North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    Our nation recognized the 66th National Day of Prayer on May 4, 2017. The faithful who ardently believe in the power of prayer took to community and local gatherings as a way to give emphasis to this important part of the Christian faith. How committed are you to a viable life of prayer? Everyday should be a day of prayer in the life of a believer.    One of the effects of sin in our life is to keep us from feeling compelled to pray. Satan wants it this way. It’s important to understand perfect moral behavior is not a condition for prayer. Don’t let guilty feelings over sin keep you from a close relationship with God. He’s ready to hear from you and restore you to a right relationship.

    I believe if every person would realize the power associated with prayer and start practicing it, there would be less anxiety-ridden people walking around and significantly less people on medication for stress-related issues.

    The practice of prayer is the key to spiritually-managing what is important to you. The biblical priest Ezra writes, “I gave orders for all of us to fast and humble ourselves before our God. We prayed that He would give us a safe journey and protect us, our children, and our goods as we traveled. So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and He heard our prayer” (Ezra 8:21-23). Ezra knew God’s promises to protect His people, but He didn’t take them for granted. Ezra said they prayed “earnestly”. Too often we pray superficially. Serious prayer requires concentration. It puts us in touch with God’s will and it can change us. I once heard that without serious prayer, we reduce God to a quick-service pharmacist with painkillers for our every ailment.

    In John 17 Jesus didn’t ask God to take believers out of the world or to remove all hindrances from their life, but instead to use them in the world. Since Christ sends us out to the utter-most parts of the earth, we should not try to escape from the world, nor should we avoid all relationships with non-believers. Christians are to be “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16) and we are to do the work that God sent us to do.

    Because the world is in spiritual warfare where the force under Satan’s power do battle with those under God’s authority, we need to protect ourselves. Satan and his force are motivated by their hatred for Christ and his followers. Jesus prays for us, that God would keep us safe from Satan’s power, setting you and me apart, making us holy and pure, and uniting us with his truth (John:11-21). Although Jesus has prayed for our protection, we must be diligent in doing our part by staying spiritually strong through prayer and a conscious application of putting on our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18). Prayer prepares us for battle. It’s been said that “preparation precedes public performance”. The same can be said about private performance. The Bible makes it very clear that we’re to be on guard, alert, and ready (1 Peter 5:8).

    The essence of prayer is not public style, but involves private, personal, communication with God. There’s a place for public prayer, but to pray with the intent to impress or where others will notice you, indicates that your real audience is not God.

    Finally, when considering our prayer life, we should always pray for one another. Colossians 1:3-4 says, “We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people.” When you don’t know how to pray for someone use the following thoughts: Pray that they 1) understand God’s will, 2) seek spiritual discernment, 3) honor God, 4) bear good fruit, 5) grow in their knowledge of God, 6) be filled with God’s strength, 7) have endurance and patience, 8) stay full of Christ’s joy, 9) help others, and 10) always, always give thanks. All believers have these same basic needs. God welcomes your honest prayers and wants you to express your true feelings to Him. We can do so, because He promises to love us with an everlasting love.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. You can contact him at:

Posted by on May 7 2017. Filed under Church News, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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