The Purpose of Prayer: Tamra Dalbey


By Tamra Dalbey

Choose the One Thing That is Needed.

Peter had a very simple prayer that day on the water: “Lord save me!” Peter was in crisis… or so he thought. After fear and doubt entered Peter, he started sinking into the waves he was just walking on moments before. He was already a believer – already going to Heaven positionally. Here he is in desperation, he has a need: strength. Weakness had overcome and overwhelmed him. How many times in our lives have we been just as crippled? Yet he knew the source of strength and cried out to Him. This was not necessarily an eloquent prayer but rather one that was real and showed his need.

The needs in my life in this season are great, with weakness a common occurrence. There are different ways a believer can handle this weakness. We can formulate calculated solutions and look to man’s wisdom for the fix. Or maybe we just cave in to our inability and are paralyzed by our fear. How about the times we just keep waiting, thinking in time we’ll get some clarity. There is something better we are called to. So many times in this Christian life we are called to action, and prayer is no exception. When we come and sit at His feet or hurl ourselves on Him in prayer we are tapping into His lifegiving water.  Remember the Lord quickly grabs Peter up out of the tumultuous waves… just as He’s ready to do with us. Truly, He is a saving God! He is able and willing to rescue us from that one thing that is stunting our growth. We just need to ask.

Even though sometimes our circumstances in life might remain unchanged- our lives through prayer to “The Resurrection and The Life” will be anything but unchanged. Even in times where the Lord answers our prayer with a no or a wait, when we come and submit ourselves to Father in prayer He does a work and alters the state of our heart. If we choose to live a life closely submitted to Him in prayer, He is faithful to align our heart with His. He reveals our circumstances for what they are: temporal not eternal. The blinders fall off and we can see things anew “…And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” When does this happen? When we turn our eyes upon Jesus. I find that the waves of life come new each day and I have to be one who chronically prays “Lord save me!”

Jesus gave us an excellent example of what a life immersed in prayer looks like. He showed us what it looks like to be completely submitted to the Father. It seems as though I find myself as Lord of my life all too often. When I pray, truly Christ is rightly returned to His place on the throne of my heart.  As Christians, we get to live lives completely dependent on the Lord. We don’t have to, but we can choose to. What a relief that we don’t have to be dependent on ourselves. Christians, we can rest and rely wholly on the Lord for all our needs!

In Luke 10:38, we see the account of a very busied Martha contrasted with Mary sitting at the Lord’s feet. I love Jesus’ response when Martha asks him to rebuke Mary for not helping her, “Martha, Martha you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion which will not be taken away from her.” I know that Jesus would have for us not to miss the one thing that is needed… the one thing that can bring us life. To the lady at the well (John 4:14) His words are so impactful, “…Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Prayer is like our lifeline connecting us to God. Just as the umbilical cord gives life and health in its way, prayer is a vital way to stay connected and have spiritual health.    In John 15:4, Jesus continually uses the phrase “abide in me”.  For us this can look like 1) connection to the Lord, then 2) dependence upon Him, and equally as important 3) remaining in Him.  All throughout the gospels we see Jesus taking the time to get away and pray to the Father.  We are in a war, ladies. Let’s face it, life can be hard, and our flesh is ever present. Not to mention we have an enemy who is always ready to devour us. How can we effectively fight against distraction if we won’t first come and sit at the feet of the one who gives of His power so mightily?

We need to abide in Him and remain in Him if we want to be women who can, through Him, affect the world around us our children, our husbands, even our enemies. To be impactful, we need to daily, hourly be changed. It doesn’t happen on its own. It takes action. It takes a sacrifice of self to elevate Him, to ask of Him. But it is worth everything. Here He can put a fire in our hearts for Him, for others, for the lost. Can’t we see the value in this? No wonder Jesus calls this the “good portion”. Oh Christian, that we would be poured out that He might fill us to overflowing. That we might decrease so that He would increase in our lives. What victory He can bring to our lives through prayer our lives will never be the same.  This is why we pray: we ask- and He is faithful to do the work.

“I need you, Lord I need you.
Every hour I need you.
My one defense, my righteousness,
Oh God how I need you!”


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