In the past few years, God has been making alterations within my spirit; taking the fabric of who I thought I was and making me into someone I never even realized possible. He has been reaffirming dreams and promises; spreading my roots even deeper into him as I dig into his Word.
Prior to this, I was guilty of spewing lackadaisical prayers; completely lacking sincerity. I caught myself saying "now I lay me down to sleep" or "bless this food to my body" out of duty. I even went so far as to say "if it is your will" and "if it pleases the Father" out of habit. My busy life was beginning to, dangerously, dictate my prayers. In fact, my prayer life had become easily manipulated by the circumstances I was facing, rather than my seemingly insurmountable circumstances being demolished through the power of prayer.
Sound familiar? If not, I would love to shake your hand and sit down for a cup of coffee, because you are awesome. We all over think Christian-living into oblivion. It is not as complicated as we make it, Jesus told us it was as easy as accepting his sacrificial love as our atonement for sin (1 John 2:2) and chasing after him with our cross on our backs (Matt. 16:24-26).
Today I want to unlock this simple truth once again for you and declutter your thoughts on prayer if you would allow me to do so. Ready or not, here I go.
Pray with praise. There is nothing that gets the Father’s attention quicker than to hear his children entering his courts with praise and thanksgiving on their lips (Psalm 100:4). Start praying with praise and you will soon find that prayer no longer feels like a task but a joyous pleasure.
Pray with persistence. We cannot call ourselves Christians and walk beside God without talking to him. There must be a consistent open-line of communication (1 Thessalonians 5:17). From the beginning of time, the Father has desired to have real connections with his children and all it requires is for us to talk with him as we walk beside him.
Pray precisely. Do not be vague (Matthew 7:7-11). We have all heard the saying, "say what you mean and mean what you say" right? This statement couldn't be a more accurate description of what our prayer lives should be. We must be specific because praying in broad strokes allows room for doubt in our heads.
Pray the promises. Scripture tells us that all of God's promises to us are yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:18-21). God gives us full access to blessings and promises if we would learn to unlock them for ourselves through prayer. It is his will for you to walk in the blessings and victories he has promised and to not pray the will of the Father shows our lack of faith.
Pray in the realm of proclamation. Anything we ask is ours (John 14:12-15). As a minister friend of mine says quite often, stop being vegetarian Christians with your "let us" prayers and come boldly before the throne of God (Hebrews 4:16).
Pray preposterously (James 1:6-16). Most of all, we must learn to pray what is beyond our human capabilities to obtain. If mountains are going to move, then there must be bold prayers that stir the Father to move on our behalf. When preposterous prayers are prayed, it gives God full permission to show off his crazy lavish love for us.
In closing, stop praying tepid and lukewarm prayers. Be bold!