Pray continually, pray when you need something like wisdom or transformation, pray with thanksgiving and repentance… I’ve always known this. Too often though, my prayers would start as I lay in bed, and before saying “Amen” I’m fast asleep. Or while driving, cooking dinner…. and my mind would be on to the next thing before saying “Amen”. So, needless to say, experiencing the power of prayer wasn’t something I’d seen too often.
Through my walk with God, especially in the last few months, I’ve learned a few things about prayer. One, it’s real and very powerful. Two, praying for someone else and watching it come true is mindblowing. Lastly, that praying with the right heart attitude is what helps you see the fullness of your prayers and that God hears and loves us.
Prayer is Real and Very Powerful: Praying, for me, has sometimes been elaborate and detailed, but they have also been simple like: “help me”. The more aware I become of God’s hand in my life, the more I’ve seen my prayers being answered. So much so, I’ve begun a prayer journal to keep track of them all. God didn’t just start answering my prayers though, I started watching for Him and trusting His work in my life. It’s easy to ask God for help and be ungratefully unaware when our requests are given to us. We need to pray with adoration, confession, thanksgiving and request for ourselves and for others. Then we watch as He gives us wisdom, guidance, and strength in every circumstance. (Even when He doesn’t give us what we want – His plans are better – trust it)
Praying for Others: I tend to be pretty selfish in my prayer life. I focus on the help and growth that I need more than I focus on the help that others may need. However, the prayers I pray for my children and my husband, seem to set our whole family into a beautiful transformation. Every time I’ve prayed for their hearts, and the people in their lives, I’ve seen that prayer answered the same or next day. It’s crazy cool!
The Bible talks often about praying for one another. One example is in Exodus with Moses. We are all at war and we need someone to be holding up their hands for us in prayer so that we can overcome our enemies. Our husbands and children need us to be their prayer warriors, we need friends to be our prayer warriors. So when your church says to submit your prayer requests, do it! We all need someone praying for us. Prayer is Powerful!
Praying with the right heart attitude: Prayer requires an attitude; an inner posture. Entering into a request with God when our hearts are filled with anger or hate, cloud the ‘line’ between you and God. Praying with the right attitude requires humility and for us to surrender our ways and our selfishness, to open our minds and our hurts in complete trust that God is who He says he is and will always follow through.
I use to pray, and still do, for help with situations and people, but I’d hold onto the requests and try to fix them myself. Now, when I pray, I try to picture my hands opening and releasing each thing completely to Him. Not holding onto any of it. It’s not easy to do, I’m type A…but he is faithful to answer my prayers, so it’s becoming easier to fully give them to him.
I am not big on sharing my prayer requests. Usually, I feel like I’m complaining or that my problems are small in comparison to others, so I just don’t share my needs. But God asks us to partner up and lean on our community to pray for each other. God also requires us to partner with Him and His plans/mission/purpose.
As we pray for others and ourselves we can trust God will take action as it aligns with his purpose. Writing in my prayer journal, I’ve been able to see His action more clearly. It takes a few days to write in my journal, but the murmurs from one day lead to answers and further clarity the next as I give Him my complaints and thoughts. He is faithful – we just need to release, trust and partner up!