Why is it my house suddenly needs to be cleaned or organized the minute I say, “I’m going to pray now”? I round the corner of the kitchen, and ironically I see the same table I always see, but this time I just happen to notice the dust. Or I get on my knees in the living room and happen to see an old left-over Christmas decoration that had fallen off the tree. Immediately I hear Satan say, “You need to get that…or clean that…or fix this…’cause if you don’t do it now, you’ll forget!”
Why? Satan, the deceiver, knows that He is about to be stripped of all his power when I’m on my knees and crying out to God. He knows that when I pray I receive forgiveness, mercy, strength, direction, peace, and will be fired up and ready to live for Jesus. He hates it. And he cleverly uses whatever he can to keep me busy and distracted, ensuring that I don’t get to where I was going…to pray.
Prayer is powerful. It changes things. It changes everything. Satan knows this.
Why don’t we pray more often?
Why do we wait until the problem is so immense?
Why do we sometimes make prayer our last resort?
I think it might be that we struggle with unbelief—unbelief that God is really listening, and that He cares about the intimate details of our lives. Sure, we believe He is powerful, but quite honestly maybe we believe He is busy with more important things, or more important people, you know, better people than us.
These are also lies of Satan. Another attack on our emotions to keep us from praying to God. But here’s the truth and we need to intentionally choose to believe it.
God is for you.
He has every intention to fight for you.
He loves you, chose you, and has a plan for YOU.
He is Almighty, Powerful, and Creator of the Universe, keeps everything spinning in orbit, yes, but He is Abba Father too. Waiting like a good dad for you to climb up in His lap and tell Him all about it. This precise perception of who God is will change your life. Spend time every day in prayer with your Father. Pray like your life depended on it. Pray like your children’s life depended on it. Pray like you are the only one praying.
- Pray at your comfort level. Your relationship with God is very personal, so your prayers will be personal too. It is not necessary to pray fancy prayers or use big words. Just pray what is on your heart and use your own vocabulary. My best prayer is only two words: Help me. Help me in my planning, my relationships, my job, be a good mom, wife and friend, make decisions, study, teach, witness, serve, love. In everything I do and think and especially my attitude….help me.
- Understand to whom you are praying. He is God! Believe that He is listening and will help you. If you struggle with this, ask God to help you believe. Pray sincerely and as honestly as you know how. Tell Him everything. His mercy, grace, love, and forgiveness is limitless.
- Pray often. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to Pray without ceasing. I pray while driving, cooking, or while waiting in line at the grocery store. But while praying, I’m still watching the road signs, people, measuring ingredients, and paying attention to what is going on around me. God hears these precious earnest prayers even when I am distracted. To help my concentration and focus, I make a point to pray at least once a day without doing anything else. For me this means:
Moving away from the computer.
Turning off my phone.
Closing my eyes so I don’t notice the dust on my furniture.
Going to my walk in closet where I can be alone in the dark.
- Ask God to forgive your sins. God longs for a relationship with you! He lovingly convicts you of sin because He wants nothing standing in the way of that relationship and communication with Him. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NKJV
- Tell God what you need. The Bible says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:6-7
- Communication with God involves listening too. Take time to be quiet and allow God to speak to your Spirit.
This concludes Real Change. Now we must be faithful to practice the disciplines of prayer, Bible study, and worship through praise and thanksgiving. You won’t be the same.
I’d love to hear how God has worked in your life and what He has revealed to you!