There is a right way and a wrong way to do mostly everything. This even applies to prayer. Prayer is a unique opportunity, that we as believers, have to communicate with God. We are literally able to talk to the God of the Universe about anything. That’s prayer. It is just that simple. When and where ever you want to talk to Him, He’s always ready to listen.
Prayer really is a big deal. Various times during Jesus’ ministry, He took time to pray. He instructed the disciples on how to pray. Not like the Pharisees, but humbly acknowledging God, thankful and grateful for blessings, repentant for sins, forgiving others, avoiding temptation, and God’s will be done. What is important to Jesus should be important to us.
But there are wrong ways to talk to God.
You are Not Praying at all.
Jesus taught the disciples how to pray for a reason. Through prayer, we are able to confess our sins, make requests, relieve our burdens, and worship God. When you don’t pray, you disregard how important fellowship with the Almighty is. Prayer allows you to realize how you are a sinner, in need of a Savior and that Savior loves and cares about you. One way to show God that you appreciate the fellowship with Him is by talking to Him. How can you have a relationship with someone you don’t talk to? Same with God. We should want a relationship with Him because He wants one with us. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to ‘hang out’ with God. Plus, if you express your shortcomings and trials with God, He hears you. He will help you.
You are Treating God Like a Genie.
Prayer is more than saying “God, I want a new car, bigger place, a hot husband/wife, and more money. Okay? Thanks.” Although God says that we can ask anything in faith and receive it, that does not mean only ask for things. God is not the genie from Aladdin. He does not sit idle waiting to grant three wishes. He does not cater to our every whim. God is God. He wants to give us so much of His character. If our focus is on things, we will miss out on true blessings. Not that God isn’t concerned that you have a flat tire and your rent is due, because He is. But how do you feel when people only come to you when they want something? You seek relationship and companionship. As friends of God, we should want more than to use Him for what He can do. We should want more of who He is.
Don’t just seek His hand but seek His heart.
You Desire YOUR will versus HIS will.
Your way seems good to you, but that may not be what God wants for you. There has to come a time when you stop praying for things to go your way and pray that they go God’s way. His way is perfect and way better than anything that you could have dreamed. By surrendering what you think is right and best to Him, you get a chance to really see how much God loves and cares about you. When you pray for your own will to happen, you’re telling God ‘I got this. Just go along with it.’ So often we think we have the best plans, and we want God in the passenger seat for the ride, when God is the one driving. God is trying to tell you ‘I’ve got this. Go along with it.’ Hand over your plans for His and be content in the process. Our prayers should be that His will be done in our lives despite what we think is best. Your best doesn’t compare to what He has for you.
Prayer is such an intimate means of communication. You don’t have to get on your knees every time. He can still hear you if you are walking down a hallway at work. You don’t have to bow your head and close your eyes. You can’t do that while driving anyway. You don’t have to pray loudly because God is not deaf. Nor do your prayers have to be long because that is how the ministers at church do it. Elijah prayed 63 words and fire came down from heaven. Your prayer doesn’t have to start with ‘Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God that brought the Israelites across the Red Sea.’ Is that how you talk to your best friend or father? You don’t have to talk to God like He is distant because He isn’t.
Prayer is a vital part of your Christian life.
Prayer is a privilege and should not be taken for granted. Before Jesus restored fellowship, only the priests could go before God with petitions and repentance. Because Jesus died, humanity no longer has to wait on a priest, certain time of day, or hold to any traditions. All we have to do is open our hearts and talk to God. Whether it be audible or not, we should always pray.
Just talk to God. He’s our best friend, our Father, the one who loves us enough to give us Jesus. He appreciates the intimacy you have with Him in prayer. You can talk to a sibling, best friend, spouse for hours on end. That same connection, time, and effort you have with them should be secondary to the quality time you spend talking to God in prayer. Your spirit is revived, your heart is renewed, and your joy can be restored through prayer. As a believer, prayer is an opportunity you don’t want to miss. The results of prayer are guaranteed to strengthen your faith and trust in God.
How do you view prayer?