Two changes that will alter your prayer life forever.
Have you ever prayed, and nothing happened? You asked God, even cried out, begged, or pleaded for him to help you in a certain situation. His silence was deafening, and the answer didn’t come?
You’re not alone.
There is still hope in prayer.
Maybe you’ve been taught that the way we pray is to bow your head and praise God, thank him, and then make requests to God. This isn’t all wrong. But it does leave out one important factor. As important as your agenda may feel, God’s agenda may be different. It’s possible that his route to a good thing in your life looks very different than you’ve imagined.
God dwells in eternal habitations, and his character is beyond our ability to fathom.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55:8,9
The only way we can know his ways or is thoughts is to drop our “Thank and Request” pattern, and enter into two-way communication with God.
Instead of saying, “Lord please make this happen,” try saying, “Lord, I have this problem, what should I do about it?”
Instead of setting aside time to speak, try setting aside time to listen.
God has revealed himself to people throughout history, he has identified himself as many things. Starting at the top, he has identified himself as our King, Ruler, the perfect Priest, Redeemer, Savior, Counselor, Healer, Father, Mother, Brother, Betrothed, and Friend. God holds infinite potential to embody all of the aspects of these relationships, and not one of these relationships is one-sided. In fact, almost without exception, every recorded human interaction with God involved God speaking and then people responding to something God said. It stands to reason then, if the bulk of our prayers involve speaking and making requests of God, we may want to reevaluate our understanding of what prayer is, and challenge ourselves, not just to speak, but to listen.
Challenge: Take time today to listen in prayer. Take a walk, open your ears, eyes, heart, and knowledge, and wait.
Who Knows Best?
Our desires are strong. They are pull us the hardest when we are righteously driven. Injustice infuriates us, and it's easy to blame God. It's difficult for us to understand or believe that God could allow just injustice to happen, and from our perspective, there are many things that just don't make sense.
But God is before and after us. He understands the entire plan. He sees us. He knows us. He loves us. God is trustworthy, and prayer works best when we are honest about how deeply we believe that we can trust the Lord.
Challenge: Check yourself. What do you trust more? God’s answer, or your desired outcome? Be honest. Confess what you believe and trust—or what you don’t believe and trust—before God. You might be surprised at the kindness and graciousness of his response.
Prayer is not a position, a place, or a format. It's a dynamic, interpersonal interaction with a Living, Eternal God. Dive in; go somewhere special or stay right where you are. God is present and accessible.