The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. In other words, all the time. So how can you really do that? Well, that depends on what prayer means to you. If you have to be on your knees, at church, in a special place, or special time, then you may need to redefine what prayer actually means.
Prayer is just talking to God. It’s communicating to Him from your heart. Yes, it’s possible to read prayers, but they only count as prayers when it means something to you. It has to be genuine.
Talk to God. You know, like He’s the Person who loves you more than anyone else, like He’s your best friend, like He’s the One who takes care of you and blesses you beyond understanding. Have a conversation with Him. Tell Him what matters. Cry out. Tell Him your dreams, you needs, your fears.
Then listen. A conversation goes both ways. It’s not really a conversation if you do all the talking. Listen with your heart. Will it sound a lot like you talking back? Yes, because that’s the way you were wired to hear Him.
You can talk to God all day long. And you should. There’s a lot to talk about.
Declaring God’s word is just like prayer. Jesus taught us to pray with the Lord’s prayer, but He also demonstrated how to live with His life. When He was faced with a storm at sea, He spoke peace to it. When He was faced with disease, He spoke healing to it. He declared the word of God to the situations that needed to be fixed.
When we declare God’s word in a situation, we are depending on God to move as we are asking. It’s just like prayer. You must declare His word in faith and you must pray in faith. Many times, I think God is waiting for us to declare His will in a situation, just as Jesus showed us. We shouldn’t be freaked out by that. We are just calling down heaven just as if we pray to call down heaven. It’s really a matter of semantics.
Don’t be afraid to declare the word to a problem. Look to see what Jesus did. He’s your role model. You’ll be blessed when you see the results, and that should encourage you to step out and do more. God wants to see growth and maturity in faith, and we need mature believers in the kingdom.
The easy part living life as a child of God is that He is always with us. It’s the amazing aspect of salvation–God actually puts His Spirit in us. God, who made all things put Himself inside us, to be part of us, in us, is with us all the time. We can have daily conversations with Him.
And it has nothing to do with how we feel in the morning. He does not require us to be cheerful. He does not require us to feel “holy”. He doesn’t care if we did something stupid. He is always with us.
Our requirement is to acknowledge Him. He’s always waiting for us to turn to Him. When we realize that we’ve done something stupid or wrong, all we have to do is talk to Him, tell Him we’re sorry, and ask for help to not do it again.
But the best part is listening to what He wants to say to us. He has the best ideas. He has a plan for our lives and we need to be sensitive to what He really wants us to do. We need to be aware that God really wants to talk to us.
Living with God in us means having an ongoing conversation. It’s a dialog that will never stop through eternity.
I heard someone say recently, “Prayer is not magical. It just has to be persistent.” I like that. It’s too easy to repeat a prayer, especially if you are reading it, and expect “X” to happen. It’s not an incantation. We do not recite prayers to the universe and wait for results.
Prayer is a conversation you have with the Father. He’s more than willing to do what you need Him to, He just expects you to talk to Him about it, not demand, rant, plead, or recite. How rude it would be to have someone pull out a sheet of paper and make an official request to borrow your pen and never look you in the eye.
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (Jam 5:16) Effective prayer is specific. Fervent means fiery or impassioned. Consider that you are carrying on a conversation with God and you really want to get your point across. Look Him in the eyes. When you do that, you will be flooded with His love. Your prayer will go straight to His heart and He cannot hold Himself back from answering for you.
Be persistent. Go back to Him everyday with the same level of specific fervency and always give Him eye contact. You are praying to your Father, not an ATM.
When you understand that God is a person not a thing, it makes sense that He wants us to talk to Him. We are made in His image, so our need to communicate comes from Him, not us like we like to think. He is a Spiritual being, so He made us with spirits as well. When we talk to Him, we’re actually communicating in our spirits.
That sounds a bit squishy, but that’s because we live in a physical world and tend to trust only what we can experience through our five senses. We also have a mind and imagination and that’s where God loves to communicate with us.
You can talk to Him anyway you want to. You can speak out loud or quietly in your heart. But a conversation requires communication from both parties, so be aware of how He will talk back. He will give you pictures in your mind, a memory, a song, a scripture, a conversation with a friend that touches on what you’ve been asking Him.
