This post was originally posted at facebook.com/faithmattersblog on 9/22/19
What do your prayers look like? As a child, my parents taught me a bedtime prayer and a mealtime prayer. But as I’ve matured in my faith, my prayers have taken on new forms, changing with my age.
There was a time when my prayers were centered around what I wanted or concerns about others’ health and safety. Even when I thought I had it figured out, my prayers seemed to be lacking in something. Then I heard about the components that should make up prayer. They are: ADORATION (praising God), CONFESSION (confess our sins and ask for forgiveness), THANKSGIVING (thank God for all he’s done for us), SUPPLICATION (asking God to help us and others for our needs).
Still, I felt like something was missing. Often, we take bits and pieces of scripture from the Bible and don’t look at the whole picture. I’ve found that it’s always prudent to look at what is happening in the scripture around the verse. It may not be saying what we think it’s saying.
In Jon Porter’s sermon this morning, he took it even farther and for me, I think he unlocked the key. You know when you get an AHA! moment? The light just came on and you have a whole new understanding!
First of all, God wants us to ask for anything we want to ask for. Prayers often fail because we don’t ask for anything. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” – Phil 4:6.
Second, God wants us to ask for anything in prayer. It doesn’t mean that we’ll get what we want, but we should pray about everything. This is how we stay in relationship with him. He cares about everything in our life.
Lastly, we should ask according to His will. Jon says sometimes we are only concerned with our will or we assume that His will can be accomplished whether we pray about it or not, because it’s what God wants. But this is the part I missed, God wants us to be in the Word and to discern his will. Then, he wants us to pray his will in our prayers. Why didn’t I see this before?
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” – John 15:7.
So, first of all, we need to read the Bible and be familiar with God’s will. How can we pray for his will, if we don’t know what it is? How much more confident can we be that our prayers will be answered if we are praying his will? So how do we discern if our prayers are God’s will? We must ask ourselves for what reason do I think that God will answer this prayer? We should be able to answer that by looking in his word.
That’s it then, be so intuned with God that our prayers are what he wants. I think I need to look at my prayer list again and reevaluate what I’m praying for. Crack open my Bible again and get in step with God.
I’m a work in progress, and obviously, God’s not done with me yet! Thanks, Jon, for opening my eyes.