Prayer is instrumental to developing a strong walk of faith with the Lord. Whether seniors are just starting their faith walk or have been believers for many years, it's the best way to connect with God.
The Gospels record that Jesus frequently prayed during his ministry on Earth. His prayers, including the ones below, are powerful examples of how to pray directly to the Father.
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” John 11:41-42 NIV
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:20-21 NIV
Believers who follow Christ's example will discover many benefits to holding regular prayer times. Here are just a few of the ways that daily prayer can bless a senior's life.
Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. Isaiah 40:26 NLT
When seniors of faith set aside time each day to pray, it shifts their focus from the earthly problems surrounding them to God and his promises.
Even when their problems seem overwhelming, seniors can experience peace by realizing nothing is beyond God's control.
Even as seniors gain reassurance from God's infinite power, however, it's important for them to realize that the same God who created the heavens personally named every star.
In the same way, God knows each of his children intimately and invites them to walk by his side and talk with him. Jesus never promised his followers a life without trouble.
He does, however, assure his children that when they face trials and storms, he will be with them and give them strength and peace.
Seniors face numerous choices each day regarding the best way to spend their time and energy. In addition to family visits and church activities, individuals living in retirement communities often have access to multiple events, classes and social gatherings.
There are regular events and festivals hosted by businesses, art districts, libraries and museums that seniors can attend during outings with friends. Technology also offers an endless supply of educational and entertainment opportunities through streaming services and the internet.
At Bethesda Senior Living Communities, we know how important a balance of rest and activity is for a healthy, fulfilling life. We encourage seniors to carefully consider what activities matter the most to them and not hesitate to say no when they need to.
In the busiest points of his ministry, Jesus often withdrew to pray in solitude and focus on God. In the same way, prayer can help believers manage their lives and priorities today. By focusing on God, seniors of faith can more easily recognize the things that matter most and organize their time and schedule accordingly.
The invitation to follow Christ is an invitation to participate in a personal relationship with God himself.
Revelations 3:20 tells us that Jesus is standing at the door of our heart, knocking and waiting for the chance to enter and dine with us. This verse is a beautiful illustration of the deep desire God has to know and be known by his children.
As with any relationship, it's vital for believers to spend time together with God, talking and getting to know him and his character, personality and will.
Spending time sharing their feelings, thoughts and dreams with God in prayer also helps seniors nourish their love for him and draw closer to him.
In John Chapter 10, Jesus refers to himself as the Good Shepherd and states that his flock knows and follows the sound of his voice. Taking the time to pray and listen to God helps seniors of faith to learn to recognize Jesus' voice and guidance in their lives.
Residents of the communities under the Bethesda Senior Living Communities umbrella that want to know more can speak with in-house chaplains about studies and recommended reading regarding prayer. Seniors can also request counseling if they have questions or want personalized tips to improve their own prayer time.