Finding empowerment and conquering hindrances to your prayers
Have you ever wanted to see your prayer life expand and have more impact, but just didn’t know how? Or perhaps you’d just like to learn more about finding intimacy with God through prayer. Here’s a few ideas that I’ve learned through my own prayer life:
Don’t settle for anything less than knowing God. If we allow our prayer lives to be solely about a list of requests, we’ll miss out on so much. If we allow it to, our prayer lives can become a classroom where we truly get to know God for all of His incredible attributes. When we come to Him in prayer when we’re afraid, we get to know Him as The Prince of Peace. When we come to Him when we’re hurting, we learn to know Him as our comforter. When we come to Him when we don’t understand why He didn’t answer our prayers the way we thought He should, we come to understand His Sovereignty. …And the list goes on and on. There will always be more to learn about our God. The question is, are we invested in the quest to get to know Him. If we are, it means pressing into Him beyond a list of prayer requests and into a relationship with Him.
The second way to develop a powerful and effective prayer life is to get real. It is all too easy to shift into prayer-ese when we begin to talk to God…saying what we think He wants us to say rather than being honest with Him. This is especially important when we’re feeling angry or disappointed with God. Ooops! Did I say that out loud?!? Angry with God? How unspiritual! Yes, it’s true…Sometimes I get angry with God. Being honest with God can be hard for a lot of people, perhaps because it feels dishonoring to tell God that we’re really miffed at Him right now. The reality is, God already knows how we’re feeling. It seems we have two choices: either A: be honest with God and reconcile with Him or B., stuff our feelings, maybe for years, and let that anger toward Him turn into bitterness. The key here is to bring our honesty with Jesus full circle: Tell Him how we feel, confess our own sin of believing that He has failed us in some way, and finally, ending our time with Him by declaring His faithfulness and our trust in Him. If we fail to come full circle and return to a place of trust, our honesty actually is dishonoring to God.