Is Your Prayer Life Missing This?
The other day I asked the question, “Have you prayed about it?” I could see they weren’t buying into the whole prayer thing. I knew the look because I remember when I sported that look when someone asked me the same question. “Yeah, I prayed about it,” I would respond, trying not show my frustration. I remember wondering how on earth people would seem so peaceful because they “prayed” about it. What was I missing? Why didn’t prayer seem so powerful to me? Yeah, I prayed, but I didn’t feel anything. This peace that people experienced through prayer wasn’t my experience at all.
Fast forward a couple stormy seasons in life and I can’t imagine not praying. But back to the question I asked, “Have you prayed about it?” This question got me thinking, “Why didn’t I see prayer as effective back then?” Why do I see it as effective now? What has changed? God is funny that way. The transformation seemed slow, but something did, in fact, change.
Unbelief was the problem. It didn’t matter how much knowledge I had of God’s Word, if I didn’t believe His Word then I wouldn’t be able to live out His best for me. Believing is what bridges the gap between knowing and living. Unbelief diminishes our ability to more fully experience God and His best for us.
Unbelief diminishes our ability to more fully experience God and His best for us.
So back to those prayer warriors that intrigued me with all their peace…they know what God’s Word says about prayer.
We have access to the throne room:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. -Hebrews 4:14-16
God listens to His people:
For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12
God hears our prayers and gives us what we ask when it lines up with His will:
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15
These Prayer Warriors believe what God’s Word says about their prayers. It’s not enough to recite these verses like robots. Remember, belief bridges the gap between knowing and living God’s best for our lives. Without belief, we become hardened and fall away. We begin to feel frustrated with our faith. The ugly truth about unbelief is it is sin. This word belief is interchangeable with trust and faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God, yet with faith anything is possible! I want that!
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23
I wanted what those prayer warriors had. Peace. How could they seem so peaceful in the midst of turmoil completely out of their control? Prayer. I want a life of peace. Not fake peace, where I pretend everything is okay when it’s not. True peace, knowing and believing God’s got this.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Bridging the Gap
Faith comes by being in the Word (Romans 10:17).
Pray for more faith. Remember earlier, God gives us what we ask for when it is His will for us? Praying to Him is His will for us! Ask for help with unbelief (Mark 9:24)
I wish I could tell you the story ended with me never struggling with unbelief again. But it doesn’t. I have to choose to believe God sometimes. Some days I sit before the cross, casting my cares, and with sticky hands pick up everything I cast upon Him as I close. Belief is a choice, not a feeling. Stepping out in faith can be scary, but I haven’t been let down yet. It doesn’t mean God answers my requests the way I want all the time. But it does mean I believe He answered with His best for me.
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