by Shelle Frelo
A healthy prayer life is developed when we start to view prayer as more of a conversation with God rather than a wish list. The difference is that a conversation goes in two directions instead of only consist of one. Sometimes we can forget that not only does God want to hear from us but He also wants to speak to us as well.
In the process of developing a conversational prayer life there are a few things to take into consideration:
Understand the purpose of prayer. – Prayer is for our benefit not God’s. God already knows what is on our heart before we ask. So why have us pray you ask…The purpose is to help us get focused on seeing God at work in our lives. Prayer is our way of communicating with God. Think of it one of the was we deepen a relationship with another person is to talk with them, is to share our heart with them and they with us. In the same way prayer deepens our relationship with God and helps us to understand that our lives is not our own but is under God’s control. – Matthew 6:7, Hebrews 4:15-16, Jeremiah 10:23, Matthew 26:39
Pray consistently and persistently. – Just as when something is heavy on your mind and you think about it all the time, God wants you to talk to Him all the time. Talking to God continually makes us more aware of His presence in our lives and enables the conversation to be more meaningful. Its important to pray persistently because often it may seem that nothing is happening, nothing is changing, that you aren’t getting the answer you want or need. But God answers prayer in His timing not ours. By praying persistently we help keep our mind and heart focused on God not the situation or circumstance. – I Thessalonians 5:17, 2 Corinthians 12 8-9
Pray for all things – In other words anything that is on your mind or heart you can bring to God in the conversation. And when I say anything I mean anything no matter how small or how large. Whether it is good or bad. God wants us to allow Him to be in every aspect of our lives. He wants to be a part of the conversation in our hearts and minds. He wants us to seek His Will in all things. This means asking God for His direction in our lives and expecting to get an answer from Him. –Proverbs 3:6
Pray with the right mindset. -Okay, this is an extremely important thing to take to heart so we want to pay attention. Having the right mindset can impact any situation that includes our prayer life. It is essential that we pray expecting for our prayer to be answered even when we have to pray and ask God help my unbelief. When we ask God to help us change our mindset He is faithful to do so event when its gradual. I have often found myself praying to ask God to give me the faith I need to believe He will answer my prayer. Satan attacks our mind not our heart. He attacks our minds and our thinking changes our hearts for the worse. We need to remember much like a child who tells their parent “Mom, I’m hungry” the child is expecting the mom to do something about their request. That expectation is okay and even essential when praying to God. –James 1:6, Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 7:7-12
Prayer and the heart. In order to understand some of the things that can distract us let’s look at a couple of verses: James 4:1-3, Mark 11:25,Psalm 51:10,Acts 8:22, as we can see through these few scriptures having the right heart set is important to having an effective prayer life. The key is having the right heart set is not something we have to do on our own. We can ask God to help change our hearts and cleanse us while we are praying to Him.
So what is the takeaway? Prayer is the way we talk to God. It’s just a conversation between us and God. We can engage in the conversation at anytime, about anything, in any place.