How to Pray #1

I am going to share you with a study I did with a group of girls several years ago. It was something I was struggling with and I found out, I wasn't the only one. How do we pray (talk with) God? He's the Creator of the Universe; the Giver of Life; All-Knowing; All-Powerful and well, I'm NOT. I'm this messed up human. How do I even begin to pray? Well, we're going to look at this. These are the basics of a good prayer life.

A Father listens and cares for his own children. You are born into this world to your earthly father. You must be born again into the family of God, by coming to the Lord, humbly and asking Him for the forgiveness of your sins. Everyone sins! No one is exempt (expect, of course, Jesus Christ). Jesus came to this earth to redeem His creation back to Him. By acknowledging God for Who He is and humbling yourself before Him and recognizing He is the ONLY one who can forgive you of your sins, you become a part of His family, thus a child of God. Then and only then will your prayers have power.

Keeping in mind the praying to God is not reciting some written prayer that isn't from your heart. You don't come before Him reading (or reciting) a prayer that you say over and over. There is no meaning in that. God didn't create robots. He created human beings, and He desires a real relationship with you not some scripted time.

Prayer is vital to our spiritual growth.  In your journey to becoming the godly woman God wants you to be, you must realize the importance of prayer.  It’s like water to our physical bodies.  You cannot survive without it.  Without prayer, you will never know God’s will for your life nor will you know how to become a godly woman.  There truly is power in prayer.  Prayer “is a gentle tool of restoration.”  Prayer is an opportunity for you to tap into the power of God, to restore your spiritual life and align it properly with God. 

When you pray, are you prepared?  I mean, have you prepared yourself for stepping into the presence of God.  Most of the time there is little thought of WHO you’re talking with.  It’s like, well it’s that time again, so let’s pray and get it over with.  Your mind is taken up with the thoughts of what you need, and is not thinking about the mighty and loving Father to whom you’re speaking. There is no power in that sort of prayer.

But when you really come into God's presence, really meet Him face to face in the place of prayer, really seek the things that you desire, then there is power.  Matthew 6:9, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”  Before you begin your prayer you should recognize who you’re praying to. Honor God by praising Him for who He is. His very Name should be honored.

You should put your whole soul into praying, stretching out toward God in intense and agonizing desire. Many prayers have no power, because there is no heart in them. You rush into God's presence, run through a string of petitions, jump up and go out. If someone would ask you an hour after you prayed what you had prayed for, what would you tell them? If you put so little heart into your prayers, you cannot expect God to put much heart into answering them.

Just think about who you're speaking to the next time you set your mind to pray. God is anxiously waiting to hear from you. Do you go before your friends and loved ones with pre-written words or words you've memorized? Do you rush in before them, spew out some words and run off? That's not a relationship. A good relationship is when you give of your time. That's what God wants in your prayer life. Come before the Lord prepared to meet the Prince of Peace and watch the blessings come.

All There
Are you easily distracted when you begin your prayers? If so, maybe you haven't prepared to enter His presence. Maybe you need to take a minute to clear your head before beginning. When you do find yourself wandering, recognize it and refocus. There is such great power in prayer, if it's done correctly.

In 1 John 3:22 John says, "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight."  What an incredible statement! John says, that everything he asked for he got. Can you can say that? "Whatsoever I ask I receive"? But John explains why this was so, "Because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight." In other words, if you expect God to do as you ask Him, you must do what God asks you to do. If you give a listening ear to all God's commands to you, He will give a listening ear to all your petitions to Him. If, on the other hand, you turn a deaf ear to His precepts (or you don't agree with this one or that, or assume they don't apply to you), He will be likely to turn a deaf ear to your prayers. This, I think, is the secret of many unanswered prayers. You are not listening to God's Word, and therefore He is not listening to your petitions.  If you want power in your prayers, you must be digging in His Word to find out what His will is for you, and then having found it, do it.
Psalm 145:18 throws a great deal of light on the question of how to pray: "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth."  The prayer that God answers is the prayer that is real, the prayer that asks for something that is sincerely desired.  Are you haphazard in your prayers?  "I’m praying this because I know I should, but I don’t really believe it?"  Obviously you are wasting our time and God’s. That old saying is true, "My prayers seem to only hit the ceiling."

In Jesus’ Name
You need to pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Why?  Because you have no power in heaven for your prayers, except through Jesus Christ.  He is the One who approaches the throne on your behalf.  You shouldn’t be merely saying the words, but meaning it.  By doing so you’re showing your humbleness and exalting Christ in your prayers.  Without Him you wouldn’t have access the way you do.  You’d still be going to the high priests.  Remember He is your sacrifice. All the Old Testament sacrifices pointed to Christ. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, freely gave His life for you. He is your intercessor for prayer. He is the ONLY intercessor. After all He’s the only One who gave His life for you.

Adding “In the Name of Jesus Christ,” or “In Jesus’ Name,” doesn’t add some mystical power to your prayers, nor should it be used carelessly.  You are stating the name of the only begotten Son of God.  That is serious. 

So to recap. When you begin your prayer time with God, remember Who’s presence you’re coming into. Remember who is He and what He’s done for you. Be sure to thank and praise Him for it all. Commit to the relationship you’re building with God and be focused on Him and your desires in your prayers. Remembering that He answers the prayers of those who are following Him; who are listening to His leadership; and who are keeping His commandments. He’s not expecting perfection. He’s expecting commitment.

Finally remember it’s in Jesus’ name that anything gets accomplished on this earth. You have no power in your prayers except through Jesus Christ.

No comments:

Post a Comment