Most of us, at some point in our lives, find difficulty in believing our prayers or more so even just making time for prayer. Life is busy, we hurry through our prayers (when we remember to pray), our minds drift to thoughts of what’s for dinner etc. our focus is scattered and everywhere but on God. Prayer is simply conversation with God, no set time or location and minimal effort required and yet so many believers struggle with taking time to talk with God.
Lay aside all prayer formulas and simply be yourself with God. He has uniquely created each one of us to interact with Him as individuals and your prayer style should be consistent with the way He designed you.
Be yourself, approach Him with your own personality, your strengths, weaknesses and everything that is you. In the book of 1 Samuel we read a story of Hannah heartbroken and grief stricken as she was childless in a society that considered not having a child the ultimate failure. When Hannah cried out to God I imagine, she wasn’t on her knees with head bowed and whispering her petitions, rather the Word says she was ‘in bitterness of soul and wept in anguish’ (chapter 1:12) . God wants to meet with you, He wants to take you just as you are.
I recall a time of desperate prayer on my knees in the pouring rain as I ‘wept in anguish’, God answered and my journey of healing began in that desperate moment. God loves that we come to Him with our emotions, our hurt, our true self, just as a parent does with his child. I want my children to feel they can come to me with all manner of problems, not hide their emotions under a veil of fear.
When my daughters come to me and show dependence on me as the role of a loving parent, I feel fulfilled, my heart bubbles with love in that they trust me with their deepest hurts.
In similar ways, the parent child relationship defines the attitude we ought to have in prayer an attitude that focuses on God and expresses absolute dependence on Him as Father, the One who gave us life and who loves, cares for, provides for, and protects us.
Sometimes at night I hear my little girl praying, not some mechanical script, but words that flow from a heart of thanksgiving and faith in a Heavenly Father that ‘makes everything okay because He loves me’. God is not manipulated by long-winded, rehearsed babbling, but rather He is moved by our heart attitude, an attitude that seeks His presence… not His presents. Give it a go, He is waiting to chat with you x
Lately it’s been on my heart to share an excerpt from my book, may you be encouraged that no matter how tough life gets there is ALWAYS Hope… always x
Overwhelmed with fear and alone I found myself calling on God, my God the God I had abandoned, the God I didn’t need. All the while I had been trying to do life my way, He was there waiting for me to come running back into His arms, all of my effort and strength was gone all I had left was to surrender to the hope that I once knew. Hope in God was buried deep within my spirit, early years of Sunday school had planted seeds of hope that somehow, someway there was a divine meaning to my life. As I turned my thoughts back to God, I cried out to the unseen, somehow I knew He was in the room with me as a profound peace swept over my being.
My broken heart carried a pain so deep that I could hardly breathe, still in grief from my father’s death, in shock from the promiscuity of *Jake and now I lay waiting, hoping for a miracle… the survival of my twin babies. Somehow that night my hurt collided with the healing power of Jesus, I felt simultaneously weak but strong. The apostle Paul tells of the strength he found in Christ “It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (MSG)
Letting Christ take over is hard for most of us, for me there was no other choice I had reached rock bottom with no options but to surrender my will to His. Often in a sorrowful situation we shout accusations at God and then turn and walk away, I have learned by my past to not shout at God but instead it is best that we stop and listen.
Amid the calamity, a monitor strapped around my stomach, intravenous drip and observations by the nurse every hour, I managed to drift into a peaceful sleep a peace which truly surpassed my understanding. I awoke early to the gentle nudge of the obstetrician on duty, before I could clear the sleep from my eyes he began, “good morning, we are making plans for you to be taken to a larger hospital that specialises in pre-term labour, it is the safest place to be should your twins decide to come early”. Within the hour I was in the ambulance and being taken to Rockhampton hospital, alone and uncertain of how the following days would unfold the long drive in the ambulance ushered in the opportunity for my thoughts to begin to race and before long my peace had turned to dread.
Immediately upon arrival I was taken for an ultrasound to check on the twins, a cold stone-faced radiologist performed the ultrasound without a word spoken to me. All I recall is thinking “God where are you in all this, it’s all my fault this is my punishment for turning away from you”, why would He want to answer my prayers? I was convinced that God was angry with me. Finally, the radiologist broke his silence; “we can’t do anything for you, one baby is very sick and will possibly die in the next couple of days and then the other will have a chance of survival, you need to be taken to Brisbane”. His words were like missiles flying off his tongue and straight into my heart, no warmth or empathy just very matter of fact. The hours went by very slowly that day, as I lay and wait for the next report on when and how I would be leaving, the same incomprehensible peace washed over me.
*name changed for privacy 😉
Jesus says, ‘… In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)
Jesus knew well in advance that this life would be full of trouble, He has not promised when you believe in Him your life will be trouble-free, He has promised though that no matter what you face He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Trust me, when I gave my heart to Jesus there were no bolts of lightning tracking through the sky, the devil didn’t send me a congratulations card and wipe me off his list, what did happen though was a deep peace moved into my spirit.
Peace like no other, to this day has been my anchor in the storms. I am almost certain, had I not been anchored in Him throughout the past few years, I quite possibly would have ended my life. In His Grace, Mercy and immeasurable love I have been made whole, complete in Him.
Whatever storms you may be going through stand fast, let the winds blow and when things settle you will look back and see His Sovereign hand has drawn a line of purpose through that which you thought you would never survive.
God wants to heal you from depression, anxiety, shame, addiction and whatever else holds you captive, He wants you to dream again, dream big! You were created for purpose, to have a vision for your life that captures your heart and imagination, something so big that you become purpose-driven.
For this to happen you must first confront your captors, those past hurts, habits, unforgiveness and all else holding you captive, must be dealt with before you can launch out into a new life of complete freedom and joy, ready to dream again, to truly live again!. Doing this requires courage, plenty of it!
Author Bob Gass writes: “On the heels of every dream there’s a demon of doubt. No sooner is your dream conceived than your mind is suddenly filled with all the reasons why it may not work…” Your inner dialogue may go something like this:, receiving prayer ‘doesn’t really work’, going to a counselor ‘may be a waste of time’, I have been this way for so long now I doubt anything will ever change… this is ‘just the way I am’… “ and there will be folks around you who’ll be quick to confirm those fears. In spite of that, you must forge ahead and dream; otherwise you’ll spend the rest of your life fulfilling the dreams of others”.
It is time to stand firm and declare you will not stay this way, break free from the shackles of fear, God has more for you than you have been settling for. ‘Rise up; this matter is in your hands… take courage and do it.” Ezra 10:4
Amidst life’s storms, I recently started to feel like God is ‘holding out’ on me, nothing I pray & nothing I do seems to be working towards changing our circumstances. My breath prayer (even in my sleep) has been ‘I lean not on my own understanding, my life is in the hands of the Maker of Heaven’. My patience & trust levels were at an all time low when I came across the following teaching from Bobby Conner, this brought peace and a profound ability to endure this season of seemingly nothing happening. God is at work behind the scenes & I want to encourage you to do all you can and then simply stand! Enjoy Bobby’s wisdom here…
Are you feeling frustrated and impatient that your prayers have not yet come to pass? Discern that those are the enemy’s accusations sent to discourage you from standing firm.
Worry, anxiety, lethargy, bitterness, pride, frustration, envy, impatience – anything that is not in harmony with righteousness, peace, joy, love, patience, goodness, kindness and self-control is falling prey to the enemy’s tactics.
Be angry – but do not sin in that anger.
Fear and tremble – but fear God only, with a contrite heart. Continue reading