God's Prayer For You!
by Bill Martin

"You want a diversion? Go to church." Those words from the New York Jets head Coach Herman Edwards when asked whether the NFL games provide a"diversion" from the terrorist attacks.

Prayer has become an important national pastime, more important than the Sunday TV games and more important than the baseball playoffs. Games end, but prayer does not.

Prayer is the essence of faith. What is faith? From the book "Fresh Faith" by Jim Cymbala he writes: "It is total dependence upon God that becomes supernatural in its working. People of faith develop a second kind of sight. They see more than just the circumstances; they see God right beside them. Can they prove it? No, but by faith they know He's there none the less. Without faith, says Hebrews it is impossible to please God. There is no other foundation for Christian living."

Prayer is not something I have been especially good at. At least not like I've seen and heard some other people pray. I argue with God, try to persuade God, wrestle with God and it's been messy. Now I understand in part, that's my prayer language with God. It's just the kind of person I am. I need to be in the trenches and that's fine with God.

Matthew 6:9 " ?when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father?then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

God wants our prayers to be pointed, concise and honest. When you close the door behind you there is nothing else to hide, it is just you and God.

There is no psychologist, no talk show host, and no human relationship to wipe away your anguish. It is only the power of God washing your heart, mind and soul clean. To shed all of the "stuff" you carry around everyday and to lay it at the foot of the cross. In fact the proof of the Holy Spirit is a changed person.

A disciple in prayer is someone living the life of a disciple. He or She is first and foremost a follower of Christ. A disciple is surrendered to Him. If you want to serve:

1). Serve God

2). Serve your wife

3). Serve your kids

4). Serve your church

In his book "Christ Centered Leadership", Perry Pascarella writes, "Prayer is essential to our soul in its reconciliation with God and in connecting with other souls. It is a time when we allow ourselves to become conscious of God and make Him the center of our lives. It is a time of concentrated seeking out of what God wants-communication, not to change God's mind, but to prepare our minds and hearts."

So how do you handle the situations in your life? God calls all of us to obedience and prayer especially when the road it so difficult. The crisis point for Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane moments before he was arrested and eventually sent to the cross. His agony drove him to pray and submit to the will of the father.

While we can't fathom the extreme pain Jesus was going through, you might have your own Gethsemane. It might be a difficult experience with work, a troubled marriage, and an addiction. Do you pray for help? Do you pray forgiveness? Do you pray for God's enduring love?

God's prayer is that you do.

Bill Martin is a multiple winner of Emmy and Associated Press Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. He was also inducted into the Ohio Television/Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.