This post is going to be a bit different, since prayer is a conversation; I am pushing to write this as though we are sitting down and talking together.
If I’m being perfectly honest prayer is something that I have been struggling to get a grasp on for a while. When I first got saved it was because God answered my prayer. I knew it was God because there was no other explanation for what happened. Since that time I have learned to lean more and more on talking to God as an outlet for my frustration and as a way to get to know him better. However, I have heard a lot of different teachings on prayer that I still don’t understand and I’m not even sure if they are biblical. For example in Matthew 18:18-20 Jesus is talking about binding and loosing things in heaven and on earth. When I look at the context of the passage I can presume he is talking to the disciples, which makes me question if I actually have the authority to do what the disciples did since he wasn’t talking to me but to them. Sometimes our prayers are more cultural colloquialisms than real genuine prayers. Such as speaking things into existence and commanding angels. Yes life and death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) but if you are “speaking things into existence” that go against the will of God they are NOT going to happen. There also isn’t any scriptural reference for humans commanding angels, God commands angels to help us if we ask him, and we do not have any authority over angels. So I take these truths into consideration when I pray because the way I look at it, God is the only one who can do those things. And I get so sad when I see posts on Facebook where people are binding spirits, speaking prosperity over their lives, and rebuking Satan because I’m not sure if they actually have the power to do that and are therefore wasting their time.
What I do know for a fact is that God definitely has the power to do all of these things and more and for me right now I go the route of asking him to do them. For example I am more likely to pray something like: “Lord if it be your will take this headache away and bring healing to my body” than “I bind this spirit of infirmity”. The second prayer places me as the source of my healing and that is unbiblical. So as I continue to grow in Christ and get a full understanding of what I do and don’t have the power to do, I lean on the Holy Spirit and the Bible for wisdom on how to pray appropriately. I look at the psalms and I see the way David prayed. I read about how Moses and Ezekiel conversed with God and then I go back to the outline Jesus gave for prayer. After I put all of that together I can humbly come before God and have a casual, honest conversation.
One of the biggest things I have learned about prayer this year is that sprinkling the phrase in Jesus name at the end of a rant doesn’t make the prayer genuine or increase its chances of going past the ceiling. I know this because I did this, for YEARS, and I kept wondering why God wasn’t listening to me. Once I realized that prayer is more than just me ranting and raving to God about all of my issues, I began to see changes in my heart, my perspective, and my life. I hope that through some intense study and genuine prayer of your own you will begin to see major changes in your prayer life as well.