Years ago, as a young single mom, I had this old clunker of a car. Every time I turned around something was wrong with this metal on wheels. With the flip of a coin, it decided whether it would get me to my destination or leave me stranded, sometimes in the middle of the street.
On one occasion, the power steering went out. Now, if you’ve ever driven a car without power steering you know exactly what I mean when I say, it’s like steering a boat on dirt. You had to prepare in advance for each turn and painfully yank on the wheel. Gone were the days of last minute turns. Might as well go up one street and double back around!
Prayer is like the power steering pump for a believer. Prayer pumps the power into the steering and navigation of our lives. Without it, well, let’s just say life doesn’t come easy. Quick turns in our lives and unknown detours become overwhelming to maneuver. We end up having to do many “double backs,” wasting the precious time God has given us. Prayer makes “driving” this life manageable.
Corrie Ten Boom once asked, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”
So which one is it? In your life, does prayer guide your every turn, steering you around detours or do you only use it when the “tire” of your life is blown and flat?
PRAYER OPENS MY SPIRITUAL EYES TO SEE THINGS I CAN’T SEE ON MY OWN. – LYSA TERKEURST
What if I told you your prayers could move mountains. That the very struggle you’re facing, that issue you find yourself in has to submit to the authority of Jesus.
Now, let me ask you this. Who’s prayer do you think gets answered? Is it your pastor? Or perhaps your friend who opens her mouth and out roll these beautiful, eloquent prayers?
Perhaps like me, you’ve prayed for big, life-altering prayers (and firmly believed) only to have them answered in a unique way leaving you wondering if your prayers even matter.
I’m going to let you in on a little (BIG) secret. Your prayers matter to the Father! Your prayers have authority over the enemy. They influence the darkness, call forth miracles, move mountains, and prevail over stony, rocky hearts.
According to James 5:16, the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Because of the blood of the Lamb, you are righteous. It doesn’t matter what you have or have not done, OR if you FEEL righteous. Your righteousness is not based on you, but Him. So, my friend, you are righteous, and YOUR prayers have the power to move mountains and the effectiveness to pray heaven on earth.
Today we’re going to talk about these two choices: the choice to use prayer as the steering wheel of your life or to only use it when you need to.
Steering Wheel Jesus
Whether it’s news of a baby or a layoff, who you run to first says a lot about whom you trust, whether it’s news of a baby or news of a layoff. The person you call first is usually your closest relationship; the one you can joyfully celebrate with, or draw strength from when you’re weak.
For Jesus, in all things, He ran to the Father. Jesus was often found retreating to quiet places, early in the morning to draw near His Father. It’s no surprise that during His hardest time, he ran and fell at the Father’s feet.
In each account of Jesus agonizing in the garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, & Luke 22:39-46), we read of Him being open, raw, and vulnerable before the Father. Don’t be afraid to pour out your heart and soul to the Father as often as you need.
In fact, I’m going to say the bigger the issue, the more frequently you need to draw from His strength. Jesus went back three times and prayed more earnestly according to Luke. So, pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Jesus trusted His Father’s will. He acknowledged that everything was possible for God, but not everything was passable, or permissible. Jesus knew God created all of mankind and therefore there was nothing too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:27). He also knew and trusted His Father’s will was best.
Many times, when we’re struggling through scenarios, we desperately want to know the outcome and how we can change the current situation, but there is protection in not knowing. When we pray and draw strength from Him, leaving the outcome to Him, we find shelter and protection under His mighty wing.
Imagine knowing you were about to face the most painful death, that not only would your Father turn His face away but also your friends would run and desert you. That the weight of the world’s sin – past, present, and future – would be laid upon your back. Jesus didn’t surrender his life for himself. He surrendered his life to do His Father’s will and because of His profound love for you and me.
Sometimes our deepest surrender reaps the greatest rewards. Not just for ourselves but others.
So trust the Father, run to Him, pour out your heart and soul to Him, draw strength from Him, surrender your impossible for His passable.
Spare Tire Disciples
Don’t get me wrong, I love the disciples but this is not one of their finer moments.
According to Luke, Jesus was only a stone’s throw away from them. Were they able to hear him crying out to God? See the anguish on His face or the beads of blood dripping down? I can only assume so, after all, they wrote the accounts in Scripture. And yet we find them asleep three times upon Jesus return to them.
Can’t you relate? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed only to find myself dosing off or my mind drifting to my “to-do” list.
Why? Why do we fall asleep on the very avenue God gave us to be strengthened so we can do His will in our lives? Jesus says it perfectly, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
That’s why Christ warned them to watch & pray so they wouldn’t fall into temptation. He knew within hours all the disciples would flee, deserting him. He knew Peter would follow Him at a distance and deny even knowing Jesus.
Jesus knows that when we are weak – spiritually, emotionally, and physically – we are susceptible to temptation, left wide open for the enemy. Jesus knows during times of distress we can doubt God’s love for us, drift from His presence, begin to follow Him at a distance, and fall out of His umbrella of protection. He prayed against it!
Before you were born, Jesus was praying for your deliverance from the enemy. Not that you would be removed from the world or necessarily the problem because He said, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
No, His prayer was for God’s protection and deliverance from the enemy.
- My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. John 17:15
In Mark 14:40, Jesus returned a second time to find them sleeping and scripture says, “They (the disciples) did not know what to say to Him.” Friends, there are no words for falling asleep on Him. No words will ever be able to reason with falling asleep on the “lifeline” of prayer. What a wake-up call! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Jesus to find me sleeping while my loved ones and friends “agonize in the garden.”
PRAYER MOVES MOUNTAINS. – JESUS (MATTHEW 17:20)
Where do you run when you’re troubled or need answers? Do you trust the Father’s answer? Are you pouring out your heart to Him? Are you willing to surrender your desires, dreams, and expectations to Him? Do you leave your problems at His feet as often as needed?
So, which one will you choose to be: a steering wheel Jesus or a spare tire disciple?
I pray you allow prayer to guide your decisions, as you make time each day this week to draw near to Him, be led by Him, and draw strength from Him. Join me next week for how my prayer life was completely transformed by one tool: a prayer journal. I’ll be sharing tips and tricks on how to set one up as well as giving one away.
If you’re looking for a great book to deepen your prayer life, “Fervent” by Priscilla Shirer is the MOST AMAZING BOOK EVER! Throughout the years, I’ve done many of her Bible studies (One In A Million, Jonah, Armor of God – just to name a few) and have always been blown away at her insight. Seriously, this book will change the way you view prayer and help you establish a prayer strategy for every area of your life.
Blessings soul friends!
Esther | Chosen & Cherished
*Disclamer: This blog is my personal “baby”, written and edited by me. Occasionally, I might mention an affiliate link. Should you choose to purchase a product or service through the link, I receive a small referral commission from the product links provided. This does not change my personal view of the product or cost an extra fee to you. I take the highest care in the items I refer, only linking items I have used or currently use in our home. Thank you!*