Prayer! It has been on my heart a great deal lately. To be more precise, how does it affect the relationship between God and His children? Oh dear, I’m not wording this very well. I think that’s part of the heaviness I’ve been feeling. It’s a heart thing, you see, so therefore, not so easy to explain. I want very much to understand enough about how prayer works and why we are to pray, that I can explain it in such a way so as to glorify God.
As Christians, we are to be like Christ. That’s what the word ‘Christian’ means. Read through all four Gospels and you’ll see that prayer was a very important part of our Lord’s life. He emulated it and even gave us a verbal example of how we are to pray [Matthew 6:9-13]. He instructed us how not to pray as well. [Matthew 6:5, 6:7-8] If it was explained to us through word and example by Jesus … well then, it must be part of my life as well.
I don’t have it all figured out yet, and probably won’t until the day I enter into the presence of my Lord and Savior. But I came across an important passage in my Bible reading today that does encourage me in one of the biggest questions I’ve had about prayer–does it make a difference? It’s glaringly obvious that it does. Here, see what I mean:
From Hosea 14:8, from several popular translations-
- “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” NLT (bold and italics mine)
- “O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; From Me comes your fruit.” NAS (bold and italics mine)
- “O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit.” ESV (bold and italics mine)
- “O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; your faithfulnesscomes from me. NRSV (bold and italics mine)
- “Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have answered [him] and will regard and watch over him; I am like a green fir or cypress tree; with Me is the fruit found. Amplified (bold and italics mine)
- “O Ephraim, I do not want to have anything to do with idols anymore! I will answer him and care for him. I am like a luxuriant cypress tree; your fruitfulness comes from me!” NET (bold and italics mine)
- “Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.” KJV (bold and italics mine)
I am greatly encouraged today by the prophet Hosea, as he speaks God’s word, to know emphatically that God does hear, and answers. This I will continually remember when in prayer throughout the day. Thank you, God!