I have come to realize that there is a panic about prayer. Some say they don’t know how to pray. Some don’t know where to start. If you’re anything like me, there is a fear of praying because we don’t know what the outcome may be. Others believe God simply won’t hear them in their time of need. All of these thoughts are lies, confusion, and deception driven by Satan. Let’s shed some light on these thoughts.
How to pray-
“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.”
When we pray, it should be an intimate moment between God and us. It doesn’t always need to be by ourselves or behind closed doors. Even when we pray publicly, it can still be intimate – just you and Jesus – giving your all to Him. Some of us do get into the habit of repetitive prayer. We want so badly for our prayers to be heard by God, we think repeating or “babbling”, as scripture refers to it, is the key to getting God to hear us. God knows our hearts and prayers before we even say a word.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
If I’m being honest, praying is never at the forefront of my mind. I have no problem praying for others, but because I naturally love to take things into my own hands, praying comes as a last resort for myself. I want to do everything myself and be the fixer of all things. All the while, I am stressed and overwhelmed. I can easily imagine God sitting back, with His arms crossed, waiting for me to let Him take over. Prayer invites God into our situation. Although He knows all and sees all that you are going through, He won’t force Himself on you. He wants to be invited. This requires us to have humility. 1 Peter 5:6 tells us to “Humble ourselves UNDER God’s mighty hand…” (emphasis mine). When I imagine humility, I imagine a position of lowliness, a position of letting something or someone come above me. When we are not able to do that, we are operating in a position of pride. We need to place ourselves under His authority.
Some question whether God really hears our prayers? I hear this a lot and have struggled with it before. Many think that because God has not answered their prayer, He’s obviously not listening. Psalm 116:2 tells us, “Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”
Not only does God listen, He bends down to listen. He is front row to your prayers! Dare I say, it is us who are in a rush. There is a sweet moment after we make our requests and prayers known to God that we sit, dependent on Him, waiting on Him, trusting in Him. It is us who are on a timeline. God is not bound by time. He answers every prayer in an instant. At His right time; in His perfect will. He hears you.
Sometimes, we see prayer as something we only do if we’re in a certain position. Prayer is communication between you and your Father in heaven. It is powerful, it is intimate, and it works! He is waiting for you to sit with Him and share your heart. He is listening.
Vanessa Ausbie is on staff at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-582-1528.