“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21).
Perhaps our prayers lack definition because our hearts lack faith. If we stop short of being really specific about what we want from God then we won’t be let down when he doesn’t deliver. I have a feeling that a lot of “your-will-be-done” praying falls into this category. If we use this expression to communicate our surrender to whatever God deems best, that’s fine. But more often, I suspect, we throw that line into our prayers to let God (and ourselves) off the hook if he doesn’t seem to answer us. “It must not have been God’s will,” we sigh.
When we cry out to God with clarity, on the other hand, we’re putting it all on the line. We’re taking a step of faith. We’re declaring our confidence in God’s ability to do exactly what we’re asking of him. That is what he’s waiting to hear from us.
–Adapted from Prayer Coach by James L. Nicodem.
Faithful Father, help me to be confident that You hear my prayers, and that You will answer me when I cry out to You! Give me the faith to believe that You are able to do abundantly beyond all I could ever ask or think because You are the God who hears prayer.
Praise God for the good gifts he gives to those who ask him (Mt. 7:11). Give thanks, even in the midst of pain all around, that God’s gifts are good. Confess your lack of quality time spent with God in prayer (Rom. 8:26). Commit yourself to modeling Jesus’ example of praying in solitary places (Mk. 1:35). Ask God to give you a real devotion to prayer—being watchful and thankful, making the most of every opportunity (Col. 4:2-5).
Ask God to use emergency or crisis situations in the lives of unsaved people to bring them to the foot of the cross. Pray for eyes to see how you can help in such situations.
“One of the most common weaknesses of our prayer lives is the vagueness of our focus. . . . Petition saves us from that. It forces us to be specific, to be precise, to clarify our wants and desires.” —Maxie Dunnam
-Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend