The simplest prayer is no prayer at all. It is loving and being loved. It is looking into the eyes of the Father while trying to say thank you. You may try, but when his love floods your soul, the best you can do is smile through your tears. No words have to be spoken in a moment like that. The words are necessary for other times, but when you are locked into the heart of God, the best you can do is try to absorb it all. He knows that and it’s OK. In fact, you may go through seasons were all you do is weep when you think of him. It does something inside. I’m not sure what, but I feel it. Sometimes I choose to be wordless with him so I can just sit in his peace. Other times I couldn’t speak if I had to. The loving, the listening, the tears, and the wonder – it’s all prayer and it all matters.
I learned to pray the hard way. Sometimes we just find ourselves in seasons where we need help. When it hit me, I thought I knew what to do: trust God. Jesus said, Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? (Mat 6:25) He said He would take care of us.
So when I ran out of money and couldn’t find a job, I trusted God. I would spend my devotional time telling Him how much I trusted Him, that I knew He would take care of me, that He would open doors of opportunity. I trusted Him. But nothing changed. Small jobs would come my way, but nothing that would help significantly. It frustrated me because I believed I was doing what He wanted me to do in that position. The problem was, I was still looking at my problem.
Then something changed in my attitude. Instead of telling Him how much I trusted Him, I began telling Him how good He is. I filled pages in my journal praising Him and loving Him. I poured out all the greatness that belongs to Him in every way I could think of. It wasn’t an action that I felt I had to do, it was genuine and loving.
Almost immediately money started coming my way. I knew that I’d need to continue to rely on God’ provision going forward, but it was going to be ok. It was amazing.
As I sat back and thanked Him for all that He was doing for me, I began to think about a nice hot chai latte. I love chai lattes, but I had not allowed myself any indulgences because all my money had to go to paying expenses. I heard the Lord say, “Go get one.” I said, No, I can’t. I still have bills to pay. “Do you think I will stop providing for you if you spend $5 on something that will please Me?”, He said. Why would it please You?, I asked Him. “Because it is a form of worship when you obey Me.”
This astounded me. He has promised to give us life abundantly, but the only way we can enter into that is to trust Him and enjoy who He is and what He is doing for us. I would never have considered spending $5 on a chai latte as a form of worship, but because I could trust Him to continue to love me and provide for me, He wanted me to enjoy something that He knew I would love. So I did, and I loved it, and I praised Him for it.
This lesson that I learned was to seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to us. It’s true and it works. Take you eyes off the problem and look to God’s amazing goodness. Then watch what He will do.
The cry of our heart should be to have more of God, to be filled with Him, to be changed by Him. He said seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened. The more you pursue Him, the more willing He is to be found. But we have to remember that He is God, and His ways are not our ways.
In our desire for holiness, we assume that God will move and act the way we expect Him to, because that’s the way we would do it. We have the Holy Spirit in us, so we expect that His Godliness will emerge in us because we want Him to. To some degree that will happen, but it is more probable that God will move in ways that you are not looking for.
Do you want Him to change your heart so you will be kind and loving and generous of spirit? Don’t be frustrated that it hasn’t happened over night because you prayed, no matter how earnestly. Stop and look at your circumstances. Are you in the middle of a trying situation that you can’t wait to get out of? Bingo. There’s your answered prayer. He will use those circumstances to change you in the way you want and need to be changed. Stop looking at the conditions as something to be free of eventually. Look at them as the tool that God is using to shape you and mold you into His image. Once you see what He is doing, you can be free. This is a journey. The shaping takes time if it is going to be real.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.. (1Peter 1:6-7)
Where do you hear God? It’s a serious question, because if you don’t hear God, then you don’t know Him. If you are depending on hearing about God at church, or from some other ministry, then you are not in relationship, and that’s what salvation is all about. Jesus said, depart from Me I never knew you. (Matt 7:22-24) Who was He talking about? People who were not in relationship with Him.
You can hear Him anywhere when you set yourself to listen, but there should be a special place where you meet with Him everyday. Some people do prayer walks. They’ll admit that if they sit down to pray, they’ll fall asleep. It’s a fair observation. Other people need to sit and journal. How ever you do it, it needs to be private. You may have prayer time with a spouse or children or friends, but that’s different from the time you spend alone with God.
If you’ve never developed that prayer time, do it today. Start by repenting for not spending the time with Him that you should have. I don’t mean to guilt anyone by this. It shouldn’t be a guilt trip, but it should be honest.
Father, forgive me for ignoring you. Help me to hear Your voice. Help me to listen to You and know that You are directing my life. Teach me to spend the time that You want with me so I’ll grow strong in Your Spirit.
Read some scripture. Listen with your heart. When you ask Him a question, He’ll answer. Just be still and know that He is God. Your relationship with Him is a journey and it starts right now.
What’s the first thing to do when stress threatens to take over your life? Be still, and know that I am God. (Ps 46:10) No matter how nuts you life is, stop and find a quiet place where you can close your eyes and meditate on God. It doesn’t have to be long, just enough to settle your spirit and remind you where your peace comes from.
When we remember that God is God, that He is the greatest power in the universe, and He’s on our side, you know it’s going to be okay. That time of quiet, where you reach out with your heart to touch His throne, will keep you safely under the shadow of His wings where He promises to protect and bless you.
When we think that we’re too busy to take time to be still, we’re already in trouble. That’s when we’re listening to the enemy who wants to keep us from trusting God. If we make it a point to have our time of communion with the Lord, He does miraculous things with time so we do what needs to be done.
Be still and know that He is God. He is everything you need right now. Stop and allow His peace to bless you today. You need it more than you know.
Are you waiting for an answer to prayer? Maybe the reason you haven’t heard back is because you’re stressed about the situation. It may be a serious issue that you have to deal with.
I have a suggestion that might help. Worship God. Really worship Him. Sing songs, praise Him, declare His goodness. Stay in that environment of His presence for a while so you feel His peace. Be still and know that He is God. Then listen with your heart.
Our petitions made to Him in a joyful, praised-filled heart are easily heard. It reminds us of how big He is. We force ourselves to stop looking at our issues and focus on Him. That’s the real key to getting prayers answered. You’re welcome.
That time of worship will open up heaven not only for the answers you’ve been waiting for, but for the things that God wants to communicate to you. It’s your direct connection with Him that He’s waiting for. Try it. It will change your prayer life.
How easy it is to be distracted by life. Our well established routines of spending quiet time with God can disappear in a nano second when life changes. We take a trip. Someone comes to visit. We get sick. All of a sudden we realize that it’s been days, weeks, or months since we’ve been in communion with God the way we used to.
Everyone does this. We just have to remember what our priorities are and go back. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Mat 6:33) This should be the most important thing. If we are not seeking God first, everyday, then we are in danger of losing focus on what is right and safe for us. The enemy would love us to feel that prayer takes too much time, that we don’t hear from God anyway. Don’t believe it.
Confess to God if you’ve been neglecting Him. Ask His forgiveness and enter into the joy of relationship with Him. Soak in His presence and feel His love wash over you. Ask Him to speak to your heart. He’s always communicating to you somehow, you just haven’t been listening.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve fallen away from your devotions. Just go back, and be blessed.