Tag Archives: better prayers

How To Pray Eloquently

I’m counting down my most popular devotions of the year. This was my third most popular one written in 2017.

I was in need of prayer recently, and a friend came to visit me. We talked about everything going on and caught up on a few things. Before he left, he asked, “Do you mind if I pray for you before I leave?” I nodded. He then said, “My prayers aren’t that eloquent though.” I replied, “God listens more to our heart than our words.” After we prayed and he left, I began to think about that. How many of us hold back on prayers because we think it’s the eloquence of our prayers that cause God to reply?

God is not like us. He is not impressed by our mastery of language. He isn’t moved by flowery speech. He looks into our heart and sees our intent. We’ve grown so accustomed to having please and impress others with our words that we think we have to do it with God. Religiosity is the art of impressing others while making a show of our faith. God doesn’t respond to that because He doesn’t like it.

In Matthew 6:7-8, Jesus said, “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (NLT) God knew I was in need of prayer. He didn’t need an eloquent prayer that explained what was going on and what I needed. What He needed was our faith to trust Him with the problem.

Prayer is not about saying the right words the right way. It’s about trusting God with the things we can’t handle. My son often wants things (and he hints at it), but I always say, “Use your words.” I think our Father in Heaven does the same. He knows we need it, but He’s teaching us to communicate with Him through prayer. Your communication skills don’t have to be excellent either. Your heart is what matters. Initiate the conversation with Him and open up your heart. Those are the most eloquent prayers He ever heard.

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Persistent Prayers

I think that prayer is something that most of us wish we did more of. I don’t think it’s really a time issue as much as it is a return on investment issue. Let me explain. In our lives we give time to things that give us a quick return. We’ve grown accustomed to eating out because it takes less time than having to read a recipe, go to the store to get the ingredients, prepare the food, cook the food, prepare the table and serve it. We get a much quicker return on our investment by going to a restaurant and have less work doing so.

When it comes to prayer, we tend to have that same mentality. We expect Hod to give us a quick turn around on our investment of time. When we don’t get a quick answer, we say, “It must not be God’s will,” and we quit praying for it. We also spend very little time speaking to God about the things we need. We send up quick, 9-1-1 prayers in an time crunch situation wanting God to respond in a matter of minutes. I don’t know if that’s a product of our societal conditioning or if it’s just human nature.

What I do know is that Jesus gave a couple of different parables regarding prayer. One such is found in Luke 18:1-11. It starts off by saying, “Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. (MSG)” He told us right in the beginning how He expects us to pray. He’s not looking for one off prayers where we are one and done. He wants us to pray about our situations consistently and without quitting. In the parable He gives the example of a widow who wants protection because her rights are being violated.

The judge she goes to help for could care less what God or anyone thinks. He does things his own way. In the story it says that he wouldn’t even give her the time of day. But, because she didn’t quit and was consistent, he answered her request. He said, “I’d better do something and see that she gets justice- otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black and blue by her pounding. (MSG)” He didn’t answer her request because he wanted to, he answered it because he knew she wouldn’t quit.

When is the last time God knew you weren’t going to quit praying about something until you got your answer? Most of the time, we’ve given up before we’ve ever started praying. In fact, prayer is usually our last option instead of our first. If you’ve been praying for an answer and haven’t gotten it yet, keep going to God in prayer. Sometimes He needs to know you won’t quit before He answers. Show Him that you are depending on Him alone to answer your request. Pray consistently and frequently and God will not drag His feet in answering you. 

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Trusting God’s Resolutions

My pastor preached a series based out of Psalm 103 on the benefits that God gives. Verse five particularly stood out to me as I read it in the Amplified version. It says, “Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!” There is so much promise for us packed into this one verse.

The first half reminds me that God knows what we need and what we want. I’ve been trying to teach my son the difference between those two for a while now. He will say, “Dada, I need that toy.” I reply, “No. You want that toy. You don’t need it.” I figure I’m a lot like that with God. I pray to God often about my needs and He points out that they are wants. Like a good father, He wants to bless us with our needs and wants, but He wants us to understand the difference.

