As I was listening to the radio a couple of years ago, people were calling in to give their opinion on prayer.
I cringed as I heard people say that prayer should never be about them and that they only prayed for
big and important things.
With pride, callers kept pointing out areas of their lives that they don’t “bother” God with.
I cringed because I don’t believe this is a scriptural mindset.
I cringed because a listener out there may have been swayed by these opinions.
I cringed because I was so sad that the callers were missing out on an intimate level
of fellowship with the Lord by believing this way.
Why, why, why do we designate parts of our lives to be untouched by God’s involvement, wisdom and power?
Why do we limit our prayers to only the so-called big things?
Are we trying to save our prayer energy?
Do we think we are going to wear God out?
Are we believing the horrible lie that we are selfish if we pray for our own needs?
Do we believe God can only partially give us His attention because He has other more important patrons?
Do we think God has limited resources and will only answer the humanly impossible tasks?
Are we putting God on hold while we deal with areas we think He doesn’t want to hear about?
Friend, how many areas of our lives have we designated “no-prayer” zones?
There are definitely many wrong ways to pray.
There are ways to pray that are selfish, not in God’s will and that bear no fruit whatsoever.
And a prayer life that it is full of me, me, me and gimme, gimme, gimme is
not going to build our relationship with God or mature us as Christians.
But, writing on the “don’ts” of prayer is an entirely different post all to itself.
Please use this post as an encouragement to give yourself permission to pray for your own needs in a Biblical way.
I pray this “piece” of truth enriches your fellowship with God.
As we grow in our knowledge of scripture and as we grow in our intimate walk (conversation) with God,
naturally the asking for ourselves will become less.
Not necessarily because our needs are less, but because we learn how to implement God’s word more quickly.
It will become a natural habit to hear His whisper.
We will become in tune with His voice.
Scripture (answers) will come to our minds without having to spend so much time pondering and reasoning at God’s table.
Here is an example.
As I recovered from severe, suicidal depression in 2013, I had tremendous anxiety.
I was also going through withdraw from several psychiatric drugs.
In the beginning weeks and months of learning to fellowship deeply with God,
I was going to Him constantly, seeking peace from my fear. Literally every few minutes.
Using His word, God took the time to reason with me and talk me through why everything was
going to be OK, why I could trust Him, and which promises (scripture) would really help me.
I would gain peace for a few moments, then fear would come back and we would repeat the process.
God took me through this process thousands of times.
In recovery, I had to spend a lot of time focused on my needs.
And this is exactly what God wanted me to do.
He wanted me to learn how I was to handle this fear in my mind, and He was willing to teach me.
He knew what a stumbling block fear was in my life and also in our fellowship.
This was a wonderful time of learning to trust God’s provision.
I believe God loved every second of my new found dependence on Him!
Now, seven years later, when fear comes, scripture immediately follows.
It is second nature now for me to hear God’s whisper (scripture) immediately.
I am still going to Him with my fear, but the reasoning process is so much faster now because
on the subject of fear, I have learned what God wants me to do to overcome it.
Now God and I are able to move on more quickly in our fellowship to other discussions.
If I hadn’t taken this constant problem of fear to the Lord,
I would never have seen His mighty hand, nor would I have believed the power of His word.
If I had believed the lie that praying for my own needs was selfish,
I would not be living a life that has been transformed by His word and I would still be paralyzed with fear.
God loves proving Himself to us.
We are supposed to take these weaknesses to Him!
Who is better equipt to know the perfect balance of wisdom, mercy, chastisement, and counsel?
Who else could possibly fill the needs of our hearts? (Psalm 107:8-9)
If we are not going to God with every need, how can He be our everything?
He wants to be our Healer, Counselor, Great Physician, Friend, the God of our life, our Strong Tower, our Savior, our Guide, Our Comforter, our Hiding Place, our Mediator, our Advocate, our Judge, our Teacher, our King, our Shepard, our Peace, our Bread of Life, our Intercessor, our Door and so much more.
Why are we not letting Him fulfill all these positions in our lives?
Who are we to say what areas of our lives
DO or DON”T need God’s guidance?
Friends, because I ask Him, God helps me with my laundry, my dishes, writing this post, finding parking spaces, courage to witness, wisdom to solve problems, wisdom to spend money, help with food issues, relationships, fatigue, cleaning the house, anxiety, depression, clothes shopping, pride, anger etcetera!
