I talk to a lot of people that grew up in a church atmosphere, and for some reason most of these people still don’t understand how to pray. I have heard people tell me that “I feel like I’m doing it wrong” or “I don’t think I understand prayer”. Guys, listen up!
PRAYER IS NOT A METHODICAL RELIGIOUS MOTION YOU TAKE!
Prayer is simple. It is coming to God from a sincere heart, and ‘talking’. In John 15:15 Jesus said “I call you friends”. Think for a moment about your friends. Now think about a specific friend, or mentor that you greatly admire and respect. How do you talk to them? You can start with that idea, then imagine God: A holy, beautiful, sinless, perfect “person”. It is hard to understand with human understanding, however my case stands that you can talk to God like he is sitting in the chair next to you (with upmost respect of course).
For instance, when I get up in the morning, I say a short small breath prayer. What is that? Well, it goes like this: God, lead me guide me and direct me today. Let me be a light unto a dark world, Amen.
However, I generally worship “talk to” God all throughout the day. When I am getting ready for work, I talk to God about my concerns for the day. When I am driving to work, I pray he protects me as I travel, and put me where he wants me. When I am at work, I thank him for the blessings that happen immediately as they occur. I give thanks in EVERYTHING. 1 Thes 5:18 says give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. If I hear a praise song that makes me remember what God did for me, I praise him and thank him and glorify him in my still, quiet places. This song always gets me going :
When I think about the Lord http://youtu.be/QsEGRB695hs
Children are often times the BEST prayers. Why? Because they pray because they want to, not because they feel they have to.
Prayer is basic. Prayer is heartfelt. Prayer is the sincere wanting and needing to be closer to God, not just about asking God to grant your wishes like a genie. God is not going to give you everything you ask, and it doesn’t mean you have to blame him when you don’t get what you thought you wanted. It could be that there is something better coming down the pipes for you. Prayer is giving your heart to God, and asking him to search it, and reveal what belongs there and what doesn’t. Prayer is humbly presenting yourself for searching. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Prayer is that simple. A little advice, prepare yourself before you come to God. I used to pray this BEFORE I prayed – “God, shut down my thoughts and restless body, let me forget this world for a few uninterrupted moments with you. I want to come to you today, please reveal yourself to me Lord.”
There is no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer is between YOU and GOD. If you pray, and feel God – then he heard you. If you are unsure, maybe you can visit with someone who can help guide you. Sometimes “being unsure” is just a matter of the heart. Sometimes you just feel too full of sin or guilt to feel like you are “worthy” of God to listen or talk back. If that is you, LET IT GO. God will take your burden if you just ask. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
IF GOD SAID IT – HE MEANT IT.
I will leave you with this: Rev 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
If you still aren’t sure that you are being heard, or you feel you don’t understand prayer – Here is something you can start praying for and it may change your life.
When you pray: “Thy will be done oh lord”, it’s easy to say. That’s about all it is. We all remember
let thy kingdom come, let thy will be done as in heaven so upon the earth Matthew 6:10…..
Well we said it for years, but did we ever get it? I know I didn’t! It took me far too long to really realize what “Thy will be done” for my life truly meant. I can’t have all that I want. I can’t do all that I want. I can’t achieve all that I want….ALONE. And if god doesn’t want those things for my life, I just gave him permission to take those things out of my life via verbal contract. Make sense??
I wanted my will. But I prayed for God’s will. Honestly, how stupid. Words, words, and more words – yet I never put the connection together. I guess the idea of thinking “ I am a good person” and I am really doing no harm in my actions, meant that I must be achieving gods will… sewn into mine- of course.
I’ve banged my head against enough walls, and been on the wrong side of decision making for years.
I learn the hard way I presume.
Finally giving it all, and accepting Gods will is TOUGH. Especially when he tells you, for the most part, exactly what he expects from your life and time on earth- and you don’t like it. I said “but god, I don’t wanna do that” I don’t wanna work there, I don’t wanna live there, I don’t wanna…Yadda yadda yadda.”
We humans are so full of ourselves. The day I finally got it, I was angry! I did NOT want all the things God obviously had in mind for me. I wanted my selfishness still. Me! Me! Me!.. Mine! Mine! Mine!
Yeah, I said it. Thanking God for his mercy right now….
If god and I were in a boxing ring together, surely he would have a couple teeth bite marks on his forearm. I FOUGHT. I fought incessantly, and I fought with fire. Then…months later, I gave in. I simply threw in the boxing gloves, threw my hands up for the last time and said “Thy will be done oh lord.”
