June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
The words to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” are beautiful and better than that, they are absolutely true. They tell the story of WHY we pray. When we understand the power and peace we can experience by leaving our problems at His feet, we will fall on our knees more often. Prayer is cathartic and when we truly let go and let God, we release and walk in faith that He is handling it. I can think of four distinct reasons that we pray:
“… Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:9 KJV)
When Jesus instructed us on how we should pray He started it with praise. Sometimes we need to just praise God. It allows us to focus on Him and esteem Him. The Psalms are full of praises to God. When you are praising God it is all about Him because you recognize that He alone is worthy of your praise. You praise Him because you realize there is absolutely no one like Him and that He is supreme. When the Pharisees asked God to rebuke the disciples for worshipping Him, “…he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:40 NIV) Praise God because certainly you don’t want the rocks to cry out for you.
We praise God because of who He is; however, we thank Him because of what He has done. Your parents taught you that when someone does something for you it is your responsibility to thank them properly. Thanking God is just good manners! He does more for us than any man can and yet He is often last to get a ‘thank you’.
“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”(I Chronicles 16:34 KJV) Remember that thing that He did that you didn’t ask for? Yes, He deserves thanks for that too. We should thank Him continuously because He is constantly working on our behalf granting us unmerited favor, grace and mercy.
I am pretty sure that most of us have this part down packed. As a matter of fact, sometimes we forget about thanking and praising Him because we are busy, busy, busy asking. Yes, He did tell us to ask. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6 KJV) But you must have faith that God answers prayers: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22 KJV) And while you are asking for yourself, make sure you pray for others and I don’t mean just your friends and family. “… and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44 KJV)
Do you have a friend that calls you and every time she is finished spilling her problems she is ready to hang up the phone? She doesn’t take the time to listen to what you have to say. If you’ve ever had a conversation like this, I liken this to how we treat God. We ask and ask but sometimes we cut the conversation short by getting up and getting busy. We seldom just meditate and listen for the answer or we refuse to take heed to the answer. “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (John 8:47KJV) Listening is a skill and we must learn to listen to God. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 KJV)
As I remember why I pray, I am reminded of MC Hammer who said it best: “We’ve got to pray just to make it today!”
Thank You for the privilege of prayer. Help me to remember how easy I could have it if I cast my burdens on You and leave them there. You are that faithful friend who is worthy of praise and thanksgiving. Thank You for answering my prayers even when Your answer is ‘no’. Help me to follow Your will and in everything to praise You, be thankful, ask and listen. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Today I EMPOWER you to analyze your prayers. Are you just asking away without taking time for praise and adoration? Do you take time to listen or is it a one-sided conversation? With the turmoil of this present world we have plenty of reasons to pray.
Enjoy this throwback from MC Hammer:
Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”