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A single-prayer system

Put 'em together.
Put 'em together.
Photo by Jennifer Weber 2007

Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. (Job 14:1-2)

Much has been made in recent days of the Obama administration's desire to turn the American healthcare system into a single-payer arrangement.

That is, when a person goes to the doctor, the doctor gets paid not by the patient or their insurance company, or by supplemental coverage, or by any variation on that theme, but by a single payer: the United States Government.

It is an idea that has been met with varying degrees of enthusiasm by the people it would affect the most: ordinary Americans.

Some folks think it's not quite that simple.

And while they may be correct with regard to healthcare, it's actually a great way to achieve spiritual well-being.

The single-prayer system.

Through the miracle of prayer (talking to God), our heavenly Father promises to give into our hands not only that which we need in order to live, but freely ... all things. And unlike the Government, He is never stingy and there's no red tape.

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

To a Baptist there is perhaps no more blessed truth than that of the priesthood of the believer. Jesus Christ's death and resurrection negated the need for a go-between; the believer now has direct access to God.

It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)

God is not only able to answer our prayers and thereby meet our needs; He is very much ready and willing. We are supposed to come before Him without hemming and hawing, thank Him for His goodness, tell Him both what we need and what we want, and ask Him to provide.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

He waits patiently for us to do this, without fear, every day. This is so that our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs may be perpetually met.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

And this provision is not only for ourselves. As the needs and burdens of others are brought to mind, we should be faithful to pray for them as we would have them pray for us. As a bonus, one of the surest ways to dissipate bitterness and anger toward another person is to consistently pray for them.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)

Most of us know exactly what we need and want, but many are still loath to ask God for assistance. Often we think we know better, and we feel confident in our ability to figure things out on our own. Sometimes it's simply a matter of finding it difficult to verbalize what is really going on deep inside our hearts. Sometimes we allow shame and guilt to stop us from approaching God.

We forget that He already knows, and sees our end.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

When things go awry to the point of our desperation, and disappointment levels us, and failure descends like an iron cloud and depression has us in its icy grip, if we will admit defeat and acknowledge God's sovereignty and our dire need of His strength, it is then that the blessed Holy Spirit takes over on our behalf.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)

No priest necessary. It's a single-prayer system, and it works beautifully.


All Scripture quoted and referenced in this article is from the King James Version.

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  • Kevin D. 5 years ago

    I know you wrote this two days ago, but this is exactly what I needed this morning.

    Thank you.