Description: Prayer unleashes God's power so that he is able to work in our behalf. Prayer opens the channels of God's blessing. Prayer is how God accomplishes the things that he wants to see happen in our lives, and in the lives of others. Prayer opens new doors of opportunity for God to move in.
In Philippians 4:6 it says, Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God. Basically prayer is simply talking to God just like you would talk to your very best friend.
God cares deeply about each and every one of our problems and is just waiting for us to come to him with those problems. The Bible tells us over and over to constantly bring our problems to our Heavenly Father. Prayer is not to inform God of something which He may not be aware of or to try to convince Him to love us more. He already knows our needs and He has certainly shown his love. Prayer's purpose is to assist us in building our relationship with God.
Why should we pray? Prayer unleashes Gods's power so that he is able to work in our behalf. Prayer opens the channels of God's blessing. Prayer is how God accomplishes the things that he wants to see happen in our lives. Prayer opens new doors of opportunity for God to move. In fact you can view prayer like a door. You are on one side of a closed door and on the other side is God. But standing with God is all this incredible and unimaginable power. When you pray, it is you turning that doorknob and swinging that door wide open. For it is at that moment when all that power can step through that doorway and work for God's good, and for your good.
Since he respects our freedom of choice and free will, prayer enables him to step into our lives. God has limited his powers in our lives to the importance that we place on prayer. Prayer gives God the permission to do what he has been longing to do all the time. Even when we do not see anything significant occurring, God is still at work solving the problem. When there are apparently no answers, God is still is waiting for the proper time to give us the solution.
Psalm 55:22 Throw every burden upon God. Psalm 68:19 Blessed be Our God who daily carries the load for us. Psalm 56:9 This I well know, that God is for me.
There are four basic steps involved in the proper way to pray.
1--Bring the problem to God's attention immediately. But always keep the problem God centered and not problem centered. 2--Supplication. The definition of supplication is---a very honest and clear confession that tells God that you need his help. 3--Then focus on God and not on the problem. Keep in mind that our prayers are always to be God centered. 4--Thanksgiving. You are thankful because you know the following about our great and mighty and glorious God.
That you can come to the Father with your problems anytime That he is concerned about you That he loves you That he said that he would help you That he will see you through this problem That he has the power to solve this problem That you trust him 100%
God is just waiting for you to talk to him, waiting just for those few brief moments when you acknowledge him, think about him, and show him some love and respect. Yes, your God is just waiting for you to talk to him and he desperately wants to talk to you, not in words, but through your mind and your heart. God is going to bypass the vocal cords and the ear and instead your heart will feel that gentle tugging, that urging, that pulling. Your heart and mind will know exactly what God is trying to tell you.
Most people expect God to answer them in some divine way or somehow speak to them verbally out of the heavens, but that isn't the way God operates. God speaks to a persons heart. To their mind. To their sense of moral righteousness and fairness. To their sense of what is right and Godly. And those methods of communication that God uses are extremely loud and clear. The person that has found Jesus and who has Jesus Christ dwelling within them, is listening to Our Lord talk constantly to their heart, conscience, soul, and spirit. The true child of God can hear God speak just as clearly as if God was standing right along side of them verbally talking to them. But before God can begin to talk to you, something must happen. You have to be receptive to God's words. You have to begin to communicate with God and listen for God to speak. You have to get your heart in the right condition.
Many people ask the question, why bother to listen to God, because God always seems to work in such mysterious ways. They say that they have absolutely no idea how or why God does what he does. But for the true believer, God's ways are not mysterious. His ways are not concealed behind smoke and mirrors. It is just the opposite. Because once you begin to understand Jesus Christ, once you begin to learn what he is all about, once you begin to understand what he is trying to do in this world and in your life, once you begin to understand the tremendous importance that he holds for all of mankind, then his actions will not be mysterious. In fact that's when his ways become crystal clear. For that is when the veil over your eyes has been lifted. Now the true believer will actually be able to predict what God is going to do in a great many situations.
God wants each believer to know what he expects from them, and what each believer can expect from God. That is why Jesus was speaking to all believers down through all the ages when he said the following. Mark 4:11 "And He said to them, To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God."
But to get to this point there must be tremendous desire within the heart of the believer. A desire to put in the time and make the effort in a lifetime search for Godly truth. Few mysteries will be able to stand up against an onslaught of this magnitude. So be prepared for God to speak to you, and when he speaks to you he wants you to listen. There are always two people involved in prayer. You and God. So prayer should never be a monologue, but rather prayer should always be a dialogue.
