How not to Pray

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I have always loved the idea of being able to talk to God. I had a zeal for God, but did not know Him intimately. Sometimes, I felt I was talking to a God that was not there.  I felt I had to pester Him before He was persuaded to hear me. How wrong I was about the concept of prayer!

I travelled the road of religious praying without results. I thought I helped God in the past by pretending I received answers to my prayers, but on this occasion, I could not pretend anymore. Amy was not getting better, instead she grew worse!

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Amy is my good friend from my teenage years. We attended the same high school and became believers on same day.  Our faith was the foundation of our lives, but Amy had a secret. She lived a secret life different from the ‘church girl lifestyle’ she portrayed, not known to anyone- not even her immediate family.

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God had to come to her aid, or that was the end. I did all I could. I spoke to God about Amy’s predicament. I told God the problem as it was; I spoke my mind. I went as far as telling God he needed to help Amy- as if He did not know. On several occasions, I had taken time to call on God to come to her aid but I felt I was hitting a brick wall. I was overwhelmed and confused. I believed in prayer, but my prayers concerning Amy, seemed to hit the ceiling.

Prayer has always been my solution to dealing with life’s situations. I am a “church girl”, and in church, I was instructed to give thanks in all things because the Bible says so. Is that the true meaning of 1 Thessalonians 5:18? I wonder how many scriptures I have misinterpreted.

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I struggled to know how to pray to get results, however, I learned how not to pray through this difficult time. These are my findings:

14 This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that [c]if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. 15 And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him.  (1 John 5:14-15)

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  1. I realized that my ranting was complaining not prayer. Praying according to the scripture gets the result.
  2. Telling God the problem was not prayer, it was complaining.
  3. Knowing God’s will is the first step in prayer. Understanding His will gives us the confidence needed to get answered prayers.
4. God’s presence in me is directly proportional to the level of His word in me. Click To Tweet

 Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:16)

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5. Prayer is not telling God my needs. He knows my needs and answers based on faith, not need.
6. Repeating my request continuously does not move God; only faith does.
7. If you are not specific and accurate in your prayer, you cannot actualize your desire.
8. Never pray for what you cannot believe for. Faith believes before it receives.
9. Find out what God’s Word says about your request.  Believe it, speak it and you will receive it.

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How can I say I have received it, when I do not have it?

I realized that I had to receive it in my spirit (i.e. see it with my eyes of faith) before I see it with my physical eyes.

Sometimes the situation gets worse; what do I do?

I would not fret but give thanks to God, because I am confident it will change as I continue to Praise Him.

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These truths changed my struggle in prayers to an assured confidence that my request will be granted.

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