A strong prayer life is essential to the life of every believer and we must remember that prayer begins with God. It’s a true relationship with God. It’s your time to not only request things of him, but to praise and thank him for all that he has done, is doing, will do – and for him just being him, while meditating on the word.
If you don’t already do so regularly, I encourage you to take a look at your prayer life. Ironically, I think that being so “intimate” with God can be “intimidating” and a little scary sometimes for many people. To be completely transparent, it was with me at first, too. Here I am knowing that I serve a God who is “all knowing,” omnipotent and omniscient; a God that already knows everything about me (the good and the bad), yet I was still afraid to open up, confess and talk about it with him? I had to realize that the very reason I was intimidated, was the very reason that allowed me to do so. I was connected to him and he loved me despite of all my flaws.
So, now we must ask. Do you know how to pray and where to start? I too had to ask myself this question. I’ve prayed my entire life, in the best way I have known how and to say the least, “it got the job done.” Some say there is no right or wrong way to pray to God. I’d say that I’d have to agree to disagree slightly.
I recently finished the book, Handle with Prayer by Charles Stanley. In this book, Dr. Stanley does an amazing job of breaking down and describing WHY we should pray, HOW we should pray, and WHAT (and who) we should be praying for. He dove a great deal into how many of us are afraid to ask God for things because we feel “unworthy,” how and why many of our prayers go unanswered, and that God always answers our prayers, but it may not be the answer you wanted or when you wanted it. The book truly opened my eyes and helped me to “take myself out of it,” focusing on God’s will for my life (which is much better than my own- I’m sure of it), so that I can remove layers of hurt, pain, denial, fear, etc. to reveal the truth and what I ought to be praying for in my life.
Quick story. I remember the time I prayed to God to give me a job where I made a high hourly wage, but that I could just go in and do the work and leave it there. I didn’t care what it was at the time. I was in grad school and needed to pay some bills, but also wanted to have extra fun money, too. To my surprise, God answered my prayer to a “T” and gave me exactly what I asked for. One day, I received a random call about a job with a technology company. They told me the salary and that they would work with my school schedule. I was sold! Take in mind, I had no background in technology AT ALL. Let me tell you how quickly my joy turned to sorrow. I dreaded every day I came into that office, crunching and configuring numbers, and basically having no idea what I was doing; BUT it paid well and I could leave my work there when I left. I tried to stick it out because God had given me my request. Not too long after, God said, “Alright, that’s enough, Bri. You can let it go now.” Soon after, I did and God blessed me with my first full-time job in my career – the job I really wanted and needed. The one I should have been praying for instead. You see how God works? He gave me just what I asked for, knowing that it was exactly what I did not want; but I had to see that for myself.
If you need some help to begin or continue strengthening you prayer life, I recommend this book whole-heartedly. We all need some fellowship time alone with God to just be still and if you think you don’t, you are lying to yourself. Open your heart and spirit to the possibilities of casting all your cares and burdens to the one who has already taken them from you. Take hold of the promise that if we ask, we shall receive, if we seek, we shall find, and that if we knock, the door will be opened to us (Matthew 7:7).
And last, but not least, show your gratitude towards the one who deserves it most in our lives, by “not being anxious, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, making your requests known unto God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
I pray that in moments of hurt and pain,
That you may find joy and peace.
I pray that in times of fear and the unknown,
That you may find wisdom and the answers you seek.
I pray that in every area of your life, regardless of the circumstances,
That you find thankfulness and love.
And finally, I pray that when situations seem impossible,
That you may find faith and trust in God from above.