I am a Pastor’s kid. I have prayed as long as I can remember. Before eating and at bedtime. On Sundays at church. I knew to pray over my food, “Lord thank you for this food”,  and at night, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.” Y’all know what I’m talking about, the cute safe prayers. I am so thankful that about four years ago, I realized the power of prayer through fellowship with our Lord. It was doing the worst storm of my life. I was broken; physically, financially, and mentally hurting. I lost everything and I was desperate. Because of my sinful pride I told no one. Thankfully I knew enough about God to know I could turn to Him. I prayed morning, noon, and night. Most of the time I was in so much pain all I could do was pray. Not the cute, I don’t want to mess up my make-up prayers, but the ugly, swollen eyes, snotty nose prayers. I opened myself up completely to God, surrendering myself to Him. God heard me. And I heard Him. I began to fellowship with Him. As I’ve said, I knew about God, but I did not know Him personally. I seeked His face through prayer, I had conversations with Him. Not like before when I would ask Him for something, and then say amen. Or when He answered my prayers and I would do a quick, “Thank you Jesus!” God’s desire is to fellowship with us. Thank God we can have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. When we are born-again, we are birthed into a relationship with our Heavenly Father. There is a difference between a relationship and fellowship. Some biological relationships go days, weeks, months, and even years without speaking or fellowshipping with each other. Yet still the relationship exists, even though fellowship is absent. Fellowship is a level beyond relationship. Fellowship is a matter of choice. The Bible speaks more of fellowship than it does of relationship (1 John 1:6). “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1Cor. 1:9).

During my storm when I first started to fellowship with God through prayer, there was so much negative stuff going on in my head. But I still knew His voice. He said His sheep would know His voice (John 10:27). I am thankful that He was still my Shepherd even though I had been lost. Through prayer, God heard me, and He began to heal and restore me. Then God led me to Warrior Nation Ministries. Through this ministry I learned the importance of fellowship and prayer. Prayer connects us to the power of God, which is necessary to defeat spiritual enemies, and to manifest the blessings and promises of God. The early believers knew prayer was vital. The day of Pentecost started with a prayer meeting (Acts 1:8). The disciples continued to pray as they spread the good news of Jesus around the world. I think about out of all the things the disciples could have asked Jesus to teach them, they asked that He teach them to pray (Luke 11:1). They had walked with Him for years, seen Him perform miracle after miracle. Yet they did not ask Him to teach them how to heal, how to raise the dead, or how to feed thousands of people with little? No, they asked Him to teach them how to pray. They had witnessed when Jesus prayed, things happened. Prayer was an important part of Jesus’s life. Scripture tells us how Jesus prayed or went alone to pray apart from the disciples ( Luke 5:16). Jesus prayed because of His relationship with the Father. Jesus’s relationship with the Father was the power that brought salvation to man. In Luke 11:2, Jesus does not say if you pray, He said when you pray. He expects us to pray. When we take time to pray, we take time to connect with God. To reach God in prayer, we need to take time to fellowship with Him. I used to wish I could pray like some folk, lengthy prayers with big words. Now I know that prayer is having a conversation with God, coming to Him humbly and without pretense. Listening as well as talking. Sometimes I can just sit in the mist of His presence with no words. It’s amazing how the Holy Spirit will intercede when we don’t have words to express ourselves. The Holy Spirit will help us to know what to pray and how to pray, He will help us with all kinds of prayers and request (Ephesians 6:18). When we go to our Father God in prayer and fellowship with Him, He gives us discernment, guidance, and wisdom. It is good to intercede and lift each other in prayer, but we need to know how to go to God ourselves. When we are overwhelmed, hurting, and going through challenges and tribulations, prayer is the answer. We should fellowship with God persistently and pray to Him about all matters. Nothing is too big or too small to discuss with the Lord. The Bible tells us that our prayers will be met with God’s delight (Proverbs 1:8, Psalm 149:4). The act of prayer and fellowship with our Father leads to the peace, patience, and perseverance we all so desperately need. Love and Blessings…

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