The most powerful, praying Christians that I have met were some Christians in Romania. They understood the nature and the character of God because they filled their minds with Scripture.
It was inspiring to go to a prayer meeting in Romania. Not only did many pray with an understanding of the Word of God, but many were free to pray with their emotions. They wept when they prayed for non-Christians. They rejoiced when they thanked God for the good things He had done.
But there was one outstanding characteristic of those Christians that challenged my prayer life. They prayed with a heart that was set on doing the will of God. Although the will of God often brought suffering and persecution into their lives, they prayed with a will that was bent toward God. They learned to search for God with their whole hearts.
Most Christians in the Western world pray with only part of their hearts. Although many have a good knowledge of the Bible and the attributes of God, they pray with only their minds. We must learn to weep as Jesus wept over a lost humanity. We must learn to hurt as Jesus hurts for the non-Christian world. We must not fear praying with our emotions.
I am not referring to emotionalism; I am referring to praying with the passion of Christ.
Christians must learn to pray according to sound biblical principles. Effective praying will always be rooted in the truth of God’s Word. Effective praying will not be given to emotional tangents and experiences. Experience and emotion will always come under the searchlight of God’s Word. They must live up to the truth.
Oh Lord, I want to commune with You wholeheartedly, holding nothing back! It is so easy to fall into praying with my mind alone, rather than worshiping You in spirit and truth. Help me not to fear suffering, but to embrace those moments as opportunities to lift up Your name. Prepare me for whatever difficulty lies ahead as the end of days approaches. Give my heart such a deep compassion for those lost in darkness, and for those who are poor and marginalized and hurting. Compel me to be Your hands and feet as You use me for the purposes of Your kingdom.
–Adapted from The Prayer Factor: Adventures with a God who Hears and Answers by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God, who is light and in whom there is no darkness at all (1 Jn. 1:5). Thank the Lord for being your light and your salvation (Ps. 27:1). Confess any times you have willingly hidden the light of Christ from others. Commit yourself anew to living as a child of the light (Eph. 5:8). Ask—humbly—that you will become increasingly blameless and pure and that God will make you shine like a star in the universe (Phil. 2:15).
How big is your vision of the kingdom of God? Share Isaiah’s exciting vision: “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isa. 60:3). Ask God to cause “nations” and “kings” to come to Jesus Christ today.