“I live in a spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk about, when I lie down and when I rise up. And the answers are always coming.” ~George Mueller
I believe prayer is a lifestyle. Something that becomes a part of who you are every day without exception. Thoughts that are on your heart and in your mind, waiting to become words that are on the tip of your tongue, waiting to be spoken at a moments notice.
Spoken at a moments notice directly to God. You want to talk to Him. You need to talk to Him. So why delay?
An Early Start
I was taught The Lord’s Prayer in Sunday school when I was three years old. The pattern of prayer was established early in my life.
I began reciting The Lord’s Prayer at bedtime at age five convinced it would protect me from bad dreams. It did. Well, God did.
At age seven I had a traumatic nightmare. I was so paralyzed by fear that all I could say was Jesus over and over. When I opened my eyes I noticed a man sitting on the edge of my bed praying. He didn’t smell good. His clothes felt rough, and his hair and beard were long. I remember feeling calm while he was there and I fell back asleep. The next morning I asked my mom who the man was that came upstairs to pray for me. She had no idea what I was talking about. I told her it was Jesus. She said, “Don’t be silly.”
I was not being silly.
These two experiences early in my life set the groundwork for my prayer life as I grew in my faith in Christ. At five I was convinced that God heard my prayers and He answered them. At seven I knew Jesus was as real as I was and if He was a praying person then I was going to be too.
And so it was.
Prayer became an ongoing conversation between God and me.
What keeps you from having a conversation with God?
John Piper says, “Prayer as a relationship is probably your best indicator about the health of your love relationship with God. If your prayer life has been slack, your love relationship has grown cold.”
Has it? Grown cold, I mean.
“Triumphant prayer is almost impossible where there is neglect of the study of the Word of God.” ~R. A. Torrey
“The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts.” ~George Mueller
This is true in my life. Prayer and meditating on God’s Word go together for me. Even better, praying God’s words are praying His will. I like that.
What about answers to your prayers?
The Bible mentions several hindrances to unanswered prayer.
Here Are Seven Of Them
“It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” Isaiah 59:2
“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18
“But he must ask in faith without any doubting…For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.” James 1:6–7
“Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong — you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:2–3
-Husbands don’t relate to their wives correctly.
“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” I Peter 3:7
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25
“Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin. Why should I listen to their requests?” Ezekiel 14:3
-Failure to pray.
“As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you.” I Samuel 12:23
Learning to talk to God takes time. You must be patient as you persist and persevere.
If prayer is on the tip of your tongue it will be your first response instead of your last resort.
In the words of the Apostle Paul, “Never stop praying.” I Thessalonians 5:17
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