Our church family has been reading through the book, A Call to Prayer, by J. C. Ryle. It’s a small, but powerful and convicting book. Ryle makes the case why we ought to be a praying people. One of the reasons he offers is that “prayer is one of the best means of happiness and contentment.” He continues:
We live in a world where sorrows abound…Some without doubt have a larger cup of sorrow to drink than others. But few are found who live long without sorrows or cares of one sort or another…And what is the best means of cheerfulness in such a word as this? I know of no better means than the regular, habitual practice of taking everything to God in prayer (emphasis original).
Do you agree with Ryle? Has prayer ever brought a sense of cheerfulness to your heart? Has it ever revived your soul? God is not bothered by our constant coming to him with burdens and requests. In fact, he invites us to do this.
Psalm 50:15. “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
1 Peter 5:7. “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
James 5:13. “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.”
The invitation of God is for us to enter his throne of grace and find just that – grace. Undeserved love and kindness. As Ryle says, “Prayer can lighten crosses for us…It can bring down to our side One who will help us to bear them. Prayer can open a door for us when our way seems hedged up…Prayer can let in a ray of hope when all our earthly prospects seem darkened.”
Christian, don’t hesitate to run to Jesus in prayer. His arms are open wide. He died for you and even now intercedes for you to our Father (Romans 8:34). When you do, the promise of God is that he can sustain your heart and lighten the load. He can give you peace. He can cheer your weary soul. He can give you true happiness.