You can experience a prayer breakthrough by holding an honest conversation with God when you are feeling intense emotions. This can lead to a closer relationship with God where your prayers will become much more than just reciting holy words. Here are some ideas to help you learn how to honestly talk to God about how you feel.
My Memorable Prayer Breakthrough on a Snowy Night.
A memorable prayer breakthrough came for me when my children were young and we lived in a small but adequate home. During a snowy evening, two relatives stopped by for a visit. They stayed rather late, deciding to spend the night on the sofa-sleeper in our living room. Due to multiple circumstances, I was not happy about it. In fact, I was angry. I was so angry I could not sleep.
As I lay in the bed fuming, I felt like I had no place to go for retreat. Remembering a small walk-in closet in our bedroom, I quietly arose with my Bible in hand and entered the humbling cubicle amongst clothes and shoes. I carefully shut the door so as not to disturb my husband, switched on the ceiling light, and sank down on the carpeted floor. I opened my Bible, looking for comfort, but could not concentrate. Even my prayers seemed to stick in my throat,
In the silence, I sensed the Spirit of God prompting me to talk about my anger. At that point He helped me to realize that my anger was no secret to Him. I began weeping as I poured out my heart to Him. That night I experienced the cleansing, healing power of His love and mercy. Soon after, I was back in bed, sleeping soundly, filled with strength to face the next day-come what may.
Through that experience I learned (and am still learning) that prayer is the heartbeat in our relationship with God. It is so much more than reciting holy words; it is conversation with the Creator and Sovereign of the Universe. It is communion with the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and best friend. It is being transparent. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (NIV) Prayer is the tool by which we seek and find this Kingdom of mercy, of hope, of help, and of love and forgiveness.
If you’d like to begin your own journey into prayer talking honestly with God to deepen your relationship with God, consider trying the following ideas.
1. Recognize your moment of emotional need as an opportunity to pray.
In the story that I have shared, I was feeling angry about a situation in my life. Your moment can come any time you are having a strong emotional reaction such as fear, grief, disappointment, frustration, worry, anxiety, pain, anger, sorrow, depression, loneliness, or rejection.
God invites us to come to Him in our moments of great emotional need. The Bible says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
2. Find a place apart where you can be alone with God
This may seem like an impossibility like it did for me when my house was full of sleeping people. Maybe you have small children with many needs, maybe you are a single parent or a widow or caregiver with a full time responsibilities. Maybe you feel like there is no time much less space to be alone with God. The Lord understands.
Luke 5:16 says, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
When the crowds were pressing, when His disciples weren’t listening, when Jesus was worn out, He found a place to be alone with God. For you, it may mean stepping into a closet or the bathroom, in the shower or in the car, during your lunch hour or while little ones take a nap. Some of us find ourselves awake at night or in the wee hours of the morning during a stress full or difficult circumstance. Latch onto those spaces of time when God calls you to spend time with Him. He will show you when, where, and how if you ask Him.
3. Realize that God already knows what you‘re feeling and knows everything that has happened to you.
In the Bible, John tells a remarkable story of how Jesus sees us. As Nathanael approaches Jesus for the first time, Jesus greets him then gives a short description of who Nathanael is. “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” (John 1:48 NIV)
God sees us, He knows us, He loves us, and He is honored when we call out to him in prayer.
4. Express your emotion to God in a way that feels natural and authentic.
You can be transparent, be yourself. God knows you anyway. You can talk to Him as you would a respected, trustworthy friend. Hebrews 4:15-15 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (ESV)
5. Believe that God is there with you and is listening.
God has promised to be with you. He said He would never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Sometimes I kneel at a chair in the bedroom and visualize the Lord sitting there with His hand on my head as if consoling me while I pray.
6. Continue to pour out your heart to God until you feel peace.
Once you have said all you can and the tears are no longer falling, you may want to read scripture. The book of Psalms touch on every emotion known to man. I have found so much comfort throughout that book in the Bible.
7. Thank God for caring about you personally.
“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7, NIV)
8. Find more opportunities to learn how to talk honestly with God about your life as it happens.
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Copyright RuthEllen Boerman 2016. All rights reserved.