Let Nothing Stop You From Praying

Some people think prayers are only for important things and you have to sound like a preacher when you pray. But Jesus taught the exact opposite. In Matthew 6:5-7 He said, "When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who use vain repetitions, heaping up phrases, repeating the same ones over and over as the heathen do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking." Don't worry about how you sound or the words you use. Just be honest and truthful with Him. Spend as much time as you need talking about anything and everything. He's there for you.

Being honest and open before God is a form of boldness that is a privilege we've been granted for those of us who belong to Christ. He's no longer our judge, but our loving Father. We're his little kiddos. We don't have to prove anything to Him. He already knows it all anyway. According to Hebrews 4:13-16, there isn't anything in our heart that's hidden from Him, so we might as well be honest. He understands us exactly where we are, what we're feeling, why we're feeling it, and why it comes out in the words we use when we pray.

Romans 8:26-27 assures us that when we pray, the Holy Spirit takes our prayer, our words and the true meanings behind them that's hidden in our hearts, and then fully interprets our prayer to the throne using words, groanings, yearnings, vocabulary and facial expressions that better speak on our behalf than our own language ever could. It's a wonderful comfort to know that whenever I pray, regardless of how it comes out, I have no reason to fear that God might possibly misunderstand my prayer, or not feel the full weight of my request or need.

Do people think you're long-winded? Don't worry about it. God's attention span is stable enough to receive every word from your heart without ever being distracted. God isn't limited or bound by the clock as we are down here. He has the ability to listen to each and every prayer independently with as much time as He needs and there is no such thing as an unimportant prayer to God.

According to Luke 12:6-7, He numbers the very hairs of our head. Not only that, but Psalm 56:8 says that He even counts all of our tears and saves them in a bottle. These are the actions of an almost obsessive God who's so intimately watching over the smallest details of our lives that His own measurements of what's important (or what isn't important) would probably surprise us. A God who numbers the hairs of your head and puts all your tears in a bottle will never think that anything you have to say or ask is "unimportant".

I'm sure you've heard the expression, "Be careful what you pray for, you just might get it." Don't worry about that. It's not true. Don't let that discourage you from praying. When you pray, even though you're tapping into the unlimited resources of God's power at your disposal, it's filtered through God's protective wisdom making sure you don't accidentally blow up the earth. God's perfect love for us and what's best for us will always filter our prayers.

A common problem that stops a lot of us from praying is past experiences where God seemed to ignore our prayer or He allowed the exact opposite of what we prayed for. Whenever that happens, it's never without a very important reason. While Jesus was perishing on the cross, a lot of good people were desperately praying against what was happening. But if God had answered those prayers, there couldn't have been a resurrection three days later and there would be no hope for anyone beyond the grave. Whenever you or a loved one is suffering and it doesn't make any sense, remember the cross. The cross didn't make sense either while it was happening.

Another thing that stops us from praying is thinking, "Nothing can happen outside of God's will, so what's the point?" Here's the point. Prayer is actually God's way of keeping us included in His will. When God wants something in our life that isn't there, He plants the desire in our heart to pray for it so that when we receive what we've asked for, we know it came from Him. So the next time you have a yearning for something and want to take it to the Lord in prayer, get excited and start praying. It's highly possible that He's the One who put that yearning in your heart with the intention to grant it. If not, God will cause you to see things from His perspective in time and you'll be very happy that He answered you differently than the way you originally wanted. Either way, you'll be glad you prayed about it.

The bottom line is this. Prayer doesn't exist to keep God informed. Prayer exists to keep us included in whatever God is doing in our lives or in the lives of others. It's a gift that's far too precious to neglect. It keeps us connected to God in a way that nothing else does and the more we pray, then the easier it is to feel His presence in those moments when we truly need Him the most.