Another common obstacle to prayer is an enslavement to “feeling.”
“I don’t feel like it.”
They assume that prayers are only efficacious when they rise from an eager and emotional heart. We should keep our appointment with God, whether we feel like it or not. The meek submission of our will deepens our surrender; our resolution to engage in prayer strengthens thought control.
Faith, not feeling, measures the efficacy of prayer.
In all the prayers of the Apostles, there was little thought of personal needs or happiness. It was their desire to witness for Christ and bring Him and His salvation to others.
Praying constantly for ourselves will come to failure. Only in intercession for OTHERS will our faith, love, and perseverance be aroused, and the power of the Holy Spirit be found.
If we are to learn to pray properly, we must open our eyes and hearts to the needs around us.
I probably don’t pray enough. OK, I know I don’t pray enough. But my favorite way to pray is with the Bible open. I get weary praying mostly for myself so I pray for others. What I love most is when I hear from God. Why?
I will listen to what God the LORD says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly. Psalm 85:8
4 Qualities of Scripture make it valuable for prayer:
- The Bible is holy; it provides preparation for prayer. By reading the Psalms for example, it helps me focus on the character and nature of God in relationship to His people. It brings holiness into my thinking.
- The Bible is trustworthy; it provides guidance. It guides us to be the people God wants us to be when we apply it.
- The Bible is enlightening; it provides wisdom. It gives insight into problems we have.
- The Bible is true; it provides subjects for prayer. In other words there are lots of prayers in the Bible we can appropriate for our own use and to further teach us how to pray.
In Jesus’ example and teaching, 3 words mark the tone of our conversation with God: persistence, confidence, and reverence.
- Persistence: This is not about nagging God. Persistence is an indicator of your desire and your dependence on God. Pray until God changes the situation or God changes you. Often, both happen at once.
- Confidence (in prayer): “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7. Pray with expectation that something will happen–or why bother to pray at all?
- Reverence: We should certainly be in awe knowing that we’re talking with the Creator of the universe and the Lover of our soul. But true awe is not found in considering God as distant and untouchable.