Tag Archives: pray better

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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