In today’s Beautiful Boot Camp installment, we look at the power of our prayers and how a purposeful approach to prayer can help us expect positive results.
by Paige Eavenson
Do you ever feel like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling and not quite making it to the ears of God? Does it really matter if you pray and should you pray over everything? Is there a right way to pray to get better results? These and other questions have been running through my mind. I’m sure some of you may have had the same questions, if not more, at some point in time.
I recently read a quote by R. Arthur Matthews which said, “Our calling and function is not to replace God, but to release Him.” Through our prayers we have the power to release all the attributes of God into our circumstances. So how do we do this? Let’s take a look at Christ’s example.
In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus tells us, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Here’s what we can learn from this model prayer.
- Begin with recognizing who God is. In Jesus’ prayer, he recognized who God is and that He was in Heaven above everything. Sometimes you have to tell your problems how big God is instead of letting your problems tell you how big they are. Don’t know where to start? Try beginning with the different names of God from the Old Testament. Their meanings are a powerful way to remind you of who God is.
- Give God Praise and Thanksgiving. Praise God for who He is and for what He is doing in your life. When Jesus said, “Hallowed be your name,” it means to make it holy or to set it apart, to be exalted as being worthy of absolute devotion. To hallow the name of God is to regard Him with complete devotion and loving admiration. God’s name is of the utmost importance (Neh 9:5); therefore we ought to reserve it a position of grave significance in our minds and hearts. Don’t forget to thank God for even the small blessings. In giving thanks is where you will begin to find true joy.
- Seek to do His will and not your own. Pray for God’s will to be done in your situation. In reading and studying His word you will become more familiar with who God is and what His will is for your situation. This takes time, but it is well worth the investment.
- Petition God. Present your needs and desires and ask Him to meet even your most mundane needs. Be specific in your prayers and requests to God. Nothing is too small or too big for him to handle. Approach God boldly and with confidence and expectancy that He hears your prayers and is ready to answer.
- Ask God for forgiveness of your sins. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” God and sin don’t mix. Go ahead and confess your junk and get it over with. Even if it’s painful, God wants you to bring it to Him so you can experience the freedom that comes through confession and forgiveness. Then He begins to listen and you start to see results in your prayer life.
- Seek a way of escape from the evil of temptation. Ask for protection. While all your trials may not instantly disappear, seek to at least remove yourself from the trials you are willfully taking part in. Ask God to place a hedge of protection around you and those you are praying for.
Satan hates it when we pray but prayer is the only way to get through the battles of life. It is our most powerful weapon. We have already won the victory through Christ. Now it’s time to get out your swords ladies, put on your armor and go to battle by praying for yourself and the ones you love.
If you have a specific prayer request, please let us know in the comments or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d also love to hear your testimony of answered prayer. You never know how your story will inspire someone else!
Paige Eavenson and her family have been part of Grace Family Church for 13 years and she currently serves on staff as a women’s small group coach. A homeschool mom of three, Paige is an avid reader who loves collecting new friends and helping people get connected into small groups. You can learn more about Paige on her blog, www.sincerelypaige.com.