Prayer: The Hang-up of The Habit
Have you ever grown discouraged because you felt like your prayers were going unanswered? Or the immediate response you were hoping for seemed to be delayed?
You are not alone. This can be a hang-up for everyone. It is hard to keep having a conversation if you feel like the other party is not responding. Even Jesus’ disciples were tempted to lose heart, so Jesus told them a story in Luke 18 to encourage them to persevere.
“And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night?” (Luke 18:7 NIV).
There is nothing too big or too small to ask of God. Jesus promises us that, “…whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24 NIV). Scripture warns us, though, that this promise is not a blank check for us to cash in with selfish requests rather than our requests being the will of God (James 4:3, Psalm 66:18). We can take confidence knowing that, if we pray according to the will of God, he always hears and answers in his perfect timing (1 John 5:14).
But, how do I pray according to God’s will? First, make a habit of praying God’s Word. Get rooted in daily Bible study, and as you read, pray the words of Scripture.
The best way to pray God’s will is to pray God’s Word.
Secondly, evaluate if you are praying from a place of dependence or a place of entitlement? 1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to “pray without ceasing.” This is an invitation to an ongoing dialogue that requires constant dependence on God’s Spirit. A spirit of dependence fosters communication, while a spirit of entitlement can make your heart hard to God’s good will for your life.
Relying on God keeps the lines of communication open.
Lean in closer, listen more intently, and wait for God’s faithful response. He will always answer, and he will always work for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
- Have you felt discouraged in prayer, or that your requests have gone unanswered?
- Is there anything in your heart that you need to confess to God in order to reopen the lines of communication that you might have shut down?
Read today’s scriptures and be encouraged to persevere!