Life has been better since I finally nodded along with God, rather than fighting. As I sit here I picture cattle in the field walking head-to-tail on that narrow winding trail beaten into the ground for them. (maybe that’s the Texan in me) But that’s what happened I guess. I got in line. I quit playing around and got serious about Gods will for me.
We should all be doing the same.
That one little phrase was one of the hardest to grasp-for me. It’s so easy to preach to the choir- but when it comes up in your life, well, easier said than done.
I knew that verse well. God showed me in a real life experience what that verse truly meant. I have been married for almost 4 years. I love my husband. The problem is, two years into our relationship he went into a very deep dark place. He went into a depression. I was too blind to see. It spiraled. He didn’t want to do anything. Didn’t want to make friends. He barricaded himself inside. Didn’t want to go anywhere. The only thing of interest to him was sitting in his recliner and watching tv. That became my life. I had a husband that I played house with. I would cook, and sometimes we would go out to dinner. We had a good time- it seemed. But he was never quite right. Never quite there as a knew him to be like he was in the past.
We started argueing. He felt like I was pushing him and making him do things that he didn’t want to do. Truth is, I was just trying to push him to do Something. Anything. I was gonna love him if it killed me. And that’s exactly what it began to do. I got a harderened heart and I felt stale. I was sitting and rotting in a marriage. And I didn’t even know how bad it was until march 2010 God told me I needed to leave. At that point in our relationship we had two homes. So it was easy to just stay in one place, as he stayed in the other. As the days went on, and the weeks went on-I realized when he wasn’t calling me, or coming to see me as much as I needed him to…there was really not a whole lot there that I thought was there.
The marriage that I thought was there in my rose colored glasses didn’t exist, as I thought it did. Over the course of 8 months alone, I woke up. The blinders came off. I snapped awake. I could now see things objectively and I leaned on God for understanding to the questions that I had. God told me 6 months into the separation that I needed to divorce my husband. I said God, “I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think you said that. Maybe that’s what I want..” when things don’t go quite right, people give up..
But I didn’t want to let go!!
I loved my husband. Deeply. Emotionally. But as time grew on, God showed me the error of ways. There was a day when God was tormenting me so much after a few counciling sessions to leave, go.. (when god wants to tell you something he just throws it in your face over and over and over again until you get it.) well I finally got it. So I went into counciling that day and I decided today was the day I tell him I was leaving and filing papers Monday. Divorce is starting. So I did that. Now prior to that, you must know, I have always tried to keep the peace, Never trying to disrupt any balance. But that day…something changed. I was stronger with God.
I saw my husband snap. He got angry
and stormed out of that Counciling session early. That next morning I get a call at 2am. He was talking completely out of his mind. Asking why I left so early, and he was searching for me.on and on and on… and I was so puzzled by the call….I just sat up and prayed for the man, and went back to sleep.
A few days went by, and no news. I figured he wanted a break or needed some time to cool down. I stopped by at his place, to check on him. I asked “what happened on that night?” and he admitted to me that he had taken handfuls of pills and waited to die. He tried to die. The pain he said he felt was too much to go on. Losing me was too much bare. Too hard To deal with. I broke down. I didn’t know what to say. I knew that I had to be strong in my conviction to walk away even though he was reaching for every straw he had.
God saved his life. I always tried to help him. To fix him. To make him happy. But God knew I wasn’t the cure, I was only the guide-dog. By all human knowledge he should be dead with enough sleeping pills, Benicar and Wellbutrin in his system to make an elepheant foam at the mouth.
He said that night he went thru hell. “Got the grand tour” he recalled. “but there was an angel leading me out” bringing him back to life. To Gods true calling.
When I walked away my husband thought that his life was over. He even did things in his power to force it to be so. He took pills and did everything in his power to let go because he thought that would be easier.. God woke him up. God started tugging at him now and making HIM uncomfortable. CJ started reaching for the bible like he had never before. I had been going through a spiritual growth at this time, I tried to talk to him about things, but he never wanted to talk about it. Matter of fact, he shut me down a lot. Didn’t like the fact I was so spiritual.
Well CJ does have God now. He is spiritual. God told me that I had to leave, so that God could do his work. God had to fix him. That was one of the toughest messages I had to receive. That I had to let go and let God do his work. I am so thankful that I did. I’m in a better place-he’s in a better place with God.
Even as I am proofreading this, I dont want to post it on my blog. I say “God this hurts too much.” I dont want to be this honest and open about things..
He said, Cherish..Let go, and Let God