How you talk to God is not the issue. The issue is how you hear Him talk back. You must choose to be aware of Him talking to you, because He is. He made you to be in relationship with Him, so He wants to talk and He want you to heart Him.
Time you spend on the mountaintops will refresh your work in the valley.
The mount of transfiguration was on a…mountain. Jesus frequently went to the mountains to pray and spend time with God, then He went back to the valley to minister and do His work. The high places filled and refreshed and brought communion with the Father.
The good news is that rain always flows down from the mountains to the valleys where we live and spend our time. The valleys are the places where fields are plowed and crops are planted. It’s where the fruit trees are cultivated.
The mountaintops are refreshing and we need them, but the valleys are where the fruits of our labors ripen. Spend time alone with God. Get away to hear His voice and be restored. Then take all that you’ve been filled with back to the valley and give it away.
To carry the metaphor of rain even further–when it rains a lot, lakes and dams are filled and rivers flow. When you spend time with God, you essentially fill your reservoir of His presence for when you need it later on. The lakes are filled with the flow from the high places–those places of worship and praise and listening to His voice. You need it for yourself and for everyone you touch.
Do you want to see the kingdom of God released in your country? Then pray for your leaders. They are the targets of enemy attack. If the leader can be persuaded to believe deception, then the country cannot be blessed with the guidance of God.
Pray that the scales of deception fall from the eyes of those in power. Let them have eyes that see and ears that hear so they understand the will and the ways of God. Ask that they be filled with the wisdom of God and revelation from heaven. Let their hearts be moved with a hunger for truth and justice. Let them be filled with compassion for people and outrage for injustice.
Your prayers can move mountains and they can change the heart of a president, a minister, or a king. You prayers are powerful. Join with others and your prayers become magnified in power. Don’t bad mouth your leaders. Bless them and pray for them. They can be moved to do good with your support. Strongholds can fall. Lies can be exposed. The kingdom of God can be released to bless a nation.
Spend time in praise and worship so your heart can be open to know how to pray effectively. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (Jam 5:16)
Be faithful and persistent, and promises will come. Photo: Kashfina Rahman
God made it very clear that if we turn to Him first, He will take care of all our needs and desires. He made promises to us:
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. (Psalm 91:14)
But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. (Malachi 4:2)
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.(Psalm 37:4)
These are promises. He will do what He says, under condition. Will you delight in Him and seek Him first? Will you trust Him, despite how long it takes to answer?
There was a judge in a certain city . . . who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’ (Luk 18 2-5)
God said to go to Him like that woman. Look at those promises like a door and knock until you see it open. And it will.
There is something despicable about constant noise and entertainment. Everywhere we go, we are bombarded with advertisements, music, video, links to social sites. None of that is bad of itself, but the nonstop barrage is an assault on our peace. It chips away at what cushions and protects our spirits. We have to fight for times of quiet.
I think the enemy works very hard to keep us from being quiet. It is in the quiet time that we are still and know our God. It is when we hear Him speaking to our spirits and settling our souls. Any way to keep us from finding stillness is a victory for the wrong side.
Music, videos, activity can be good, but don’t allow all of it to consume your time and eat away at the peace of sitting with God. Guard that time. Protect it. Block it out as if it were an appointment, because it is. You need to still before your God and hear Him in the quiet place. You won’t hear Him like that any other way, which means that you would miss something significant.
The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. (Is 32:17)
Jesus gave us His authority to use His name. His name is the greatest power in the universe. We can use it to speak to the enemy and declare victory over any situation that we struggle with. But sometimes we need to pray and fast.
I don’t know why, but there are some situations that we don’t just win outright. A man brought his epileptic son to Jesus when the disciples couldn’t help him. Jesus said that this kind does not come out without prayer and fasting. (Mat 17:15-21)
So we know that we will run into situations that require more than faith, declaration, and prayer. Prayer and fasting together are a unique weapon against especially strong enemy resistance. I don’t understand how it works, but it does.
It may be that God will tell you when it’s time for prayer and fasting, but I would suggest that if your normal prayer does not work, then it’s time to pull out the big guns. Be sensitive to fasting. It can be done in any number of ways, but it needs to be something that you miss terribly by not having. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you know how long and what you should do.
Your sacrifice builds a power against the enemy that nothing else does. Prayer and fasting will breakthrough the hard places.