“Things don’t change when I talk to God; things change when God talks to me. When I talk nothing happens, when God talks, the world comes into existence.” Bob Sorge
Have I been praying?
This is different from praying about a specific decision as discussed yesterday.
If we’re going to know God, we have to know who God is. One of the ways we learn who God is when we spend time with Him in prayer and Bible study.
I’m reading in Jeremiah now and I’m struck with God’s willingness to give His people second chances time and again. But I’m also struck with the fact that God does not take disobedience lightly. He promises consequences for their actions.
Jesus did too.
Let’s be clear though. God always hears our prayers, no matter what. He hears our sincerity even when our knowledge of him is short-changed, even if our view of him is limited. We don’t have to belittle ourselves (nor should anyone else, I might add), if our prayers sound child-like. In fact, I would suggest the more we learn of God, the more child-like our prayers will become.
Prayer is like anything else, the more we practice it, the better we get at it. If it weren’t like that, why do you suppose the giants of the faith have always been giants in their prayer life first? The book of Daniel, chapter nine is a beautiful prayer by a man of faith.
It is through spending time with God that we learn what things we can pray for and what things we cannot. (I’m talking here about prayer requests that God can honor.) There are certain requests God cannot grant. I am always surprised when I hear people say they prayed for things that God nowhere promises he will answer with a “yes”. We can’t pray for God to “bless” illicit relationships or illegal actions. People do though. All the time. I’ve heard some myself.
I find myself going through periods of times when I seem to pray longer and harder than usual. Then there are times when my prayers are shorter and simpler. For a while, the “shorter and simpler” bothered me. Over the years though I’ve learned that just as God allows times of simplicity and peace, there are other times He allows challenges. The length of my prayers seem to reflect those times.
In case you didn’t read yesterday’s post, I’ll point this out again. Recorded prayers in the Bible are short. the The longest prayer is Nehemiah 9:5-38 which can be read in just a few minutes. If you consider Psalm 119 a prayer, it can be read aloud in less than ten minutes.
So how did we come up with the idea that prayers should be long, involved, and excessively wordy?
I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with long prayers or that there aren’t times we do pray for a long time. But what I am saying is that there is no Biblical imperative that says prayer must be that way.
But there are Biblical imperatives to “remain” in God’s presence continually. That’s really what prayer is, a continuous conversation with our Father. Considering that perspective, then prayer is twenty-four seven. In other words there really is no “Amen”.
Prayer isn’t just for designated times and places,
We are to “live” prayer.
Prayer and breathing go hand in hand. That’s how intimate the connection should be. So in that context, prayer is very long.
I have to say that I learn a great deal about myself through my prayers.
Sometimes I sound so selfish and self-absorbed. Sometimes the words that come out of my mouth surprise even me and it’s at those times I know the Holy Spirit is taking my thoughts and sending me the right words to express myself. It’s as though He gives my words wings of flight and I’m surprised at the direction my words take. Sometimes I pray for people who were never consciously in my thoughts beforehand.
Prayer is the single most important priority in my life.
God bless and I hope you have a good, prayerful day.
(This post, How to be absolutely sure God is leading us? (part 2, ), first appeared on faithsighanddiy.com)