The Privilege of Prayer
by Olga Hermans
Last weekend I watched the season of Survivor 22, where Matt Elrod the Christian guy was blindsided twice. Poor guy 🙂 I really liked his boldness about his faith in God though; he prayed a lot and still lost. Without any criticism on him I really thought it would be good to give a few thoughts on how to pray.
I heard somebody say once that all Christian failure is a Prayer failure. Actually it is very, very simple because the Word says: “You have not because you ask not.” “You ask and receive not, because you ask amiss.” In other words, when you are praying, you don’t know what you are doing. You might not be praying correctly.
The bible is very specific about praying in different forms and so forth. 1 Timothy says: first of all prayer, intercessions, supplications and petitions and with thanksgiving. Why do you think is it so specifically detailed?
God has put certain safeguards on the prayer system to keep the devil out of it. You can go to the bank having money in your account; go to the president’s office and lay there on the floor screaming and hollering and kicking to tell him that you need your money. He won’t give it to you, even if he may know you personally.
But until you put your signature in a specific manner on the line of a specific withdrawal document, you are not getting your money out of there, even if it is yours. God is not trying to keep your money from you, He is trying to protect you and your money from thieves.
And that is what is happening in the prayer system; there is a definite connection between the Kingdom of God in heaven and the Kingdom of God in the earth. And Jesus said: “If you seek first my Kingdom and its righteousness, all these things will be added to you”.
So, in that seeking are different forms and kinds of prayer. Maybe you don’t know what you are doing while God is trying to tell you what to do, but you might not be listening to Him. You might think that God never listens to you, but the fact is that He is not trying to make it hard on us; He is trying to make it hard on the devil.
When you and I follow God’s system that opens the Kingdom of God everything that is involved in it blocks the devil. This should not be a struggle. The struggle comes from a lack of knowledge. It starts by not knowing what the plan is in the first place. Faith begins where the plan of God, the purpose of God and the knowledge of God is known. We need to allow the Word to renew our mind concerning prayer.
Let me ask you a question: “What do you see when you pray?” I am asking you this because we don’t think in words, we think in pictures, images and patterns. When you talk to yourself, that inner conversation that goes on, on the inside of you; you are hearing the words, but you are seeing the images!
There is a way of thinking. There is a whole body of thoughts that got into you from the time you were born up to now, if there never has been any renewing of it. And this whole way of thinking, if it never has been renewed by the Word of God might be leading you in the wrong direction!
There is a way that seems right to men, but the ways thereof are death. They look good and sound good because that is the way you always thought. The only way you can trust to change those thoughts is through the Word of God.
Let’s say, you have made a decision to pray about something and you go before God and you go on your knees. Now, what do you see in your mind’s eye? Where are you? Do you see yourself at the feet of Jesus? You might not even be aware that you are seeing something, but let me encourage you to look at it when you start to pray, what do you see?
That image has been developed since the day of Sunday school; you have a place where you go in your mind. And you need that place to be what the scripture says, not what you dreamed up or had formed in Sunday school or when you were a child or whatever. Find out! That is very important!
We begin with the answers to the prayer, not the questions! When you base every prayer on the Word of God, then you will have confidence. 1John 5:14
One of the great things about praying is being able to do it with confidence. Most people don’t have any confidence; they wonder if their prayer got any higher than the ceiling. They wonder if they broke through.
Hebrews 4:16 says to come boldly to the throne of grace; so we can come before God with boldness and with great confidence and when you say “amen”, it means “so be it”. In other words, when you walk away from your prayer time, you walk away with confidence. You know He heard you and when you know He heard you, you know that you have what you asked for.
That is God’s attitude of prayer. God never intended for prayer to be guess work; He never intended it to be something like when you are finished, you walk away and you wonder if anything had happened. He intended that when you say “Amen” that you walk away with confidence, that what I just asked God for; I know it is on its way and I know that God began moving on my behalf before I even finished the prayer.
God’s attitude about prayer is always: obtain, have confidence, come boldly; in other words, He expects it to work! He expects you to achieve something and to accomplish something when you pray. God never intended it to be something that you try to do and hope something lands. It is that when you pray, you get results. That is the way, that He expects us to approach prayer. It is that it is an avenue through which our source of supply meets our needs.
Somebody once asked me: “why do I have to ask God?” If He already knows my need before I ask, why do I have to ask? Because that is simply how He put it in the book. He said: “you have not because you ask not.”
And then again, He knows what I need before I ask, but prayer is communication with Him. It is being able to converse with the Creator of the Universe and it being able to know that you have the right to stand in His presence and do it with boldness and then when you come to the conclusion of that prayer, you walk away with the attitude; “I believe I have received it”.
What a privilege!
You need a new mindset about prayer itself, because prayer is not just always going to God with a need. Prayer is communication with God. And when you get in that higher level where you don’t think about prayer that is something I need to do when I am hurting or when I am in need. Prayer is communicating with God; it is fellowshipping with God. And in the process your needs get met.
We have all been there and done that, but it is time for the new and especially since the New Year is coming; 2012 will be a different year.
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