Why does He help me?
Because I ask Him to.
Because He loves being glorified when He provides.
Because He hates self-reliance.
Because I am obeying scripture to include Him in all my ways, to light my every path,
and to cast my every care upon Him.
Now, here is the best part.
When we include God in our every moment like this,
then He has the opportunity to make some prayer requests of US!!!
Yes! Of us!
When we are in this ongoing conversation with God, then we will find He brings people and ministries and needs of others to mind while we are at work, while we do dishes, while we change a diaper, while we drive to church, while we mow the yard.
All of a sudden we are praying without ceasing! And not just for ourselves, but for others.
When we fellowship with God and He is literally walking with us throughout our day,
He will continually bring things to our hearts that He wants us to pray for.
All of those important things on that prayer list, all of those heavy burdens your friends and loved ones carry,
they will be brought to mind as we continue to invite God into our day.
Our prayer does not need to be limited to only a designated prayer time.
Our walk with God does not need to be limited to the open and close of our Bible.
When we bring EVERY need and joy and experience to the Lord,
all of a sudden our day is filled with us making requests, God making requests,
God answering prayers, us praising God, and incredible comfort and fellowship.
And look how naturally it happened!
It happened by taking every need to Him.
It happened by taking every area of our lives before Him and asking Him to guide us.
It happened by inviting God to live every moment with us.
Suddenly, we can hear God’s whisper of prayer requests.
Suddenly, we are seeing answers to our prayers on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
Suddenly, we realize God is enough!
Suddenly we realize God is our best Friend!
Last week’s quote is fitting to repeat here.
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, But when you look back everything is different?” C.S. Lewis
It is unbelievable to me that we can walk with God like this.
If you are not on this path yet, begin today.
Give yourself permission to talk to Him about everything.
Look for scriptures so you are “hearing” God’s voice for your every need.
Don’t believe the lie that God doesn’t want to hear about everything in your life.
We cannot become best friends with God if we are designating
parts of our lives to be off limits to prayer.
We will struggle to pray without ceasing if we aren’t bringing our daily needs to Him.
When we set Him aside to deal with our “off-limits” prayer zones, we are no longer walking with Him.
He no longer has our attention.
We have shut Him out because we believed a lie that we are limited to what we can bring before Him.
Don’t let your walk with God be that way. It is your choice.
Let’s condense all this and also add the proof of scripture.
1) It is a command to involve God in
our daily decisions, adventures, pleasures and trials.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6
Cast all your care upon him; for he careth for you. I Peter 5:7
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; Acts 17:28a
2) God does not take pleasure in self-reliance.
He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: He taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Psalm 147:10-11
Be not wise in your own conceits. Romans 12:16b
Cease from thine own wisdom. Proverbs 23:4b
There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. Psalm 33:16
3) We are to pray without ceasing.
Pray without ceasing. I Thessalonians 5:17
Seek the Lord, and his strength: Seek his face evermore. Psalm 105:4
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised. Psalm 113:3
4) We are commanded to bring our wayward minds and hearts to Him to search and correct, allowing us to renew our minds with His truth.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; II Corinthians 10:4-5
Let the words of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
5) Asking means receiving, which means gratitude and praise. I am always asking, He is always answering, therefore I am always praising!
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
O give thanks unto the Lord; Call upon his name: Make known his deeds among the people. Psalm 105:1
6) Only God knows what is really “important” in our lives, so we need to invite His involvement in everything!
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
Man’s goings are of the Lord; How can a man then understand his own way? Proverbs 20:24
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33
7) God speaks in a whisper. Talking with Him continually keeps us tuned in to His whisper.
And after the earthquake a fire; But the Lord was not in the fire: And after the fire a still small voice. I Kings 19:12
In conclusion, praying without ceasing can be a natural progression in our walk with God.
If we are always in conversation with God with our needs, He then has access to our attention
to bring the prayer needs of others to our minds.
We will then have a life of prayer without ceasing and a walk of continual conversation with the Lord.
If I can assist you in any way to learn how to do this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The absolute perfect song to go with this Biblical truth is “I’m Amazed.”
To listen to the entire playlist of this album on YouTube, click HERE.