“Prayerless lives are powerless lives, and prayerful lives are powerful lives.” –Beth Moore
When I was growing up I never wanted to have children of my own; it wasn’t a desire on my heart. I would hear other girls say that their greatest dream was to be a mom, it just wasn’t mine. That is until I met my Jesus…my desire was for own selfishness rather than what God had for my life. For the first time in my life, I felt that I had a future and in that future, I wanted a family.
Five months into our marriage the line on that little white test stick was clearly turning into a plus sign. We wanted a family, but we had a different plan in mind about when that would happen…we were still newlyweds and learning about each other, and now there would be a little person in the middle. Our daughter changed us in so many ways but, more than anything she showed me that I could be a great mom, not a perfect mom but a good one. I loved the incredible joy of being a mother.
Those little brown eyes had just turned two when I felt the tug on my heart to have another baby. I began to pray and ask God every day for us to have another baby. We tried and struggled for over a year. I never stopped asking. Some of those prayers were knitted together with my tears. God knew the deepest and frailest places of my heart in that season of my life.
If no one ever taught you or showed you how to pray it is possible you don’t pray as much as you would like to because you don’t feel like you know how. Maybe the thought of prayer overwhelms you, for what do I pray? For whom do I pray? How often should I pray? Prayer is vital for us as a believer; it is our direct connection to the Father. We are quick to pray in our deepest times of crisis and lowest valleys, but daily prayer can challenge us.
Our most passionate prayers should not be reserved just for the deepest valleys of our lives, they should be our everyday conversations with our Abba, Father. We have to begin to speak to the Father and allow the Spirit of God to teach us how to pray. I have read many books on prayer, many verses on prayer in Scripture but, the greatest lessons I have learned about prayer, I have learned from the ultimate Teacher.
My prayers don’t have to be perfect, often they are messy and written in my prayer journal, page after page of heart pouring prayers. My prayers have developed a pattern through God’s leading. This season by far has been the most intense time of prayer in my life.
Even the disciples desired to know how to pray; they didn’t consult a newly published book they asked Jesus; the one who could honestly tell them how to pray. In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus gives them the model of how to pray.
“Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy.” Our Abba Father that knows us, created us, formed us, treasures us, loves us deeply is not an out of reach God. He is to be praised and glorified in prayer for His goodness and grace. Honor His greatness, goodness, and mercy. We honor who He is when we pray, not because God needs to know who He is, but so that we will reminder who we are praying to, not speaking to the air above our heads but our magnificent and mighty God.
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.” Our prayers are often coated with our will, asking God to give us our way rather than His way. When we pray, we should be seeking His plan and purpose. But, not only asking for His will but also finding our daily needs in our great Jehovah-Jireh (provider).
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Repentance should be a principal theme in our prayers. Prayer is our access to God, our time if we haven’t already done so to confess and repent from our sinfulness. We are, after all sinful, we lack perfection, each one of us. It is also a reminder to forgive those who have wronged us. We can’t expect forgiveness if we cannot forgive others.
“For Yours in the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.“ Wrap it up with praise again. Have you noticed that praise to God bookends the model of prayer? Praise God for who He is. Praise Him for His power, thank Him for what He has done in your life and what HE will do. We should be committed to gratitude and praise to God in our daily prayer life.
There is no right or wrong time to pray, no right or wrong place to pray. Prayer is our quick access no matter where we are. Every prayer doesn’t need to fill pages and pages of paper or hours of time. Hands lifted, opened or folded. Head bowed, eyes closed, on our knees, standing at a kitchen sink, or laying prostrate on our faces. However or whenever, we must pray with passion, with urgency, and with our deepest needs.
I prayed for a year and asked God for our second child; it was the greatest desire of my heart. When we finally received a positive pregnancy test, I knew that God had answered my prayers. I knew He had given me the desire of my heart, but I didn’t realize that this would be the season that God would teach me that He doesn’t always answer our prayers as we hope. Stay tuned for Passionate Prayer, Part 2.
“Prayer is the most important thing in my life. If I should neglect prayer for even a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.” –Martin Luther