by Julie Jaunese
Have you ever given much thought to prayer? Prayer is the means to have a one-on-one relationship with God. We are able to tell Him our deepest thoughts; although I am convinced God knows our thoughts before we have them.
I was thinking about prayer the other day and began to think of the picture my nephew took of a forest fire in Michigan. (He works for the National Forestry Service.) I had been thinking about prayer as a tree for some time. When we pray, we are the trunk. Each branch is formed by the prayers we offer to God. By that I mean we have a branch that forms each part our family. I have a husband and two daughters so that would be three separate branches. Each person in my family has their own unique need that requires prayer. They also have friends and burdens they would like you to pray about and these items form the twigs. Another branch I like to pray for would be the government and those in authority over us. Other branches are friends, relatives, missionaries, those who are ill, the people I work with and those I work for. My tree might look entirely different than yours but in both cases, we are the trunk of the tree.
Each time we pray, claiming God’s word – especially when we use the scriptures when we pray, we set in motion a fire storm from heaven. God hears us and dispatches his angels. If you look at the picture of the trees you see the fire beginning from the bottom and extending upward. When we are ‘well grounded’- when our roots go deep – when we memorize the scripture – when we put our faith in the God who created us, knowing that we are on a first name basis with Our Father (meaning we are close to Him 24/7) – that is when we see answers to our prayers. That’s when the fire of God goes up through our trunk and extends to all of the branches and even to the small twigs that are on the peripherals of our lives.
I love reading the prayer of Solomon in I Kings 8 – think about the above analogy as you read it. I have used the words from The Message Bible below.
“O God, God of Israel, there is no God like you in the skies above or on the earth below who unswervingly keeps covenant with his servants and relentlessly loves them as they sincerely live in obedience to your way. You kept your word to David my father, your personal word. You did exactly what you promised—every detail. The proof is before us today!
Keep it up, God, O God of Israel! Continue to keep the promises you made to David my father when you said, “You’ll always have a descendant to represent my rule on Israel’s throne, on the condition that your sons are as careful to live obediently in my presence as you have.
O God of Israel, let this all happen; confirm and establish it!”
Go on and read the chapter, not just my excerpt. Don’t you love to tell God how much you appreciate him? I love to thank God for his answers to my prayers. Remember, don’t rush away at the end of your prayer and go on to something else. Sit for a few minutes in your quiet place and allow God to speak to you. If you were talking to your best friend you wouldn’t rush off after they shared their heart to you. You would contemplate what they had just told you and then you would talk to them. God wants to talk to you so be patient and WAIT UPON THE LORD. You will be glad you did!
Julie Jaunese has been married to her husband Michael for over 40 years. She has two daughters and two grandsons with a third grandchild on the way. She works at Moffitt Cancer Center and hosts two women’s small groups, the Yada Book Club and the Fabulous Fems. Mike and Julie have been part of Grace Family Church since it began with 40 people in a house.