God has been teaching me about prayer lately, and the biggest thing that he’s been teaching me is that I need to pray more. Simple as that.
Within that though there are three things that have stood out to me as I have dove deeper into prayer.
With prayer there must always be thanksgiving.
Everyone needs prayer.
We have every right and reason to pray BOLDLY and with great faith!
I want to take a few moments to look a little closer at each of these three parts and share what I have learned and am currently learning about this awesome gift we know as prayer.
Note: references to all verses will be at the end :)
Number one. With prayer there must always be thanksgiving.
Rarely do I come across a verse that talks about prayer and leaves out the idea of thanksgiving.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I believe that starting off your prayers by thanking him is a wonderful act that centers your mind and serves as a great reminder of what he has done for us, what he is capable of, and how he loves us in our everyday lives. Every good and perfect gift is from the LORD. Every last one! So why don’t we thank him for those things?! I believe he finds great delight when we are able to recognize his love for us through the gifts he has already given us. Once we are able to recognize what he has already done, it is then when we are able to go forward and ask in faith. Past faithfulness is the greatest encourager when moving forward.
I dare you to think of 10 good things right now, 10 things that you love, whether those be people or books, moments or experiences, food or coffee! Make a list of 10 good things and thank him for them!
There is a great promise that comes with thankfulness, and that is JOY.
Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
Thankfulness brings joy to our lives, as well as joy to the father. You can’t go wrong with thanking God!
Number two. Everyone needs prayer.
I’ve been reading through 1 Timothy recently and the other day I came across these verses,
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made forall people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
There is no one God doesn’t desire to be a part of his family. I love how it specifically mentions people in high positions. When is the last time you or I took a moment to pray for the leader of our country? What about our professors and out teachers? Our pastors and leaders?
No one is outside of God’s reach. No one is too big or important to not need God. And therefore, there is no one without a deep need for prayer. It may seems small and insignificant to say a short prayer for the leaders of this world, and yet this verse tells us the exact opposite.
I feel like often times we don’t think to pray for those people, the people who “have it all figured out.” When in reality the leaders in our lives need prayer just as much as an orphaned child or a homeless man, a struggling student or a grieving widow. Everyone needs prayer.
What if we stopped talking so much and just started praying more? Instead of talking about that girl in your class who bothers you, pray for her. Instead of arguing about politics and bashing candidates, pray for them.
Number three. We have every right and reason to pray boldly and with great faith.
We have been given every right and reason to ask in great faith for the things we desire as long as we ask in Jesus’s name and according to the will of God. Many men have taught on this before and their words, and God’s words are much wiser than my own. I’d like to share their wisdom with you.
And this is the CONFIDENCE that we have toward 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 that we have asked of him.
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
And the one other thing to note is the mindset and motive behind our asking…
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
God delights in answering our prayers, yet we must not forget that all of the verses above tell us to ask inaccordance with his will, for the purpose of glorifying the Father.
Someone shared something with me the other day and that was that God doesn’t like our vague prayers. When we pray vague prayers, he could easily be answering them and yet we wouldn’t notice! I would encourage you to pray specific prayers, give God the space to show up and do something awesome in your life! Pray something only he could answer and be ready to praise him for when he answers! Because he will. Like any good father, our heavenly father loves giving good gifts. He loves answering our prayers because ultimately it brings him more glory, gives us greater reason to praise him, and is a wonderful way that we are able to tell others about his goodness.
1 Chronicles 29:11 - "Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all."