And this is Dr. Ty. Welcome to this episode of Simple Christians podcast. Today, I want to talk about how in all things we should pray, but maybe not at all things.
I saw a Facebook post about a podcaster (and I work with podcasters a little bit because I’m kind of new to this stuff and I’m still learning) who does a podcast about mental health. They had a Christian that they were interviewing in this particular episode and I frankly was kind of amazed.
Every time this podcaster would ask the Christian mental health specialist a question about something like depression, or what do you do when someone is talking about how they’re depressed, and their life just doesn’t seem to be worth anything anymore.
Don’t get me wrong; I personally believe with all of my heart in the power of prayer. But non-Christians don’t, and this wasn’t a Christian podcast.
Let’s say, a non (or pre-) Christian talks about how their marriage is falling apart. We can’t look at them and say, “we’ll pray for you,” because number one, they won’t do it, they won’t pray. They don’t even know how to pray.
And number two, they’re going to think we’re idiots. Because what does prayer do? I’m just being real here, okay? They’re not Christians; they don’t understand the power of prayer.
And there is nothing we can do to explain that to them.
They won’t understand the power of prayer until they’ve accepted God into their lives. And personally, I believe that the only prayer that God really listens to from non Christians is when they pray to God to save them. I don’t think any other praying does very well, for non Christians.
That means that we don’t just pray at night, we don’t just pray when we go to church, we pray all the time.
For instance, sometimes I’ll be driving down the road and the light ahead is red. But, right when I’m getting ready to slow down, it turns green. Right then, I’ll say, Thank you, God. That’s a prayer. It might be a simple prayer, but it’s a prayer of thanksgiving. I’m thanking God, just for all the blessings that he’s given me in my life. And that may or may not have been God that changed the light, I don’t care, I’m still going to thank God. He created the people who created the lights, so he created the lights, why not thank him?
So, in all things, when we’re Christians, we should pray. But you need to take it to the next step as well. When you pray, especially when you have a fervent prayer (you’re not just thanking God for the light changing or something like that). Let’s say something traumatic is going on in your life. You need to pray to God, and you need to listen for the answer.
Which is why I say, don’t just pray, but do prayer and meditation. Meditation is sitting in silence, without all that junk going through your head. And there’s a lot on the internet on how to meditate, so I’m not going to tell you how to meditate. But meditating to me is clearing your head and just waiting for God’s Word to come to you.
I don’t meditate anywhere near as much as I should. I should be doing that a lot more. God’s even shown me very directly how well meditation works. Last year I went through a very serious health issue. I had quintuple coronary bypass surgery, which means all five of the major arteries going to and from my heart had to have a bypass done on them; they were blocked 70 to 90%.
I prayed to God quite a lot (I believe in the power of prayer). But I believe that God put us all on earth for something too. God may have been able to cure me of that without surgery. But God led me to a surgeon.
And I love this part because the surgeon God led me to wasn’t a Christian. It doesn’t matter to me that he wasn’t a Christian; God led me to him, so I’m going to use him.
And I was able to talk about God a little bit to this surgeon. I don’t know if I changed his mind at all. To me becoming a Christian isn’t necessarily one great, amazing thing that one person says to another. It’s all the little things the good Christians do in that person’s life.
I had Christians throughout my life throughout all my younger years, and it still took me 40 years to become a Christian. And now I do this podcast.
Back to prayer. One thing I ask you not to do, and it’s very easy to fall into. To me, this is a trap of Satan, a trap of the devil.
I was standing next to women one Sunday after church service who were talking. And one woman is saying, “Oh, you need to pray for john, because his car was at the bar all night long last night, I was going into work at 6am, and his car was still there. I’m wondering if he may have been sleeping in it after the bar closed.”
And the other woman says, “Oh, forget about that. Pray for the pastor. His car was in front of Mary’s house all night long last night. And that’s not the first time that it was in front of her house.”
That’s not prayer. That is pure, unadulterated gossip. And that has no place in prayer. Don’t do that.
God knows everything that’s going on. So, if you’re going to ask someone to pray, you might use the person’s first name, you might say, “Hey, will you do me a favor? Will you pray for john? He has something going on.”