The last part of that first half reminds me that God knows what’s going on in my life and where He’s taking me. He knows what each situation needs so that the outcome is for my benefit. What He knows it needs and what I think it needs are often different. In my prayers, I’m learning to ask God to resolve my problems in the best way He knows how instead of me telling Him how I’d like them to be resolved. I find that I’m happier with His resolutions.

I had always been confused by the next part of the verse. I had never understood the phrase “so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” until I learned about the molting process. The adult eagle will shed his feathers and grow new ones for his exact age and even for the season he is in. God knows what season if life each of us are in. He provides us with the things we need in order to be renewed accordingly. He understands what worked for you five years ago won’t be the same thing you need today. He gives us good things that are relevant to where we are in life.

The final part of that verse says why He gives us those good things. It’s so we can be strong, overcoming and soaring. Strength helps us face the future challenges in life. Overcoming is how He wants us to live each day. We may get knocked down, but an overcomer gets back up and keeps moving forward no matter what. God also provides us with wings to soar. He wants us to rise high and fly. The higher we go, the closer we get to seeing things from His perspective. When we get His perspective, we know how to pray better.

God offers lots of benefits to us as believers. I think once we begin to understand what they are and why He gives them, we are more apt to do what it takes to receive them. God is good to us and sees our bigger picture. He’s not afraid to give us what we need instead of what we want. We may not always like how He answers our prayers, but as we soar higher in life, we’ll have his perspective and be able to look back and see what He was doing. He has your best interest at heart. Accept the gifts He gives for each season of your life.

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Passionate Prayer

It’s Free Friday! Today you can choose to let go of the things that weigh you down and hold you back so you can embrace all that God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a free copy of “The 21 Most Effective Prayers of the Bible”. Keep reading to find out how you can win it.

Someone recently asked me to pray for one of their friends. As I started to pray, I started to become more passionate in that prayer. The more passionate I got, the longer the prayer got. When I said, “Amen”, they said, “Thank you” and mentioned that they just meant a “little” prayer. I couldn’t do it though. If it’s worth praying about, it’s worth being passionate about.

I don’t know that the louder a prayer is, the more God will hear it. I believe the more passionate prayer is, the more God responds to it. I think of Hannah in the Bible in I Samuel 1, she was deeply troubled because she couldn’t have children. She was embarrassed and felt like a lesser person. While her husband went to offer sacrifices, she went into the temple to pray. Her prayer wasn’t loud, but it was passionate.

Verse 10 says, “And Hannah was in distress of soul, praying to The Lord and weeping bitterly.” When Eli the priest came in, he saw her mouth moving, but nothing coming out. Verse 13 says she was praying in her heart. He quite honestly thought she was drunk. When he confronted her, she assured him she wasn’t and that she was pouring out her soul. He then told her to go in peace because God was going to answer her petition.

It wasn’t on the words she was saying, it was in the emotion of her spirit that caught God’s attention. So often we worry so much about the words to our prayers, that we forget to worry about the passion in them. James 5:16 says, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” When I looked up the words “effectual” and “fervent” in the original Greek, the word used was energeo. That’s our root word for energetic.

God is more concerned with the energy in our prayers than in the words. He wants to see our passion instead of our memory. I’m afraid most of our prayers aren’t answered because we aren’t very energetic in them. We don’t put much emotion into them. Instead we say it half hearted just hoping He’ll hears us and maybe answer. James said an energetic prayer is dynamic in its working. It has tremendous power available. The words in our prayer are important, but God is listening to our heart too.

If your prayers aren’t being answered, I encourage you to think about the emotion and passion you’re putting into your prayers. Are they more of an after thought or are they passionate? Are concerned more about saying the right thing or conveying the right thing? The most effective prayers in the Bible came from deep within the heart, not the brain. The heart is the seat of our emotion. It’s where our passion comes from. Try praying from there and watch God work.

If you’d like to win, “The 21 Most Effective Prayers in the Bible”, go to my Facebook page and “like” it or one of my statuses today. I will choose one person randomly tomorrow (9/20/14) who does either of those things. You can access my Facebook page here.

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