I'm sure you have read the above scripture, you may even have been to seminars on prayer, and brought the books, but are you really taking in what you read or heard about prayer seriously? How prayerful are you? Do you understand what it is meant by praying? Or maybe you understand about prayer you are prayerful yet you still are not getting answers to your prayers and you feel like giving up.
In this article using some of my own personal experiences I will explore the importance of prayer and why sometimes we may not get any answers to prayer. While reading this article I don't want you to have the 'I've heard it all before,' attitude rather open your heart and mind to God and allow him to speak to you while you are reading this.
First of all I will start off by answering 'What is Prayer?' Prayer is simply this; it is a communication between us and God. It is through prayer that we make our request known unto God. Through prayer we can witness breakthroughs to our circumstances and I am a living testimony to witnessing breakthroughs to my circumstances through prayer.
Now you know what prayer is do you understand why it is an extremely important part of our Christian life? Well what else does God what from us apart from our time, and dedication? He wants us to have a relationship with him we were created to have a relationship with God. However we cannot have a relationship or fellowship with him if we don't talk to him. You may have heard it said same in the natural same in the spiritual. We cannot have a relationship with someone if you don't communicate with them otherwise how would you know what their likes or dislikes are. Or get a sense of their character. This is where prayer comes in; prayer allows us to communicate with God in such a beautiful way. Even Jesus himself prayed if you read the gospel John and all of chapter 17 it talks about Jesus praying for him, the disciples, and all believers. Jesus made an example of himself for us to follow and we must follow his example.
Prayer allows us to become more dependent on God as we realise that we cannot do everything by ourselves there are some situations that are completely out of our control. I know when I pray I feel much better knowing that I have a God that I can depend on to talk about my problems and I just leave the situation in his hands.
A meaningful prayer come from the heart and doesn't have to be three hours long. Meaningless prayers are just words, Matthew 6:7 says 'and when you pray do not keep babbling like the pagans, for they think they would be heard because if their many words.' (NIV)
Sometimes when we start to pray we think about what we should say to God, 'does this sound right or maybe I shouldn't say this.' This shouldn't be the case God. When we are having a general conversation with our friends or work colleagues it is very rare that we usually think about what we are going to say to the person first before we speak to them. God just wants us to be honest before him if something is really troubling you or you have a desire to do something whether good or bad tell him. For example there was a time when I got really upset with someone I remember I confront the person about this and I felt like swearing at them. I knew this was the wrong thing to do however the feeling of blurting a swear word out of my mouth was getting stronger so I prayed without her hearing me, 'God I feel like swearing at this person but please help me not to as I know your word says we must not let filthy language come out of our mouths.' And that feeling or temptation of swearing genuinely went. Now this was a prayer request that just came from the heart and I was being honest before God. Some of you may be thinking how could she tell God this? Now what you may seem to forget is that though you maybe a Christian you are not perfect you are a sinner saved by grace and you do have weaknesses. God knows everything even before you do he knows you're feelings and you're thoughts, don't think that you are deceiving God if you don't be honest with him you are actually deceiving yourself. How? You are pretending whatever it is that maybe bothering you doesn't exist you are basically lying to yourself which is not a good thing and you have made a door open for Satan to continue to deceive you. We have heard of the saying honesty is the best policy and God loves honesty.
I mentioned before that prayer doesn't have to be three hours long, prayer can be just a simple 'Help me Lord', or 'Thank you Lord for...' as prayer also doesn't have to be a request it can also be worship.
Some of the benefits or prayer is: -
It can draw us much closer to God The more we communicate we God the more we draw closer to him There are times when I will be praying and fasting and I can really feel the presence of God, and there is nothing like being in the presence of God. I'm sure we all want to draw closer to God at some point in our Christian walk and prayer can do that.
It can increase our faith especially when we see results happen.
When we are praying for other people, other word would be interceding it can draw us closer to them as it makes us more sensitivity towards each other's needs. It makes us understanding towards their frustrations.
Makes you more aware of the Spiritual Authority that you have, you must be aware that when you pray you are also in spiritual warfare. We must speak with authority when we pray for matters.
Increases your dependency on God, making us humble. Prayer is a very humbling experience. It makes you realise that you need God more and more. There should be an inner peace knowing that you have a father that you can go to.
Okay I know about prayer some of you may be thinking? I know about the benefits of prayer, I know how important it is to communicate with God and I have been praying continuously about a situation yet I still haven't had a result?
Do you have the faith? The answer to that could be yes some of you do genuinely have faith and believe that God can answer your prayer but have you read the scripture 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9: 24 NIV). Somehow doubt always has a way of creeping in and it is not always recognisable, 'we say yes I do believe I do have the faith yet the next day or two we are praying about the same thing rather than leaving it with God.' There is nothing wrong with being persistent but we need to recognise when we are being persistent or when it is doubt. For example I know when I start doubting God when I start to feel anxious about the prayer request rather than thanking him that I have received it already before I even see it. There is nothing wrong in admitting that you have doubt but there is a song that goes 'let faith arise and all our doubts be shattered'.
It is important that we recognise God timing and ours our not the same. In my book 'Don't Look Back The Harmful Consequences of Backsliding.' I touched on the importance of waiting on God for a prayer request. God knows what we need when we need it, we might not be ready as yet for whatever it is that we have been praying about. He made all things beautiful in his time and we need to learn to be patient. Patience is difficult as we are used to living in a 'microwave' society everything has to be done quickly. As Christians we need to realise that God doesn't work that way so the quicker we learn patience the more we would not have to 'Hurry God' in getting a result to our prayers.
To conclude it is my prayer that as you read this article your prayer life would increase. Your communication with him would also increase, and that you would come boldly to the throne of grace being honest and open with God about your request, and that you will live in continually victory in Jesus name Amen.
Marie Grossett aka Vanessa Grossett is a published Author, and has interviewed best selling and award winning Christian Authors.
She is a Literary Agent at The Authors Care Services ltd. www.theauthorscare.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
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