Hey! You made it! Glad you are here. I was wondering when you would drop in. So…have a seat, grab a fresh cup of coffee and a notebook. While I have been waiting, much more thinking and processing has gone through my brain about what to say. So…ahem…here we go.
Ok. A sip of my coffee first…aaaaahhhhhh. Much better.
The secret to prayer is…
There is no secret.
Boom! There you go. Problem solved! I’m glad we had this chat.
Huh? What did you say? That’s it? Yeah, that’s it. There is no secret to prayer in the Christian life.
Wait, where are you going?
Ok, calm down and sit back down.
Look, I have searched for a number of years to find out what secret code, password, prayer format, prayer position or what posture, prayer blanket, shawl or towel I need so I can unlock the code to break through to Heaven and get God on the other end of the line so he can hear my impassioned plea for him to do what I believe needs to be done. After all, this is a crisis! Well, in my eyes it may be.
Or maybe we all just need to calm down and remember that God is God. A holy God, a righteous God who manages the universe that is held in his hand.
My discovery: We already have God’s undivided attention
What I have discovered is that there is nothing we can do, say, put on, or contort our bodies to do so that God drops what he is doing in the throne room of heaven and give us his full, undivided attention. We already have that. He is already waiting to hear from us. As John Eldredge likes to remind us “There is a way things work.”
“The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.” (Proverbs 15:29 NIV)
The righteous are not the people who will say “I have never done anything wrong.” The righteous are the people who will say “I have been redeemed and made righteous in Christ.” These are the people whom God loves to hear from.
Now there is one prayer that God does hear from the sinner and that is the prayer of repentance. Turning from the sin in your life to God is a prayer he will never reject.
We have it in writing: He hears us.
Back to my original thought. The prayers of those who are called by his name will be heard. We have this in writing:
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NIV)
This is not a blanket covering that says anything we ask for we get. No, the words “according to his will” keep this promise in perspective. So, are we actively praying for God’s will to be done in our lives? Are we praying to be walking in step with God, with who he is and what he is ordaining us to do? If not, this may be a place to start in prayer.
The first step is to actually pray.
The first step in praying is to actually pray. Simple concept, I know, but many folks looking for the magic formula to connecting with God don’t understand that prayer is simple communication with the only God who hears and sees us.
Jesus encouraged prayer and taught his disciples how to pray. He taught them a basic prayer that still works today. It is a point at which you can begin to pray:
“Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-10, 12-13 HCSB)
The only true God of heaven and earth wants to have a relationship with you. You can start today with this prayer.
Thanks for stopping by. I’m going to go freshen up my cup of coffee.
Stay as long as you wish. Pray for as long as you wish.
I’m here to help, if I can.
Remember, you are loved just as you are. It’s unconditional.
Grace and mercy are given for free.
There is nothing you’ve ever done, said, thought or dreamt of that God cannot forgive.
You are loved.
Other articles by David Shelton
Copyright 2017 © by David E. Shelton, ASCAP All rights reserved.