In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)
The Lord’s Prayer is one of those things many of us learned at an early age. It ranks right up there with the 23rd Psalm and John 3:16. While it’s great to know, it’s even greater to understand why we know the Lord’s Prayer. As Jesus taught from a mountain side, He shared a model prayer with His disciples. Why did He share this model prayer? Because He knew just what we would need to survive in this world. He understood the recipe of a successful prayer life: Praise Prayers + Thanksgiving Prayers + Supplication Prayers + Repentance Prayers = Effective Prayers. Jesus gave us insight to how our Father in heaven would have us to pray. So if we are equipped with this information, why does it seem like so many of our prayers are ineffective and going unnoticed? After all, James 5:16 reminds us that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (NIV) Maybe, just maybe, we are not seeking God on what we should be praying. We may need to be petitioning the throne with the following request: ‘Lord, teach me what to pray’. I just recently learned this extremely valuable lesson…
As I spent family time with my mother, aunt and daughter last Tuesday afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised when I felt my body release a small gush of liquid. Being that I was 9 months pregnant I knew what that small gush of fluid meant—labor and delivery were on the horizon. I was beyond elated because I had been in serious prayer about that particular moment. I can’t even tell you how many times I had asked God to let my water break so that my body would go into labor on its own. I even had other people standing in agreement with me because I really needed it to happen that way. I was convinced that I needed it so badly because I hadn’t experienced my water breaking in my previous pregnancies and was ‘cheated’ in my birthing experience. However, it would later be revealed that I was consistently praying that as a result of another answered prayer that said, ‘Lord, teach me what to pray.’
After making it to the hospital and being admitted into the labor and delivery unit, the waiting game began as my body started the dilation process. By 4:00 am the next morning, my cervix had only dilated to 5 cm. The doctor wasn’t concerned at that point and neither was I. She exited the room, hopeful that when she checked the next time I would be nearly complete and ready to push my blessing into the world. Much to my dismay at 6:00 am all of our wonderful plans went awry. My nurse rushed in the room to adjust the monitoring system to get a more accurate heart rate for the baby. She was concerned because the baby’s heart rate had a huge deceleration. Unfortunately, after trying for nearly two minutes, the monitor showed no changes, indicating that the reading was in fact correct. At that precise moment, she pushed an emergency button and my room flooded with about 20 other health care professionals including my doctor. She proceeded to tell me that my baby’s heart rate had significantly dropped, signaling that the baby was in serious distress. The best option for both baby and myself would be an emergency cesarean section. I will spare you all of the emotional details, but understand that I was horrified beyond explanation. Everything was happening so fast. I couldn’t even gather my thoughts quick enough to process what was going on. Before I knew it, the anesthesiologist had put me to sleep. It wasn’t until I was awake and headed to recovery that I understood just how important my prayer of, ‘Lord, teach me what to pray’ really was.
The doctor explained that after opening me up it was discovered that my placenta had completely detached from my uterus. This rare complication, known as placental abruption, is extremely dangerous to the unborn baby because the placenta is the baby’s lifeline. When it detaches from the uterus, the baby’s oxygen supply is cut off. My baby girl’s life was in jeopardy and it was only by the grace of God and His answer to my prayer to teach me what to pray that she is here with us today.
As stated before, I prayed and prayed for my water to break so that I wouldn’t have to go past my due date and be artificially induced. However, God had me praying that prayer for a completely different reason. He knew that on morning of Wednesday, August 1, 2012 my placenta would separate from my uterus. He knew that if my water didn’t break, I would be at home in the bed at 6:00 am instead of in the hospital. He knew that I would have no way of knowing that my baby was in distress because I didn’t have the medical equipment necessary to monitor such changes. He knew just what I needed to ensure that little Miss Kai Harris could make her world debut. He knew what He had to do, but He also knew what I needed to do. Thank God that He answered my prayer and taught me what to pray!
My prayer today is quite simple. Please teach me what (and how) to pray. I know that if You tell me what to pray, it will align with Your will for my life and come to pass. Then all of my prayers will be effective just as You intended. When I don’t know what to pray, please keep Your word and allow the Holy Spirit to intercede on my behalf. (Romans 8:26) Thank You for the avenue of prayer and for two-way communication. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to ask Him to teach you what to pray. He already knows what lies ahead on your path so why not allow Him to jumpstart your prayers of protection, repentance, supplication, etc. That prayer just may be the difference between life and death! After all, He can see if the oxygen supply is going to be compromised on something that you are trying to birth.
Do you have an example of God teaching you what to pray? Share your story with us in the comments.
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Two Way Street
Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.