• When you pray you stay connected to God. Stopping to pray is like pulling out the plug from the socket - you'll be OK for a while but then at some stage you'll need to be recharged, so just stay connected all the time! Here are some handy tips in the form of nuggets to help you along:

 

  • I used to wonder how you can 'pray without ceasing' as the Word of God encourages us to - I wondered how you could pray continuously! I then came to the understanding that what this meant was that we should never cease to pray - that is, to never stop praying throughout our lives - never give up on prayer! In other words praying should be a lifestyle and something that is part of our lives. Praying is not as far off and complicated as we might think. We can pray anytime and anywhere when we find a moment - we can pray when we're driving, when we're washing the dishes and so forth. But when we also need a 'quiet time' with the Lord, which is good to have daily, then we can find somewhere quiet to study the Bible and pray without any distractions or interruptions - for some people lunchtime or when others are sleeping at night / early morning are good times for this. We don't need to wait till church on Sunday to pray: we can reach out to God anytime because He is always with us. Sunday is great for corporate prayer, and praise and worship; this is also the case at home during family devotions. I also found it very helpful at some stage in my life to have a prayer partner. We would encourage each other, share prayer requests as well as testimonies - then we would tick off answered prayers.

 

  • Don't you find that sometimes when you hear a certain prayer, you want to copy it word for word? That's because you identify with it: it's okay to 'copy' prayers sometimes, especially if you find that the prayer is articulating exactly how you are feeling at that time (we do it all the time with The Lord's Prayer), but it's also good to make up your very own prayers. Prayers don't have to be long, eloquent and sophisticated: just simple and from the heart, and God will still listen and answer just as much. Yes, of course, there is a time to wail and travail and pray through some things - those seasons are there, but I'm talking about everyday praying. You'll find that as you pray more, you'll become more confident in your prayer life.

 

  • Pray the Word as much as possible. At times it's hard to express what we want to say when we are praying. A good idea is to declare God's Word, personalizing it for our individual situations. Let God know that we are praying according to HIS Word - though that's more for our own benefit. The more we pray according to His Word, and therefore HIS will, the better for us...God respects His Word - in John it says He IS the Word, so surely He cannot contradict himself? He will certainly answer! An example: "I thank you Lord that according to your Word, you began a good work in me, and you will see it to completion"..."I thank you that you are Jehovah Jireh and you will provide, just as you show in your Word, and you are the same yesterday , today and forever, therefore I know I cannot lack as you are my source." Over time I found that I gained a deeper understanding of God 'giving me my hearts desires'. I always thought this meant God will give me whatever I want; whatever I ask for. I then heard a teaching that explained that, if we allow Him, God will plant in our hearts what we will come to desire (this kind of desire doesn't go away)...that happens as we get to know Him more and develop the relationship. He gets to impart in us what HE wants for us, and as He reveals to us more and more of HIS desires for us, they evolve into our desires too and so with time we begin to ask for those things (because we will have taken ownership of them)...the right things for us...our hearts desires.

 

  • It's important that the words we speak are consistent with our prayers, so that they are not nullified. If not then we're not going to achieve anything by praying. Remember that words are powerful and we set things in motion by what we speak - God spoke the world into being - He just said "Let there be light", and so it was, and so forth until the entire world was created. We musn't underestimate the power of our words. We can't pray about a situation and then in between our prayers we're busy talking about how we don't see ourselves getting out of the situation, how we think things are actually going to get worse  for us, and how the circumstance is an impossible one. Rather - we should use the creative power of our tongue to cement our prayers. Speak positively and be optimistic, no matter how difficult things appear before you - I know that it's really difficult sometimes but eventually, if we don't give up both praying and speaking well of issues, we will start to see a little light at the end of the seemingly long tunnel, it will get larger and brighter and things will get better...try it! We only need patience and persistence. We walk by faith and not by sight, and since faith is "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen" (Hebrews 11:1), when we speak optimistically, we are really speaking what we hope and believe will happen - it won't be there physically (yet) - and that's what faith is all about! If everything is okay all the time, then you don't need faith.

 

  • Ever heard the saying “Pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on you”? That simply means that we should exercise as much faith as possible, believing that yes God really is there and that He does hear our prayers and will answer them, but at the same time ‘work’ we must to the best of our ability, for example by planning, setting goals, taking steps of action...remember that faith without works is worthless. You may pray to become a famous painter, and maybe you are really talented, but if you don’t even bother getting the tools of the trade like the painting brush etc. and getting down to some actual painting, how will God go about making your non-existent paintings famous? Do something, even as you pray... Simply put - we must do what we can and play our part, and then leave the rest to God. Take action:  I once read somewhere that it’s better to take steps, however small or seemingly insignificant, than to just keep standing where you are.

 

  • Praying and asking are not synonymous. That's because 'gimme prayers' are only one type of prayer - there's a lot more to praying than just asking and asking. There are prayers of repentance - where we come before the Lord to confess, repent and ask for forgiveness; prayers of praise and worship where we acknowledge God for firstly who He is and secondly what He has done; prayers of thanksgiving or gratefulness - here we thank God for various things; prayers of intercession - we stand in the gap and pray for others like for individuals, the nation, situations etc. This isn't an exhaustive list, suffice to say that The Lord's Prayer mirrors how balanced our prayers should be. Even when we do ask, we can ask for an array of things, not just material things - we can ask God for wisdom, for protection, to hunger and thirst for righteousness, for good health - asking transcends the three realms of the spirit, soul and body.

 

"EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR HIM WHO BELIEVES" MARK 9:23

 

 

 

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