Prayer Starts with God

October picture“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accord with God’s will” (Romans 8:26-27).

I want to share a radical thought. It has transformed my way of praying and my way of thinking about prayer. For years I believed that my prayers started with me. I had to think them up. I had to get God’s attention. Not surprisingly, with this frame of mind, prayer was often a chore. I learned that I was wrong. Prayer doesn’t start with us. Prayer starts with God. That’s the radical idea that changed my prayer life. God is the initiator. He moves us to pray. He gives us prayer ideas. He holds out the promises we claim in prayer. When we pray, we are God’s instruments. God is at work in all our praying. He makes his will known to us so that we will ask for the very things he longs to give us. Out of love he burdens us to pray for others so that, in response to our intercession, he can pour out blessings on them.

Father, thank You that You will help me to pray in my weakness through the guidance of Your Spirit.  May I continually remember that it is not my will be done…but Yours! 

–Adapted from Love to Pray by Alvin J. VanderGriend. This resource is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

Prayer Points

Praise God for his world-sized love (Jn. 3:16)! Thank God for loving you before you ever began to love him (Rom. 5:8). Confess times of turning away from the Lord, acknowledging that such betrayal of his love is spiritual prostitution (Ezekiel 16). Commit yourself again to faithfulness in loving God. Ask him to help you live with purity of love toward him.

Pray for the Bible studies and other small groups of your church. Ask God to work his kind of intimacy into the lives of each person involved with these groups.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

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