It is crucial for us to start each day off by praying, so that we are blessed with perfect wisdom and peace through constant fellowship with Christ. I learned the proper way to pray by faithfully studying the inspired Word of God, because until then, I did not even bother to roll out of bed and fall to my knees in reverent prayer like I should have according to scripture.
Psalm 95:6-7 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice.
God blessed us through His Son, Jesus with mercy and grace; mercy to pardon all our sins, and grace to purify our souls. However, it is our responsibility to honor these gifts by living a life of righteousness, adhering to all of His commands. The most effective way to achieve this goal is through prayer and to continually read the scriptures each day.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
When praying according to scripture, it allows us to enter into a lasting covenant with God which strengthens our inner spirit to follow His precepts. Not only does God hear our prayers, but He promises to answer when we are obedience and faithful to His Will.
1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us and whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him.
Prayer not only teaches us the perspective of God pertaining to various situations, but it also increases our spiritual development, strengthens our faith and helps to establish patience. Many years ago back when I was in my twenties, my husband had to rush me to the hospital due to excruciating abdominal pain. They immediately admitted me for emergency surgery in order to remove an embryo that was trapped inside my Fallopian tubes.
I remember sitting there robed in a hospital gown freaked out by the fear and panic that was quickly invading my mind; a gut feeling nudged at me to open my purse where a small Bible was safely nestled. My outstretched hand grasped this sacred book and I began breathing in the soothing doctrine hidden between the pages in the Book of Life, as sweet drops of peace silently began washing away my anxiety:
Philippians 4:8~Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.
I believe it was God who led me to the above scripture which sustained me with His armor to battle against that haunting trepidation which hovered over my weary soul. I recall the nurse coming in to explain the surgical procedure and how everything would be fine. I told her that due to my faith in God and from praying that I had been healed. She expressed her opinion about how having faith was great, but I still needed to undergo the scheduled surgical procedure. The doctor came in with my blood work which indicated the growth was gone. He informed me that the first set of tests were indeed inaccurate because the second tests revealed no traces of ever being pregnant. It is so interesting at how doctors tend to justify unexplained cures as a mistake of some sort; but I just smiled and embraced the wonderful miracle that God whispered to my belly earlier.
It was that night which taught me the significance of faith and to praise God in all situations, regardless of how hopeless things may appear. If we want the circumstances in our lives to change for the better, we need to make a commitment to praying the scriptures each day. The edification through the Word of God will achieve victory from our unwavering faith. God spoke all of creation into existence by His words; and when we pray the scriptures aloud we are speaking the will of God over our lives into existence.
Colossians 1:9-12~For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
I recall a time while conversing with my niece, she quoted this simple philosophy from her pastor; Prayer does not bend the Will of God, but it does move His hand. These profound words touched my heart, shedding new light into why sometimes we may feel our prayers have gone unanswered. Sometimes I would kneel and pray to God with everything inside of me; but it would appear as though my requests fell upon deaf ears. However, after hearing those few words from my niece, I knew that God not only heard my prayers, but He answered them as well. God answers our prayers for the betterment of our lives; in a way that ultimately benefits us in the long run and to glorify His Name. All prayers are answered according to the Will of our Father, God!
We, as Christians must understand that receiving answers to our prayers depends on the structure of our faith and our obedience to His eternal Word. God expects us to live by the laws ordained in His Word, and to exemplified such laws in our daily lives as a measure of good faith and reverence of Him. God clearly teaches us how to walk the narrow path and to veer away from the wide path which leads to eternal damnation. God does not listen to those who willfully continue to sin, by seeking to fulfill the pleasures of their own fleshly desires, instead of living with self-control according to His truth.
Isaiah 59:2~But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
John 9:31~We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.
Another important factor to consider when asking God for something is to do so with a spirit of hope and unwavering faith; believing our prayer requests will be granted according to His Will and not our own. I learned to be patient when praying because only God knows the exact hour He will answer, and only God knows the exact way He will unfold our situations for the greater good. We may not always see or understand why our prayers are not answered in the way we expect, but God knows the larger picture and will answer according to His purpose.
James 1:5-7~If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
There have been several occasions when my prayers were answered in a totally unexpected way than what I had anticipated, but in retrospect, I could appreciate why God answered in His way. Often times, it was to spare me from enduring a lot of unnecessary heartache. Sometimes it was to prevent me from undergoing even more grief than before; sometimes it is to glorify His Name in order to lead others to Him; and sometimes we need to learn from trials and tribulations in order to become obedient and wiser Christians.
The bottom line is to not lose hope or faith in God; but to lean on Him regardless of how rough our circumstances may appear at the time. To God be all the glory in all areas of life, whether foreseeable or unforeseen circumstances, we should always maintain genuine faith and trust in our Father by respecting His purpose for our lives. Meditate on the following scriptures and believe to receive the glorious blessings God has in store for your lives:
Proverbs 3:5-6~Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.