As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
"Who touched me?" Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you."
But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."
Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace." Luke 8:42-48
Prayer is this remarkable thing – a miracle that goes beyond simple communication.
However, we have a desperate need for it to be simple. In our world of instant information, we yearn to know the ins and outs of everything, including prayer. We want a few quick answers to our questions of what prayer is and how one goes about engaging in this act.
Please someone tell us, do we close our eyes, bow our head or cross our legs? Should we talk out loud or write out our prayers? Is it necessary to use the Christian jargon we hear at church for God to hear us?
Prayer is all about communion. This act goes beyond just merely communication tricks. Webster's dictionary defines communion as an act or instance of sharing or intimate fellowship and rapport.
Unfortunately, for many of us, we find it difficult to experience this place of refuge and connection. Inadequacy and intimidation can plague one's prayer life, but nothing jeopardizes it quite like the battle over control. It is crucial that we recognize that we are not in control because most prayers we see in the Bible seem to originate from this place. The Psalmists cried out to God for help and wisdom because they realized they were not the one orchestrating their days.
In today's culture, many pray only as a last resort. After we have gone down every avenue and exhausted all our efforts, then and only then, do we give up control and turn to prayer. Intentional prayer and seeing prayer as communion gets us to this place faster without all the complicated convincing that it usually takes.
Consider the posture of the woman who reached out and touched the hem of Jesus' robe. She had exhausted all her options and realized her only hope was to get to Jesus. The sense of desperation she had is what got her noticed by Jesus.
So the question needs to be asked: are you praying desperate prayers that recognize who is ultimately in control of your days?
Would you say prayer is one of the last things you turn to in times of desperation?
What point do you have to get to before you give up control of your situation and lift your concerns to God?
God, I know that You are in control, but often my prayers, or lack of prayer, don't indicate I genuinely believe this fact. Usually, I want to grab the reigns, direct my life, and make sure I get my way. You are asking me to lay down my plans at Your feet. Give me the courage to do so. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.