If you are reading this and you are perfectly happy with your prayer life, this post is not for you. If on the other hand you sometimes feel like your prayers only rise as high as the ceiling and I'm talking 9 foot ceilings here, or if when you pray your mind is bombarded by thoughts of things you need to do, people you need to call etc., if you pray what I refer to as Morse Code prayers, very quick, dot, dot, dot dot dot and you're done or if you have ever told someone you would pray for them and you honestly forgot, then you might want to continue reading. The first thing I started doing that really stopped the bombardment of thoughts was to pray out loud. I just wanted to share that tip up front.
For the past four years I have prayed for the Lord to teach me to pray for I know that I am no where near what God desires for His children and I too aspire for I knew a lady once that God used as His intercessory prayer child. She was a humble, old lady that lived quietly in a trailer and she knew God in prayer in ways few ever do, she is with Him now face to face but I shall never forget her. The Lord gave me one afternoon with this precious believer and I asked her about her prayer life and my life was changed by that encounter.
My Mother taught me a valuable lesson on prayer that I practice, if someone asks you for prayer and you are with them, I don't care if you are in the middle of a shopping mall you pray for them right then. People love it, I love it, when someone cares enough to pray WITH me. If you are on the phone, pray right then together. Another way to hold yourself accountable in prayer is when you pray, often the Lord will give you Scripture to claim or to pray for the person, let them know what the Lord gave you for them, text it, email or call but let them know, it will encourage them. In addition follow up with them if at all possible to see what the Lord as done in their circumstance. And if you ask someone to pray, please let them know what God did, it brings glory to God and encourages the one who prayed as well as yourself.
In 1 John 5:14-15 there is a great and precious promise from the Lord regarding prayer; "This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." Wow!! Praise God!!! Our part is to ask things that we know are God's will, and we learn what is His will from Scripture. For instance Jesus tells us in Scripture that we are not to worry, we are to be anxious for nothing, we learn that He has given us His peace to guard our hearts and minds if we will present our worries, our anxieties before Him in prayer and thank Him for it. Read Philippians 4:6-7. So when we are worried, tell Him about it and ask for His peace, He will hear (for that is His will) and since we know He hears we know He will answer!
What about those things that are not covered in Scripture, like which job to take, where to live, who to marry? We can still claim promises like; "Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established." Proverbs 16:3 or "The mind of man plans his way but the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9. Read also Psalm 37:23. And Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT says; "Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take."
We still may not know how to pray, particularly when it is intercession for others, but God knows that and He gave us another promise to claim regarding prayer, these verses bring me much comfort because I know they are true and I can pray with more confidence. "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." According to the will of God, therefore, 1 John 5:14-15 can be applied, halleluiah!
The Scripture and your knowledge and application of those truths effects every part of your walk with your Lord, particularly in matters of faith and in prayer. God really has shown me how very powerful the Word of God is in the mouth of a believer when it comes to bringing matters before the Lord in prayer and that is to pray the wonderful, mind blowing prayers found in the Word back to Him on behalf of others! The Word of God is full of prayers to help us and teach us His will and to know His will for us spiritually. One of my very favorites is Colossians 1:9-14, this is what I am currently praying for my family members and the Monday night bible study group. I am praying it everyday for all of this year, and I am eagerly watching for the answer that I know as well as I know my own name is coming, for that is the power of God's Word!! I'm closing with it here for it is also my prayer in your life of those who are reading this blog. I change the wording a little in prayer.
" I will not cease to pray for these and ask that they may be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. So that they will walk in a manner worthy of You, Lord, to please You in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You, God. Strengthen them with all power, according to Your glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously I give thanks to You Father for You qualified them to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For You rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of Your beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." By faith in Jesus Christ' name I pray and eagerly watch.