My childhood pastor made a statement recently on social media that really resonated with me. I’m kicking myself right now for not writing it down, so I’m paraphrasing him. He basically said that when we pray (as the modern day church), do we pray like we truly believe that God is going to deliver on His promises? Do we pray like we believe that He has the power to heal, to provide, to restore, to deliver? I’m not saying that if healing or deliverance doesn’t come in the way we would like that it is because our faith wasn’t strong enough. I’m saying that we serve the single most powerful being in the universe and if we truly believe that, then we need to pray like it. He can do ALL things. Even the things we think are impossible through our human perspective. Through Jesus Christ, we can call upon our heavenly Father and He hears us! We have a direct line to God. I think a lot of times, we pray because it’s what “good Christians are supposed to do” or we give it lip service, but our faith is really saying, “nah, He doesn’t hear me. He can’t really heal, restore, provide, etc. or it won’t make a difference, but I’ll pray anyway”
That is a lie from the enemy.
We receive the Holy Spirit when we accept the gift of salvation. All authority in Jesus’ name has been given to us, just like the apostles in the upper room. It is available to every believer. (see the book of Acts for further study on this)
Jesus Christ is our intercessor. Every word we pray in His name is taken to the throne of God on our behalf. Every Word.
Our prayers are like sweet incense to God. He savors each word. He never tires of hearing the same prayers from our mouth.
He desires for us to come to HIM and cast all of our burdens on HIM. Because we have the Holy Spirit, He knows our hearts even when we don’t know the words to pray. (“…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7; “ Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30)
When you feel that you cannot pray, your brothers and sisters in Christ can stand in the gap for you and hold you up with their prayers on your behalf in Jesus’ Name. (“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15; “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galations 6:2)
Why do we pray or better yet, why should we pray.
Prayer serves multiple purposes in the life of a believer. Communion, Intercession, Petition, Praise and Warfare are just a few of the many reasons to make prayer a priority.
Remember the acronym P.R.A.Y.
- Praise- Praise God for who He is. Thank Him for what He has done and what He will do.
- Repent- Unconfessed sin can be an obstacle to our prayer life and intimacy with our Heavenly Father.
- Ask- Lay your requests at the feet of Jesus, for yourself as well as others.
- Yield- Listen for His voice and yield to His ultimate authority.
Download: PRAY printable
A huge and often overlooked aspect of prayer is listening. The best way to learn God’s voice is through spending time with Him. So many times whether its intentional or not, we can slip into thinking that God is the granter of wishes, like a genie in a bottle of sorts. Prayer is our way to commune with God. It’s the way we talk to Him, spend time with Him and have a relationship with Him- not just for putting in our “order”.
God ALWAYS answers prayer. He either says yes, no, wait or MY WAY. Sometimes it can feel as if He is silent or not moving, and that’s a very tough place to be in. It challenges our faith. It should drive us to Him. I’ve been there and followed the advice below. IT CHANGED EVERYTHING. I was controlling the situation (so I thought) and once I surrendered and got out of the way, the Lord could do His work. I committed to praying for another and in the process, not only did He change their heart, my heart was transformed too. Commit to hitting your knees in prayer and fully surrendering to His will, He WILL NOT fail. I challenge you to pray for discernment and seek wise counsel from a spiritually mature, objective believer if you are in a place of silence right now. Keep praying. Know the Lord hears you. His ways are not ours. (For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8)
Some tips on praying:
- Pray with authority and conviction.
- Pray with faith that yes, God can do anything.
- Pray immediately when someone asks you to intercede for them or submits a prayer request. Or immediately upon agreeing to pray for someone. We can have the best intentions, but also can be forgetful. Do it right away.
- Journal to see where your prayers have taken you. To show God’s hand in every word you pray to Him. You may not feel the immediate effects, but when you look back, you will see His hand everywhere.
- Try praying out loud! The enemy can influence our thoughts, but he cannot hear them. He is shaken and flees at the Name of Jesus.
- Commit to spending some time each day in prayer with the Lord. If you have nothing to say, then just be still with Him.
When the disciples asked Jesus how they should pray, He gave them a beautiful example in The Lord’s Prayer.
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
Download: PRAY printable
On my knees,
Diane Haupt is a stay-at-home wife and mother and serves on the Prayer Team for The Connection. She is a fellow sinner saved by the grace of God and is an active member of LCBC Church in Waynesboro, PA where she serves on the worship team. She has a passionate desire given by the Holy Spirit to mentor and disciple other women. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.