If you’ve been praying, but feel that you don’t see results, feel anything, and walk away empty – I totally get you. For a long time, I was in that rut. Part of it was the way I was praying, the expectations of my prayers, and my internal disbelief that God really hears me or cares. As I have grown in Jesus, I have learned a bit on the journey from then to here.
Sometimes the reason if feels our prayer life is limited, is because our connection to the Father isn’t quite clear. Think of a cell to cell phone call where a tower in between the two networks is breaking, broken, or in the middle of a storm. The call isn’t clear, either way. Whether you have a new or old relationship with the Father, if the call or answer of prayer isn’t clear, it can indicate that there are things that we need to get cleaned up, fixed, or worked on before the connection between the two can be opened up. The signal between you and God is not muddled by a cell phone tower, but a genuine relationship like any other that requires the substance of time, forgiveness, and learning each other.
Sometimes we are only praying because we are in trouble. I remember praying to a God I had rarely prayed to when I hit my daughter in the head with a golf club and we were on a Life Flight helicopter ride. Yes, I did. No, it was not on purpose. That story is for another day. The point is, I went to a God I barely knew asking Him to make it right and save my daughter’s life. You know that feeling, when someone only comes to you when they need something? Thank goodness God didn’t reject me. He was merciful and brought my daughter out of the hospital after seven days. She came home to us with no long-term consequences to her sweet little brain.
He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.
Aside from clearing up some old baggage, sin, disbelief, and praying only to get what you want to a God you rarely meet with, there is a strategy to prayer that can open up your soul and allow you to express to God the true nature of your heart. If you’re willing, He’ll guide you to a place of correction and new life will begin. A new or elevated relationship, that He so desperately desires, will begin.
The book that brought me out of my mediocre prayer life and instilled valuable tools within me to connect with the Father brand new was, “How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life – The Biblical Path to Holiness and Relationship with God” by Dr. Gregory Frizzell. This book was a gift from a friend and I had no idea I needed it. The pamphlet-like feel and proportions of the book made it an easier book to read. I have since read other authors that offer the same sequence or method of prayer, but since this was the first one that found me and the way it really changed my life, it gets the credit.
One thing I do caution myself from is making prayer an unemotional routine for the sake of saying I prayed. Sometimes, for weeks, you may follow the prayer pattern this book teaches. When life happens, I don’t think there is much more precious and beautiful to the Father than an authentic cry from a broken heart, rather than a rehearsed pattern. Feel free to break up the cycle! At some of life’s hardest moments, I didn’t even make a sound in my prayer time, other than the sound of crying and tears falling from my cheeks.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The wonderful thing about learning how to pray in this guided manner is that it adds rhythm and routine to your life where there was none before. With practice, the time with God is no longer an awkward list and visitation with someone you aren’t familiar with, but a sacred conversation between you and the One who loves you most.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
The key things this book taught me about prayer were:
- Renewing the mind with scripture, daily and before prayer.
- A prayer order of praise & worship, confession & repentance, petition, intercession, and meditation.
- Writing and keeping a prayer journal.
Again, I would like to stress that there is no magical formula to prayer, specifically to answered prayer. The condition of the heart and the willingness to show up and spend time in the Father’s presence, every day, are probably two factors that will most affect your prayer life. It is in this relationship that the essence of your spiritual life will be transformed and the blessings will overflow.
May you find the same hope that I found in seeking Him. Amen.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.