eyes, unfold our hands, get up off our knees, and go out and love and serve those people whom we have prayed about.
Listening to Your Prayers
If you find yourself praying intently for your neighbor who just lost his wife, when you are done praying, go over to him with a plate of cookies and spend some time talking with him.
If you find yourself praying that there would be fewer abortions in this country, when you are done praying, go get involved with a ministry which seeks to love and serve single mothers, or go volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center.
If you find yourself praying for our troops overseas, when you are done praying, find out how to send them care packages.
If you find yourself praying that your unsaved uncle would come to church, when you are done praying, go on over to his place and start hanging out with him, spending time with him, and loving him. Rather than ask him to join you at church, you take the love of Jesus and the church to him.
This is the missing element in most Christian prayer today.
We pray earnestly and fervently, knowing that Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing and that the prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much. But rarely do we follow through on our own prayers, and seek to be the answer to the needs and issues we have prayed about.
If you and your church are looking for ways to follow Jesus into the world, start listening to your own prayers to learn what people and needs are important to you. Then go, seeking to love and serve those people and meet those needs.
In this way, our own prayers serve as a wonderful source of guidance for where God wants us to be involved in advancing His Kingdom.