You may wonder just how he will speak to you, just why he would speak to you, and just what methods he uses to do his speaking. Generally there are four reasons why he speaks to you and there are four basic methods that he uses.
REASONS HE SPEAKS TO YOU God desires to have fellowship with us. We are his most precious creation and he loves us dearly. Each and every one of us is a child of God. God knows that we constantly need direction in our travels through life. God realizes we need comfort and assurance in order to get through all the trials and tribulations of this mean and cruel world. God wants us to get to know him.
METHODS HE USES TO SPEAK TO YOU God speaks to us through his Word. He uses the Bible as his foremost tool to impart truth. God speaks through the Holy Spirit who is with us every second of the day. God speaks to us through other believers. God speaks to us through divine circumstances. We are all living under heavenly guidance, and if you look closely you will see the hand of God written upon many of the wonderful things that come into your life.
SEVEN THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF EACH TIME YOU PRAY. Each and every time that you pray, you should ask yourself how the things that you are praying for fit in and affect the following seven conditions.
1) Will the thing that I am praying for meet my Godly personal needs and will it fit in with a just and righteous life style, or is it superfluous and just born of the flesh? 2) Am I being submissive to God's will, and will I gladly accept what ever God is willing to give me, if anything. Is your spirit one of absolute submission to his will? Can you say, not my will Father, but let your will be done? 3) If my prayer is answered will the result honor God? 4) Will it harm or hurt someone else or will it interfere in another person's life. 5) Will it please God. Will what you pray for delight God? 6) Does my request contradict or conflict with the Word of God in anyway. 7) Will it further my spiritual growth. Will what I pray for bring me closer to God?
YOU MUST ALSO REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THREE THINGS WHEN IT COMES TO PRAYER. FAITH---You must have complete faith in God. OBEDIENCE---You must obey God fully and completely. PATIENCE---You must wait patiently on God, for we are all on his schedule.
WHY IS SO MUCH PRAYER NEVER ANSWERED? Because we center on the problem and not on God. We tell God what to do. We talk about only the problem and not about the greatness of God. We tend to talk in terms of "me" and "I". We don't talk or think about God, just ourselves and our troubles. We begin our prayers with both hands out, and we still have them out when we finish our prayers. Unfortunately when most people pray there is no praise being spoken. No thankfulness being given. No glory being expressed. No honor or adoration being shown.
James understood this pitfall of incorrect praying when he wrote James 4:3. "You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly". So tell God the problem and then focus on God. God can't wait to solve your problems. God loves to work out difficulties in our lives and if you keep your focus on God, then one way or another he will solve that problem. This is what the Lord meant when he proclaimed in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give your rest."
Also, we tend to burn out when our prayers are aimed at negative things that we are trying to avoid. If all we do is talk to God about how horrible and terrible our problem is, then all we do is become more depressed, and get more discouraged. We become more agitated and we have more anxiety. Then the problem becomes bigger and bigger and as it grows it takes on a life of its own. What God wants us to do most is focus on positive aspects and powers of God. Think about how God is all powerful and all knowing. Focus on his amazing attributes and qualities. Describe his wonderful characteristics. Read passages from the Bible which describe the greatness of God and his ability to do absolutely incredible things. Think about our God who is able to do everything from walk on water to raise the dead, and then ask yourself if he is not able to solve your problem?
Also read a few Bible passages that describe God helping people out of extremely difficult situations. Tell God how loving and wonderful he is and that he has only your best interests at heart and that his solution to the problem may be so much better than the solution you would like to see happen. In other words don't pray to the problem, pray to the solution of that problem. Because when you focus on God, God will focus on your problem. Remember God is a solution centered being and he can solve any problem - just put your complete faith and trust in him. For when you pray to God, he hears much more than your words. He is also listening to your heart.
No one likes the trials and tribulations that suddenly show up in our lives. But if we keep our eyes focused upon Jesus Christ, then we can know without a doubt that there is a wonderful solution available for each and every problem that enters into our lives. That even though it looks like there is no possible way out of this difficulty, our all powerful loving Heavenly Father can solve that problem with absolutely no trouble at all. And he will do just that if we just stay focused on him.
