Why do we as Christians come to God with a list of requests if we come at all to Him in prayer? Is it because we live in a society filled with messages of self? Could it be that we are so self-centered that we don’t even realize we have made even our spiritual pursuits about ourselves? Also, could it be that we really don’t believe that prayer matters all that much, and that is the reason we don’t regularly pray?
Our sermon Sunday was encouraging us to develop a vibrant prayer life. To do this, you need to remember that prayer is not a magic spell you cast to get circumstances to work out in your favor. Nor is it a list of things you command God to do for you. I firmly believe that prayer is simply communicating with God regularly. It is the best part of our walk with Him. It is where we engage in communication with our Creator. Prayer is a wonderful way to align ourselves and our perspective up with God. Prayer is where most of our battle against the enemy is won.
As I talk to God in prayer, I remind myself of who He is, what He has done, how big and able He is and how wonderful and good He is. That is praise. By the time I have done this, the List of requests that I had seems to diminish in size and scope. It brings perspective to my requests and to my circumstances. So often during my prayer time, I am the thing that changes more than my situations. After a time of praise, I spend some time thanking Him for all He has done for me. That is gratitude. In Psalm 100:4, we are told that we enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. These two things are so powerful to help align our thinking, our will and our perspective. It is the best part of our time with Him.
After we have aligned our thinking, we can bring all our requests to Him. We can trust Him to lead us to the BEST answer. It may not be what we want to hear, but it is what will be best. We can bring everything to God in prayer. Our anxiousness, our hurts, our disappointments and even our faithlessness. You want to know a secret, He already knows, but we still need to bring it to Him. The act of submitting our requests and our confessions to Him, is our way of giving God access to these parts of our lives.
Prayer matters and is effective. Prayer strengthens our faith. The more we talk to the Father in prayer, the more we believe Him. The more we believe and trust Him, the stronger our faith becomes. It was counted to Abraham as righteousness because he believed God. We know that He believed because when God told Him to go to a place God would show him, Abraham went. Many other evidences in Abraham’s life demonstrated his belief. Faith is simply demonstrating in action what we believe to be true. We may say that we believe that God answers prayers, yet we do not pray. Then do we really believe He answers prayers. If we believed that, wouldn’t we take things to Him in prayer.
- 1. Start this week by setting aside time to pray regularly.
- 2. Consider journaling to help you focus.
- 3. Spend time in your prayer exalting God to remind yourself of who exactly it is you are talking to. Also, this will help you remember what an honor and privilege it is to be able to talk to Him in such a personal way. (This is the best time of prayer I promise… It is the time when perspective comes and we realize for our own sake our own insignificance compared to God, yet how significant we are to Him)
- 4. Spend time thanking God for all He has done. Starting with what Jesus did for you on the cross.
- 5. Submit your requests, petitions and intercessions to Him.
- 6. Demonstrate what you say you believe by acting out in faith and pray.