Impacting Your Life Through Prayer
Prayer. What is it? When should I pray? How do I do it? Are there any benefits to it?
These are just a few questions that have probably popped into your thoughts when you’ve approached the idea of praying. Prayer is simply communication between YOU and God. Often times I see people get uncomfortable when the topic of prayer comes up. It seems to drum up feelings in people that make them squirm in their chair.
If that’s you….YOU’RE NOT ALONE!
I used to be the same way. Before I found Christ I thought of it as some weird practice that only the “churchies” or the “Bible Thumpers” would partake in.
Communication in every relationship is CRITICAL! Think back to all of the challenging relationships you’ve had. I bet if you could pinpoint the biggest problem with those relationships it all stemmed from communication. In order to have a healthy relationship we must communicate.
God is NO different. We can communicate with God in two ways: talking to him and through reading his word, the Bible.
Prayer is important because it gives us the opportunity to recognize God and to show him the place he has in our life.
In fact, the Bible actually calls us to pray!
1 Thessalonians 5:17 states, “Pray continually.” And, Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
God is personal and loving, and always desires us to come to him with our concerns, needs and guidance because he loves us and wants what is best for us.
Imagine for a moment if your husband, or maybe your friend, never came to you and acknowledged you. Or maybe they never expressed how important you are to them.
Would you feel loved and worthy? Would you honestly stick around?
How would it make you feel if they acted like you never existed and weren’t even in the room? How do you think God feels when you don’t acknowledge him or confide in him?
There is no set time when prayer is appropriate. Prayer doesn’t only happen when you’re in church. It doesn’t only happen when you’re at the hospital with a friend. I want you to think of prayer like a dance. Like a flowing conversation between you and someone you’re close to.
For me, I’m always praying. Little things all day throughout the day.
BUT I do have a routine in the morning where I greet him, like I would my family. There should be a specific time you set aside to connect with God. In my case, usually it’s in the shower because it’s the only time I’m less likely to be interrupted. I also have a space set aside in my office for prayer. I like to call it my “magical” prayer wall.
That wall has seen and heard some really hard, ugly, and beautiful things!
Maybe you’re thinking, “Who does she have on her wall?” The answer is EVERYONE!
Specifically, it holds prayers for myself, my family, people who are needing healing, people who need strength, missions I support, women I’m helping, women I’m searching for to help, etc.
If you find yourself struggling with how to carry out your prayers, or how to begin with a consistent prayer life, The PRAY method will help you!
I was introduced to the PRAY method at Alpine Church. It has helped me to focus and has helped me be intentional and diligent during my time with God.
P represents Praise
Praising him means I thank him for all he’s done in my life and all he continues to do in my life. If I’ve witnessed his hands in something specific I have on my wall I give him all the glory during this time. For lack of a better description, this is when God gets all my KUDOS for his work!
R represents Repent:
Repenting is when sometimes the ugly cry might come out! I give it all to him during my repentance. I acknowledge the things I’ve done or continue to do that don’t honor him. Topics I tend to acknowledge during my repentance (more than I’d like to admit) are... not honoring God with my finances being irresponsible with my money, my hot temper that tends to lash out at my children, ignoring my husband, comparing myself to others, lying, greed, selfishness….you get the gist!
A represents Ask:
Asking God is simply laying down your requests, desires, and needs before Him. These requests can include you too, not just others in your life. If you have a prayer list or requests people have given you now is the time to ask God. But, don’t forget yourself! If there are specific requests you have for yourself ASK HIM! God wants to bless you with the desires of your heart when you place him first in your life. (Psalm 37:4)
One of my favorites is when I ask him to help me, see me, as he sees me! If there is a goal I’m shooting for this is the time I make my requests. There are no requests too BIG or too small for God. Don’t be shy!
Y represents Yield:
After praising him, repenting, and asking going through everything with him now is the time to yield. You’ve shared with him and have given him your whole heart. This is when you stop, and listen and wait. I believe this is a practice and an art of sorts. When I yield to him sometimes I hear his messages through a thought or the way my body feels. This is different for everyone and it takes practice to really understand how he’s communicating back to you.
The benefits of prayer are too numerous to list, but a consistent prayer life aids us emotionally, spiritually and physically. Prayer brings us closer to God, gives us guidance, assists our relationships, gives us strength and courage, and changes our attitude. We also gain forgiveness as well as the ability to forgive one another through prayer.