The Word of God describes the many hundreds of times when God came to those that needed his help. He came to their aid because they kept their focus on God. When Jehoshaphat, the King of Israel realized suddenly that three huge separate armies were coming against him to destroy him and his people, the very first thing he did was turn his full attention to God, and he told God that his country was completely defenseless and that they desperately needed his help. He also told God about another thing that the nation of Israel was doing. 2 Chronicles 20:12 "O our God, we are powerless against this great multitude that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."
God gave Jehoshaphat this answer. 2 Chronicles 20:17 "You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord who is with you. Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out, for the Lord is with you."
The result? Without a single sword being drawn, without a single spear being thrust, without a single arrow being fired, Almighty God in his incredible way, allowed the three armies to begin to squabble among themselves. This led to skirmishes breaking out throughout all three armies, with the result being that the three armies wound up completely destroying each other. These pagan and wicked armies, sent by evil people, completely destroyed each other. Every single enemy soldier, from all three of those armies, laid dead on the battlefield. And this all happened because Israel had kept their focus and attention on God.
Another thing you might do if you have a specific problem is to do a Bible word search, or get a concordance and do a search for every verse in the Bible that relates to that specific problem. Then meditate and examine each of those verses. Read and discuss each verse with God and ask him to do for you, what he has done for others having similar problems. As an example suppose you have a health problem. Then look up all the verses that relate to sickness, health, illness, affliction, disease, affirmity, disorder, malady, sickness, ailment, condition, ailing, unhealthy, ill, infirmity, and anything else that you think deals with illness. If you search hard enough you will be amazed at the verses that you will find. If the problem is one of health you will find verses like the following.
Exodus 23:25 "So you shall serve the Lord your God, and I will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you."
Jeremiah 33:6 Behold, I will bring health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth."
Matthew 9:35 "Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people."
Matthew 10:1 "And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease."
Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health to you, and heal you of your wounds, says the Lord."
Deuteronomy 7:15 "And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt."
To do the above is going to take some effort on your part, but think of how much joy God is going to have when he sees one of his children working hard in this effort. And then think of the blessings that he just may reward you with."
The Bible is jammed full of examples of the power of prayer. The power that comes when a person just simply opens up their heart and talks to God. A typical example is King Hezekiah, one of many Kings of Judah. He reigned over the Jews in Jerusalem for 29 years. He was a God fearing and a God loving King who really tried very hard to do all that was Godly. In fact in 2 Kings 18:3, it says this of King Hezekiah. "And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done."
But then one day King Hezekiah fell sick and was on his death bed, so he called the mighty prophet Isaiah to find out if indeed he was going to die. And here is what Isaiah told the king. 2 Kings 20:1 "In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live."
King Hezekiah had no where to turn. It was completely hopeless. He was going to die. But look at what he did. He opened up his heart, fully and completely, and he reached down into the deepest regions of his heart, and began to carry on a prayerful conversation with God. 2 Kings 20:2-3 "Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept profusely."
And what was the result of this prayerful conversation with God? 2 Kings 20:4-6 "And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David."
Fifteen years may not seem like a great deal, but to one who is on their death bed, 15 years of additional life is truly a miraculous gift from God himself.
When trials and tribulations come into our lives there is a tremendous temptation to immediately begin to worry and become fearful. However worry and anxiety do not bring clarity. Instead, they simply cloud our minds and prevent us from seeing God's solution. All fear and worry do, is paralyze us. But you can prevent mental distress from ever coming into your life, if you look to Jesus Christ the very moment a difficult time enters your life. If you can immediately concentrate on the Son Of God and not on the problem, then worry and fear will never be able to gain a foothold. If we are able to do that then verses like the following will become very, very evident. Psalm 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers them out of them all".
Prayer changes us, not God. Prayer opens our hearts and minds to the greater and wiser will of God. Through prayer, God gives us strength to better reflect his character of love when we are tested. Through prayer God gives us courage and peace to trust in his control over matters that are beyond our control. One of the hardest things to believe is that God is intimately involved in our lives when everything is going wrong in our life. But what prayer does is transform doubt into trust.
WHY WE SHOULD TRUST GOD My God is right here all the time. My God loves me unconditionally. My God will listen to me. He will help me. He will hear me. He will give me peace. He will solve my problems. He keeps his promises.
