I’m passionate about prayer. Therefore, I’ve devoted the past twenty years to learning everything I can about communicating with God. As I’ve learned, I’ve also taught. I want everyone else to be passionate about prayer.
When asked to teach at an event, I’m usually asked, “How much time do you need?”
“As much as you will give me, and then some.”
Because they never give me enough time, I often show up with handouts. Pages of prayer tips, prayer guides, sample prayers, bibliographies, and a host of resources I’ve collected through the years from great prayer warriors.
I can teach you how to pray for our government, children, spouses, and churches. I know how to pray for revival and how to intercede for the lost. I can show you the prayers that Jesus esteems and those He rebukes. Just ask and I’ll show in scripture what needs to be evident in your prayers to move mountains and heal the sick.
If your prayer life is nonexistent or just struggling, I’ll give practical tips on hearing His voice, thanksgiving, repentance, and taking every thought captive. I’ll encourage you on how to truly worship, pray with power and read His Word in His Presence.
But it’s all bordering on worthless.
Because practicing all the above without dealing with the root of the issue is counterproductive. We don’t pray because we don’t know how. We don’t pray because we don’t love God enough to spend time with Him. We simply don’t know Him enough to want Him.
We can and often do have heads full of knowledge but hearts empty of desire.
To resurrect a dead prayer life you need to pray these three simple sentences:
- “Lord, I want to know You.”
- “I do believe, help me with my unbelief.”
- “Create in me a heart to love You the way You deserve to be loved.”
Here’s what happens when you start praying these. If you sincerely, want to know Him then He delights in revealing Himself. You will have a new hunger for His Word. As you read, He will teach you truths you never saw before and visions of Him that leave you astounded, wanting more of Him.
But then the enemy of our souls will raise his ugly head and try to destroy everything good. Satan fears a saint who prays. So he will try desperately to convince you of all the reasons God would never listen to you, love you, or want to be near you. The liar will tell you God’s promises are unfaithful. You will have to believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do in order to become a mighty prayer warrior.
The way to overcome the seasickness of doubt is to pray for God to pluck you out of that boat tossed by the sea and start believing the Truth. (James 1:5-8)
Last but just as important, die to self as you seek to love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind. Let the Spirit of grace and mercy show you all the stuff of this world you love more than God. Repent.
It’s a beautiful cycle. To know Him is to love Him. The more you love Him, the more you want to know Him.
If you don’t like my three-sentence prayer, then simply ask like the disciples did, “Lord, teach me to pray.” For prayer is knowing and loving God. Amen