Prayer - Are You Doing it "Right?"

Just pour out your heart to God.
I've been thinking a lot about prayer these days. Being the Prayer Team Coordinator for our church means all prayer requests that come into the church and channeled to me, then sent out to our Prayer Team.  Some of these requests are heartbreaking and when there are many of those during the week, it can get you down if you don't anchor your faith in a God who loves each one of those people deeply, a God who knows what is the very best for each person in each situation, A God who understands each heart.

So, a while back, I started to feel like as I prayed for each request it seemed like I was giving God orders - God, heal this person, God restore this marriage, God save this woman's son, God break this man's addiction, God protect this man in prison...

One day the thought occurred to me that since God knows the intimate details of each person and their circumstances, that it might be better to ask God to step into their situation and do what if the very best thing for all involved and to help each person lean heavily on him during their trials.

Then today I read an short synopsis for a book on prayer. It started like this...\

"Are your prayers being answered? Do you even know what to pray? Deep down inside, do you feel that prayer is too passive to really accomplish much?"
I have to tell you, these three questions bug me. It seems to infer that unless you pray the correct way or unless you pray passionately, God won't bother to answer. Or if it seems that your prayers aren't being answered, it's your fault for not praying right. That rankles me to no end!

Friend, one of the most loving things we can do is lift a hurting person to God in prayer. We don't have use the perfect words or quote the appropriate scriptures back to God before he will pay attention to our prayers. We don't have to work ourselves up into a frenzy before he responds. All we have to do is open our hearts and let our love for others pour out to him. Sometime, we don't know exactly what to pray because a trial in someone's life may be what it takes to draw someone closer to God or to transform their character to be more like Christ. Not that God brings calamity on us just to teach us a lesson. He doesn't. Life will do that for us all by itself because we live in a broken world and when it does, God sees and works to turn a bad situation around so that good will come out of it.

So, go ahead and pray for those you love, those you don't like, those you don't even know when you see someone hurting. Don't worry about saying the right words or having the right posture, just open your heart and ask God to work his perfect will in their lives. That's better than anything else you could possibly do.

So, what do you think? Does prayer intimidate you? Have you been frustrated with your prayer life?

Remember, prayer is just an open conversation between you and your Father God.
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