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If we were to make a detailed list of your prayer life, would it be filled with requests which may have never been answered?
Perhaps you are wondering if God, for His own unique reason, has decided not to give you the things you have requested. Then again, if God is a “prayer answering, covenant keeping God, Who can be trusted to keep His Word, why would He not respond to our prayers?
Before we answer this particular question, let us ask another that I believe is rather important as well. Do you pray?
Now while this make seem like an awkward question, and an insult to some people, the question is warranted for at least two reasons. Many believers do not have prayer life. They only seem to seek the Lord when they have trouble. While things are going well, and their needs are met or their bodies are healed and whole, they don’t see the need to pray. Some believe that prayer is only to be made when disaster strikes. If this is your view of prayer, then it would be good to point out here that prayer is much more than just asking God for things when we have a need. Prayer is fellow-shipping with God. We will speak in a few moments as to what that entails.
The second reason why I need to ask if you pray is because what many call prayer is not prayer at all. Does that surprise you? Prayer is not just taking to God. It is approaching Deity, and doing so in a reverent and humble state of heart and mind. It is speaking to the Lord, yes, but it is coming to Him on the basis of His Word, and because of His loving invitation to come boldly to the Throne of Grace.
Now let us get back to the very first question we asked above, and see the power of prayer. We must understand and settle this fact in our minds. Prayers are meant to be answered. When God established this line of communication between us and Himself, He fully intended that it be a joyful means of sharing and fellowship that resulted in answers, worship and thanksgiving. God is a “prayer answering, covenant keeping God.” He does answer prayer. He is not holding out on any of us.
One of the key reasons why we may not see answers to prayer is because so much of our prayers are based upon our emotions, and how we feel at the moment, rather than upon the source of answered prayer – the very Word of the Living God.
In His Word we can find His promises, assurances and wisdom. Prayer is taking His Word back to Him. It is reminding Him of what He has said. He told us to put Him in remembrance. (See Isaiah 43:26) He said His Word would not return to Him void. Who returns His Word to Him? We do. At least, we should be doing so when we pray. He will do all that His Word promises He will do when the conditions are met. He will keep His Word.
So, we must learn to value and cherish His Word. He has exalted His Word above all His Name. Then we should aim to do likewise. Bring His Word to Him in prayer. Come into His Presence with praise and thanksgiving, but also with His Word. Let His Word come from your lips, even a in state of worship. Thank Him that He is a “Covenant Keeper.” Give Him glory that He is your God and Father, and that He loves you. He really does. “He Who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all; how shall He, not also with Him, freely give us all things.” (See Romans 8:32)
Then, remind Him of His promises in the Word, and let Him know what You are requesting. After you are done, be sure to thank and praise Him for hearing you. Count it done, knowing that He honors His Word, so He will honor your request. Always thank Him after you pray, and do so as if you truly appreciate Him taking the time to hear you, and to answer you. Thanksgiving goes a long way in the spirit, and even in the natural as well. Practice being grateful and it may just astound you the favor that will come your way on a consistent basis.
Now back to this question; “Do you pray?” Do you enter His Presence, glad and excited to be there, or do you just pray as a formality? Prayer is supposed to be our joyous response to the invitation of the Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent God. What an invitation.
If one were invited into the presence of some royalty, or perhaps the leader of a great nation, he or she will perhaps be so excited that a new garment will be brought for the occasion. Hair will be neatly done, and shoes shined. One would want to look their best for they are meeting a “powerful person.” There is no one more royal, mighty and powerful than God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. No one is mightier than He. No one even compares to or comes close to Him. Who is like the LORD our God?
We should count it the greatest honor and privilege to fellowship with our Father God. It should not be a drag to us. It should not be something we do because it is what is expected of us, or our religious duty. It should be a joy. The Bible teaches that in His Presence is “fullness of joy.” (See Psalms 16:11) If this is the case, when we are truly done praying, we should be coming from that place of prayer full of peace, satisfaction and gladness. We should be so blessed, inspired and thrilled with our “Daddy,” that others can sense His Presence and observe His favor in our lives. Perhaps your prayer life is not what it should be. Maybe you actually dread praying, for you do not seem to find any joy in doing so. Some do not even pray anymore, for they say, “What’s the use?” Here is my suggestion. Learn the power of “worship,” and what the Bible calls, “Ministering To The Lord.” You will find this in the thirteenth chapter of Acts.
Acts 13: 1-2
1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
To minister to the Lord means that they were “worshipping the Lord”, exalting Him and giving Him glory. Worship moves the Heart of God, for it shows that we recognize Him for Who He is, and for all that He does. When His Heart is moved, He will reveal Himself more to us. He did for these believers who were there just to love on Him and glorify His Name. The Scriptures teach that as they ministered to the Lord, the Holy Spirit spoke and gave an instruction. Beloved, if you need an answer from God and nothing seems to be happening, worship Him for a while. Worship and exalt Him until He is – in your mind – bigger than whatever you may be facing.
There are so many Scriptures which show the power of ministering to the Lord. This is fellow-shipping with Him. Prayer is so much more than just asking Him for something. He loves us, so He will answer our petitions. However, there is nothing like finding time daily to spend with Him magnifying Him and telling Him how much you love Him and appreciate all He has done, and continues to do for you. Just like a natural parent would feel if his or her child would come and say, “I think you are the best parent in the whole wide world, and I love you so much. Thank you for all you do for me,” imagine how God the Father “feels” when we love on Him, worship Him in truth, and show Him how much we appreciate Him. It may just astound you how much favor will flow towards you when you approach prayer with worship, fellow-shipping the Father!
Let us pray:
Father God, we worship You. We give You glory, honor and power. For You are our God, our wonderful Heavenly Father, Who has made all things. In You we live, move and have our being. We thank You for all You have done for us. We thank You for all You are doing for us now, and will continue to do. Most of all, we thank You for sending Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ to die in our place, and to rise for our justification. We honor You and praise You. Have Your way in our lives. And in all we do, may Jesus be glorified. Teach us more concerning how to worship You and minister to You. For Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen and Amen!