Just imagine that you had an extremely difficult and serious problem and there didn't seem to be any possible solution, when suddenly our loving Heavenly Father walks up to you and says, "Can I help you in any way? I would just love to be of assistance to you". What a glorious moment. Now you realize that this problem is history. What seemed so unsolvable a minute ago, will now be solved by the Creator himself. Would you not instantly forget about the problem and do nothing but think about God's greatness? Would you not immediately begin to praise and thank him. Instead of worrying any longer about the problem, would you not take tremendous joy and pleasure in his great power, love, and glory? So please remember that this loving God is standing beside you every second of the day and night. For God, there are solutions to all problems, and he is the one that has those solutions. And he cannot wait to solve every one of your problems. All you need to do is to ask him and trust him and focus on him.
HOW TO TALK TO GOD In Matthew 6:7, the Lord tells us something very interesting concerning the times when we pray. "When praying, do not say the same thing over and over again, just as the heathens do, for they think that they shall be heard for their use of many words."
Just imagine for a moment if your spouse, or one of your children, or your best friend came to you and told you that they wanted to tell you something. But after they told you what they wanted to tell you, they then repeated the same thing over and over. And to make matters worse they did this every single time that they spoke to you. After an hour, or a few days, or a month, wouldn't you get turned off and just ignore this ridiculous type of conversation? Wouldn't you want to just get away from this boring and bothersome experience?
When you talk to God he doesn't want the same prayer over and over. When you repeat something like that, the prayer has lost its meaning and borders on being just worthless conversation. You could get a tape recorder and just record your message over and over and then leave it running. That way you could save yourself alot of time and do other things all the while your supposedly praying. Plus, when you repeat the same prayer over and over you will usually find that your mind wanders to many other things the whole time that you are saying the prayer.
God doesn't want to hear memorized prayers that someone else wrote. He wants to hear your prayers coming in your own words and coming straight from your very own heart. You need to talk to God as if he were your very best friend, because he is. Your prayers should come from your heart and should be a conversation between you and God. It should be as if your prayers are getting ready to burst out of you and you can hardly wait to talk to God.
The Our Father prayer that Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew Chapter 6 was simply an example or an outline on how to pray. If you examine this prayer while you read it, you will observe an incredible relationship that has been built up between the Son and his Father. You will also see not only communication and conversation between the two, but also much honor and praise that is being given, forgiveness that is being requested, complete trust being placed in the Father's hands, the recognition of incredible power, the awareness of great glory, and the proclaiming of supreme authority.
Matthew 6:9-13 Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
If you are going to take the time to say a prayer, then the prayer that you say better come from the deepest part of your heart. If you really think about it, anything else is completely meaningless. So talk to him in detail about your needs, hopes, dreams, joys, and everything else that is having any kind of importance or effect on your life.
Prayer is our lifeline to God. We should tell him our thoughts, desires, hurts, and problems, as well as giving him our thanks and praises. He wants to hear them all from us. He already knows what they are but he wants us to tell them to him. Also remember that God's help may come about in steps or stages. Your request to the Father may involve and have impact on the lives of many, many others, both now and in the future. Therefore you may not receive immediately all that you request from him, but the tide has turned the very moment that you turned to him. Whenever you cast all of your care and concern upon him and rely upon him totally to supply your needs and to show you how you are to live, he is quick to respond.
Giving God our thanks is part of praying Imagine for a moment that you do something really nice for a person you care about. However that person doesn't give you the slightest recognition or acknowledgment. That person simply accepts what ever you did for them, and without a word, simply walks away. Would you be eager to do the next nice thing for that person? And if you did another nice thing, and there was again not the vaguest hint of acknowledgment or thankfulness, would you continue to do nice things for that unthankful and rather selfish person?
God is just like us. We were made in his image and his likeness and the Bible tells us repeatedly that he is very active in our lives. We are his children, and because of his love for us, he allows many wonderful things to come into our lives each and every day. God loves to bless his children, and if you consider that God is almighty and that nothing in this world happens without his permission, then those wonderful things that happen to you in the course of a day, has to be allowed by God. How do you know that God didn't engineer a simple thing like finding a parking space that is up real close to the store you want to go in? Or on a busy day at the supermarket when you are in a real big hurry, could God have created that one and only empty line at the check out? If someone fixes you an absolutely wonderful meal, how can you tell that God wasn't behind it? Could God have been responsible for giving you that extra second that you needed which prevented a terrible car crash? Could God have planned the way for that promotion, that excellent news from the doctor, or that wonderful friend that you met?
