Prayer is the medium we use to communicate with God. It is essential to our spiritual life, which is why we keep repeating the importance of doing it daily. But how can we explain the difficulties of some Christians in leading a regular and satisfying prayer life?
Here are key points that will help you better understand prayer and get rid of any preconceptions about it!
Prayer is not just for perfect people
It may be evident to you, but many still struggle to figure it out. Indeed, how many Christians hide behind the “I have sinned” to avoid prayer? If it was necessary to be perfect and free from all sin to speak to God, believe it or not, no one would have the capacity to pray.
When we are in a relationship with a person and want to talk to him/her, it does not mean that we are pure or necessarily worthy of it, not at all! It is the same with God: we have the opportunity to stand before Him in our sinful state.
It is even a prerequisite that He forgives our mistakes and transforms our nature. You don’t need to feel that you “deserve” prayer because the truth is that we don’t deserve anything, not even that God answers our requests.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; and they are freely justified by his grace, using the redemption which is in Christ Jesus ”(Romans 3: 23-24)
Honesty, truth, and sincerity are the key
Honesty, truth, and sincerity must cement our family, professional, friendly, romantic, or spiritual relationships! God looks at the depths of our hearts and knows what lies deep within us. So why not play the transparency card with Him? Is there any interest in pretending or appearing before this God who knows us better than we know ourselves? If there is one person before whom we must lay bare, it is the Lord. Have you sinned? Tell Him. Have you strayed from His ways? Tell Him. You don’t like to pray or are ashamed to come before Him? Tell Him!
“But the hour is coming, and it has already come, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for these are the worshipers that the Father asks for. ” (John 4:23)
Don’t try to judge your own prayer
“My prayer sucked”: is that a phrase you’ve already said? Have you ever felt like you “prayed badly”? To come out of a moment spent in the company of God who left you hungry and plunged you into a deep feeling of dissatisfaction?
Many Christians are in this situation. They do not even leave time for God to express himself or respond to their request, which they already believe they have not been up to. The truth is, they put themselves as judges and feel that they have a right to judge whether their prayer is acceptable or not.
Now, is this not a divine prerogative? Just as we are not allowed to judge the prayers of others, neither are we allowed to condemn our prayers.
Use language that is yours
When you speak to God, be yourself. Do not try to borrow the language of this pastor or the expression of this brother or this sister. Present yourself before the Lord with reverence and use correct and respectful language.
No need to use 16th-century expressions, scholarly theological words, or strong language. The important thing is that you can express yourself freely and put into words what you feel deep inside you.
Pray your way
Don’t let anyone strictly dictate how you pray. Prayer is not a recitation. It must remain free, inspired, and improvised. It is a dialogue with God and not a speech before Him. Some like to use the Our Father, others the ACRS method (adoration, confession, thanks, supplications).
It is a pattern of prayer that it is quite possible to adopt, but nothing prevents us from praying in a completely different way. A good prayer is a prayer led by the Holy Spirit!
Your way of praying is called to evolve over time
The way you pray today is not the way you will pray tomorrow. So, the way you express yourself before the Lord should not be a source of concern.
The more you grow with Him and mature, the more your way of addressing Him evolves. It is by spending time in prayer that we learn to become truly comfortable and find our words.
Varying the way we pray is a good thing
Finding prayer habits and adopting some “spiritual routine” has its good sides. But there is a risk: repeating things mechanically. This is why it is very important to vary the way you pray as soon as your prayer times are registered in a certain regularity.
For example, you can sing your prayer instead of just saying it. If you want to dance, do it. If you are keen to pray as you walk around your house, do not deprive yourself of it. Let yourself be led by the Spirit who is constantly renewing our habits.
No subject is taboo in prayer
Please feel free to pray for anything that comes to your heart. Before the Lord, no subject should be taboo. If you want to pray for your s3x life, be free to do so.
Do not let anyone convince you that you do not have the opportunity to present all your requests to Heavenly Father. If you do not dare to ask your questions before men, do you also have to restrict yourself before God?
You don’t need a third party to pray
Except in the case of group prayer in a church or any other gathering, the prayer concerns only two people: you and God. You don’t need a ministry, priest, pastor, leader, sister, or brother to come to the feet of the Master.
Christ remains the only intermediary. It is to Him that you must direct your prayers and to no other. You also don’t need a man or a woman to confess your sins. Your prayers are valuable and are just as effective as that of a servant of God.
“For there is one God, and there is also one mediator between God and men: one man, Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 2: 5)
Your prayer life is up to you
As we read Matthew 6, we understand that the way the Pharisees prayed and the reasons that led them to do so were not the right ones. Their only interest was to appear spiritual and religious before men, so much so that Jesus called them hypocrites.
If we do not want the Lord to call us this, we must understand that things are to be exposed and others not to be disclosed. Our prayer life should not be on display for all to see. We can evangelize, edify, and encourage our brothers and sisters very well, but without bragging about how long our prayers are, how often, or what formulas we have used to address God.
Can you imagine posting a Facebook post in which you explain how much time you spent with your partner, the subject of each of your conversations, the surprises you have prepared for him…? This will probably sound ridiculous to you because these are things that only concern your relationship. Well, it’s the same with God. What is of the order of spiritual intimacy must remain secret!
“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who like to pray to stand in synagogues and on street corners, to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they receive their reward. But when you pray, enter your room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is there in the secret place; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. ” (Matthew 6: 5-6)
There is no magic recipe for spending quality time with God and praying well. The important thing is to be true, sincere, and come before Christ with an open heart.