Can you imagine going to the gym for months, expecting to see results, only to find that you’ve been using the machines wrong the entire time? It’s discouraging to put work, time and energy into something and see nothing in return.
Have you ever felt this way about prayer? You make a commitment to pray, but you don’t really see results? A lot of people talk about prayer, but how many of us can say that we pray effectively? The Bible makes it very clear that we can pray and not receive what we pray for because we pray “amiss,” that we may spend what we receive from God on our own pleasures. (James 4:3)
As kids, and maybe even adults, we are sometimes asked to participate in ‘repeat after me prayers.’ While this practice of prayer may serve as a launching pad for understanding the proper approach, repeating a prayer is not equal to obeying the principles of prayer. Prayer serves to grow our relationship with God, and although God is infinite in His nature, He’s accessible in His person. He wants us to be able to have effective communication with Him, but sometimes we get in the way. One way I believe this happens is when we come to the Lord prioritizing what we want over what He wants. This attitude of self-absorption is prevalent in many social media users.
Take Instagram for example- polls, mentions, location sharing, and “Ask me a question” stickers build interaction between users, but can also be used as a tool for promoting and prioritizing self. How many of us can say we would be that consumed if Jesus posted an “ask me a question” sticker every day? The truth is, He gives us that opportunity to connect with Him daily. He “tags” the location of His throne room waiting to see who will show up. Psalm 66:18 shows us that prayers linked to a selfish heart won’t give us access to God. So, if we want things our way, God won’t give us access to His way—which is far better than ours!
God may be answering our prayers even when it appears He isn’t. I’ll let you know that we don’t have to fall into the trap of thinking God is not answering our prayer if we receive a “no.” Surely, a “no” is still an answer! Prayer is about growing in relationship with Jesus. It’s wonderful that we don’t have to settle for just a “yes,” “no,” or other brief responses. God wants to share His mind and His attributes of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding as well.
I’ve heard it put this way, “If we want God’s attention, He must have our attention.” It is so exciting to pray and see God manifest what we pray for. Just take a moment to think about this verse in 1 John 5: 14: “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us”
If we just remembered that it is God’s will for us to be whole in our minds, bodies, emotions, spirits, relationships, families, and workplaces! Jesus laid down the will of His flesh so that we could live in the will of the Father through Him. We’ve been blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 1:3). We wake up every morning with packages of blessings from God that He’s waiting on us to eagerly open by simply praying His will into our lives.
If we view and practice prayer in this way, it will add fuel to our consistency, confidence, and expectation that our finite place of prayer can access the infinite God. Let us be the generation that can change the world starting from the prayer room, INSIDE and OUT!
Hector Robles is your friendly neighborhood South Florida native. On a weekly basis, he writes for HectorMRobles.com and is the host for Sparrow.podcast, a podcast that discusses subjects related to faith, the Scriptures, and ministry. He’s glad to inform you that you likely don’t know of anyone else that writes their “5’s” from the bottom.
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