Could God be behind that warm and loving memory that gives you such incredible peace and joy? Was God the guiding force that assembled your family? Does God make sure your health, and the health of your love ones, stays excellent? Was it God that got you through school and guided the way to your employment? Was God the one responsible for softening your harden heart so that you became aware of his glorious presence? Is God the one giving you that extra strength that enables you to endure that trial or tribulation? Is God the one behind the effort to get you to lead a Godly life which will guide you up to, and through the gates of his paradise?
Many people would simply pass all of the above off as pure luck or fate, and that God is not involved in any of it. But, if they are wrong and they refuse to thank God when good things happen to them, then I think that they may be doing themselves a great disservice, and you have to wonder if the blessings will continue. Much of the Bible talks about thanking and praising God as the following verses indicate.
Psalms 95:2 "Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with praise."
Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always, for all things, to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ".
1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus".
Psalms 100:4 "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name".
Hebrews 13:15 "Therefore, let us continually offer to God the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."
Psalms 97:12 "Rejoice in the Lord, And give thanks".
Praying for others. When we pray for others, we become partners with God in his work of salvation, healing, comfort, and justice. God can certainly accomplish those things without us, but he gives us the privilege of being involved with him through prayer. When we intercede for a friend in trouble, a mother having surgery, a neighbor who needs Christ, a family in financial trouble, even a country lost in sin, we are asking God to please use his awesome powers to provide, to help, to fix. We are acting as a go between, asking God to direct his power in a specific direction.
The Word of God is just loaded with a great many instances where a single person, through Godly prayerful communication with God, touched the heart of God, and in turn brought about incredible changes in the lives of others. My favorite example is when God wanted to destroy every single Jew in Israel except for Moses, and then build a brand new nation of Israel. We can find this story in the Book of Exodus.
Exodus 32:1-6 "Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. And Aaron said to them, Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me. So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, This is our god, O Israel, that has brought us out of the land of Egypt! Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play."
So while Moses was up getting the 10 commandments, the people of Israel turned their backs on God and were off making and worshipping false gods. Not only that, but the Israelites were giving complete credit to a false idol for bringing them out of Egyptian slavery. What was God's response? Needless to say God was angry and he tells Moses what he is going to do in the next few verses.
Exodus 32:7-10 "And the Lord said to Moses, Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt! And the Lord said to Moses, I have seen this people, and indeed they are a stubborn people! Now then, let me alone, that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation."
God was about to destroy the entire nation of Israel. He was going to destroy every man, woman, and child. The only one not destroyed was going to be Moses. But through Godly prayerful conversation, look what Moses tells God.
Exodus 32:11-14 "Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever. So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people."
As you can see, prayer is communicating with God. Prayer is a "one on one" conversation with the only person who many times is the only one who can help. Prayer is conversation from the deepest part of your heart to the Almighty Creator. Prayer is telling God what is on your mind and what is in your heart.
And because of that one single prayer that Moses said to God, look what happened. Exodus 12:37 tells us that there was well over 600,000 able bodied men so it is estimated that there were approximately one and half million people if you consider the wives and all the children. And Moses, through a single intercessory prayer, saved the lives of every single one of them. That's the power of prayer.
In fact, if you want to experience an instantaneous jolt of God's great love, then the next time that you pray for someone, or do any charitable act, thank and praise God. Tell him that you are so very grateful to him for giving YOU this oportunity to help one of his children in need. Tell him that you are so very thankful to him for allowing YOU to help another human being. Get down on your knees and thank him for this extraordinary opportunity that he has given you, to help alleviate the pain and suffering of a fellow man. Then get ready, because God in his incredible power, will fill your spirit, soul, and heart, with utter joy, love, and peace.
Proper and effective prayer is not only praying and talking to God but it is also focusing on him. If I focus solely on the problem then my prayers stand a good chance of not being answered. Calling on God in prayer tells God that I have knowledge of him, that I have faith in him, that I have desire toward him, that I am dependent on him, and that I want to be obedient to him.
Also think about teaching yourself to do certain things each and every time you pray. As an example, each time you pray ask God for forgiveness for recent sins. Each time you pray pledge a renewed effort towards repentance of those sins. Each time you pray ask him to bring new Godly knowledge into your mind so that you can grow in spiritual maturity. If you examine your heart a little, you can probably find a great many things that you need to talk to God about each and every time you pray.