And if they say, well, what’s going on? You can say, well, I think that might be a private matter between him and God. But just pray for God’s openness to his situation or pray for God’s will in his life; do something like that.
I don’t think that we need to be very specific about our prayers when we’re asking other people to pray, especially for a third party. Even when I asked people to pray for me during my health issue; I just told them that I had a health issue going on,, although I was more open with some people than others.
I’m a private person anyway, So I don’t really open up a super lot; It took me a year to start talking about the surgery that I went through. And so I just don’t do that.
But I did ask for prayer. And I would just say a health issue. God knows what it is, and God hears our prayers, so he knows what to do. And he knows what’s best for us. So I love 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which is why I keep talking about that one, because it says Pray without ceasing. Pray all the time.
Like I said, Pray constantly. I thank God for allowing me to do this podcast. I have a great amount of joy doing it. The Bible talks about prayer quite a lot. And I really love how Jesus highlighted prayer. Every time that he would speak in front of a crowd, he would then go off alone and pray to God.
He spent time in prayer right before his crucifixion, and even asked his disciples to help to stay in prayer.
So, we don’t even have to pray about certain things, we could just thank God for everything we’re doing, or pray for God’s will in our life or pray for God to show us the path that he wants us to go down.
It doesn’t have to be a specific prayer, it could be some simple thing. Maybe you have an addiction that’s not a terrible addiction. It may be that it’s a small addiction. But it’s something that all of a sudden, you want God to help you with it. Pray: “What is your will, God help me with this.”
Everybody has something a little bit different. Many of the people that I know now have grown up in the church, and they’ve been Christians all their lives. But I only started being a Christian when I was 40, and most of my life, I’ve talked about in the past, has been very non Christian.
I have a different viewpoint than they do on some things. So, my prayers might be very different than their prayers. Their prayer might be to open up their eyes to different viewpoints. My prayer might be to open up my eyes and just stop me from having a more jaded view on some things, because I did for a long time. I was very much against the church. I still need to pray to God Sometimes to keep me calm.
Even when a pastor does something simple that kind of gets my neck hairs up, I have to be careful of that.
I have a tendency to want to leave a church when some simple thing doesn’t go exactly the way that I think it should. Or I’ll listen to a Christian podcast and the author will say something that’s not according to scripture.
A perfect example: There was a man who seems to be a great Christian. He was doing a podcast and he was talking about the Egyptian gods and during his podcast. Well, he was talking about the gods, but what he was meaning was the followers of the Egyptian gods, not the gods themselves.
But he kept saying the gods, he was just using the wrong words, but I took it as thinking that he was not being Biblical in talking about other gods.
The Bible tells us that there’s only one God, but here’s this guy talking about other gods. However, he was just saying it the wrong way. And I understand that because I say things the wrong way sometimes in this podcast. I try to correct them when I can, but sometimes they get through.
I’m definitely not perfect. I don’t try to be perfect, there’s no way I can be. To me perfect is the bane of good enough. Anyway, if I tried to make this podcast perfect, it would never come out because there’s no such thing as perfection in this world.
So think of the things that stop you. Think of the things that get your blood pressure up. Think of the things that wrinkle you, for lack of a better word, and start praying over those.
And do me a favor, when somebody you know is not a Christian, and maybe you’ve been a Christian your whole life and prayers is an obvious answer to you. That doesn’t mean it’s an obvious answer to them. It’s okay to pray for them silently later, but maybe it’s not okay to grab their hand right there and then and tell them you are going to pray for them.
Maybe it’s a person you see in church every Sunday, but you never see them any other day but Sunday. Maybe they’re not as strong of Christians as you are. Maybe just saying, hey, let’s pray about it together, now. And I’m going to challenge you on this one also. This is one that I have a tough time with two, when they talk about something; rather than just say, hey, I’ll pray over it, take their hand right then and there, or, or tell them right then to there: Let’s pray about this now (with Christians). And then actually do a prayer right then, right there. That way you won’t forget.
And that we will bring God down right into the group right then, and you’re going to feel his presence while you pray. As long as it’s a prayer that glorifies God, I believe you will always feel his presence when you do it.
This is Dr. Ty. Thanks for listening to this episode of Simple Christians.