Our Prayers Are Heard
"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."
(1 John 5:14)
Have you ever felt a disconnect in your prayer life? Maybe you've ran into seasons where you don't "feel" anything and have assumed that because you do not feel anything when you pray, that God must not feel anything either. Or maybe the disconnect is not being able to find the time to pray. Or maybe when you do find the time, the words seem so hard to come by in the moment.
If you're anything like me, you can easily identify with one or all of the statements above. Prayer can seem like such a foreign and expected obligation in our Christian walk. Yet, when we take a step back and strip away preconceived notions, it really is a remarkable gift and privilege.
We get to talk to the uncreated God of the universe! He listens to us with great affection and responds by revealing His heart, giving us direction, blessing our circumstances, transforming our emotions, touching our loved ones, reviving the Church, saving the lost, releasing justice, impacting society and so on.
I want to encourage you today with a few principles I refresh myself with from time to time in my own prayer life. I hope these are a help to you to keep pressing on and cultivating a place of prayer in your own personal life.
1. SHORT PRAYERS COUNT
Ninety-second prayers are valuable and effective. They matter and can connect our hearts to God while releasing His blessing to us. Do not put off praying until you have a full hour to pray. While you are rushing to an appointment, waiting at a stoplight or standing in line at a store, you can offer ninety-second prayers that will make a difference in your life and the lives of others.
2. WEAK PRAYERS ARE VALUABLE
We must see the value of "weak" prayers. When we offer our prayers in human weakness, they ascend to God in power because of the sufficiency of Jesus' blood, and because they are in agreement with God's heart. It does not matter if we do not "feel" anything. Others believe that they are growing in prayer only if they feel good during their prayer times. They wrongly conclude that their prayers are meaningless when they feel spiritually dry or distracted.
3. ALL OUR PRAYERS ARE HEARD
All of them. Even if we don't feel anything when we offer them. Do not measure your prayers by how you feel when you pray them, but by the extent to which they are in agreement with God's will and Word. Our weak prayer times may not move us, but they move the heart of God. We can have confidence that our prayers are heard regardless of how we feel while we are praying. (See 1 John 5:14)
4. WE APPROACH THE THRONE OF GRACE
This one is probably my favorite. The Lord values poorly worded prayers, even if we think we do not say them in the "right" way. We come before the "throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16), not the "throne of literary accuracy." So if you say something a little backward or mean to say one thing and another word comes out of your mouth, it's okay! He knows our needs and petitions :)
Have confidence that every prayer you have prayed and every prayer you will pray has not and will not fall on deaf ears. And if cultivating a prayer life still seems boring to you, do not give up! The Holy Spirit will help all who desire to grow in prayer. He will meet us when we show up to do the "work" of cultivating, even when it seems mundane.