Why don't we pray more? I think that probably the four biggest reasons why we don't spend very much time in prayer are:
We are too busy to spend time in prayer. We have too much taking place in our hectic lives so we put prayer completely out of our minds. We tell ourselves that we will pray after doing the shopping, and after we do the shopping then we tell ourselves that the praying is going to have to wait till after we watch that important program on tv. Then we put prayer off till after dinner and then we tell ourselves that we will pray at bedtime. And of course when bedtime rolls around we are much to tired to concentrate so we better put prayer off till tomorrow. Soon we train our minds to avoid even thinking about prayer. We can now go months without the slightest thought about prayer. And when the thought of prayer happens to slip into our consciousness, then we simply fall back on the old, "I'll pray right after I do............ That is simply ignoring and disrespecting God.
The second reason why many of us seldom if ever pray is that we look upon prayer as inactivity. We need to do something that we can see right now. We want immediate solutions to immediate problems, so we don't want to wait around for God to do something because we never know how long he may take. We want instant results and we think that we can usually obtain them by our own efforts. We'll try everything that we can think of and if nothing that we try works, then we will pray and ask God.
The third reason why many of us seldom pray is that we don't feel it's effective. We prayed many times in the past and we feel that God never answered any of our prayers. We prayed that loved ones would not die and sure enough they died. We prayed that we would get this grade on a test, or that we would accomplish that goal, or that we would get that job, or that we would meet that perfect someone, and none of them ever happened. We reason that God either doesn't like us or he is far to busy with other matters. We fail to realize that God has very specific plans for each and every one of us, that he is attempting to mold us into something that he wants us to be. We forget that we are on his time schedule and that his goals may be completely different than our goals. We don't think about the fact that only God can see our entire future nor do we stop and think that what we see as good, may in fact be disastrous to us and to others. We may many times be just like that small infant wanting desperately to put that glittering and colorful piece of broken glass in its mouth. And the infant cannot for the world understand why the mother quickly removes the piece of glass, thus preventing the little child from enjoying it.
The real irony is that most believers trust God for their eternal salvation, but they don't trust him for their day-to-day needs. And so, unless it is a catastrophic problem, they will abandon God when it comes to most daily matters.
And the fourth reason is that talking to God makes us uncomfortable. We may find ourselves uncomfortable talking to or even thinking about God for a great many reasons. It may be that in the back of our minds we know that we are unrepentant sinners, and that we just don't want to give up those sins, at least not yet. And if we start to talk to God he may just change our attitude toward those sins and get us to change our ways and our life style, and if that happens then we will miss out on all the pleasures those sins bring us. Others may feel uncomfortable because of the shame and guilt that they will feel once they open their hearts up to God. Those hurtful and embarrassing memories of all those many sins that they have spent years mentally burying, may once again rise to the surface and cause a great deal of emotional pain. What they fail to realize however is that their prayers will be directed straight to the great healer. To the healer who promises to bring us great peace.
So prayer is hard work, but our communication with God is as essential to our spiritual well being, as breathing is to our physical life.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to peer into heaven and see God listening to all the prayers coming into heaven and then watch as he assigns heavenly angels to each and every one of these prayers. Millions and millions of prayers being assigned every second to groups of angels all simultaneously. And among this tremendous work load, everything is orderly and flowing so very, very smoothly.
Think of sitting in on a meeting of a large group of angels who are assigned to only one prayer, maybe one of your prayers. Think of the joy you would have listening to the solutions that are brought up and of the repercussions and consequences being discussed for each of the possible solutions. Watch as non vocal advice is constantly flowing out from God to all the angels at that meeting. You notice how each piece of advice and every single solution is done with only Godly well being in mind. You beam with joy as you see so much heavenly effort and care going into just one of your prayers.
And then you suddenly begin to see and understand that what you were praying for was going to be completely wrong for you and your life out in the future. In fact it would have been disastrous to many others had you gotten what you wanted. You watch as the angels arrive at a completely different but a fantastic solution, a solution that won't take place right now but will in the near future, and this solution is just absolutely great.
All this has taken place in less time than it takes for an eye to blink. But you notice that as the angels arrived at their solution, God has received the solution simultaneously from the angels and has said, "What a terrific solution. That's exactly what I was thinking". And then you watch as the solution is gathered up by a group of angels and brought down from heaven and is safely held by the angels to await that moment in time when that solution can be implemented into your life.