12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.I often wonder about my prayer life? Or lack there of? I pray daily, but like many I'm not as consistent as I should be. Or better yet, it's not that i don't pray enough, but maybe I don't pray in the right way or with the right attitude. Can you relate?
What I mean is we can pray regulary, religously, and set aside a time to pray, but if we are praying with a bad attitude or selfish motives, or only because we want something, I think it sort of defeats the purpose of prayer.
Prayer is communication with God and we can communicate with God anytime we want. His ears are always available, but one thing we need to understand about prayer is that it's not request hour. And just because we ask, or ask repeatedly doesn't mean God is going to answer our prayer in our way or in our time. Praying is giving something to God and trusting Him to do what is best according to His will and sometimes His will involves us not getting what we want, our way, or when we want something.
Secondly, prayer is not only our opportunity to communicate with God it's our opportunity to offer Him praise/worship. We don't like it when we have a friend or family member who only calls us when they want something. I can imagine God kind of feels the same way. Now God wants to help us, He wants to talk to us, and He wants to bless us, however, as part of having a relationship with Goid we must spent time daily praising Him, worshipping Him, thanking Him, and just talking to Him because we enjoy His presence. I am guilty of going to God with all "my junk" or "to do list" but not taking the time to just enjoy Him or spend some time gloating on Him. God doesn't have an ego or insecure like we are, but God is creator and sustainer of life and giver of salvation, He does deserve and demand praise. If anyone deserves to be praised it's Him, He's God, only one who is perfect!
Thirdly, we need to learn God isn't Santa Claus, an ATM, or a Jeanie. We can go to Him anytime, but we can't never go to church, never read our Bibles, not have a relationship with Him and think we can just go to Him and expect instant results. I see so many times, people do not go to church or claim any relationship with Jesus, yet they think they are Christians (I guess because they aren't Jewish or Catholic?), but Christianity is just a name, it has to be given to us by accepting Jesus, only when you follow the salvation process are you then a "christian". People nevre pray or seek God until they are in a bind, then they go to God and pray and don't get their way and they just confirm in their minds God doesn't care? But, let's be honest, if someone treated you like crap, used you, and talked bad about you, then came to you for a favor, would you want to help them?
I don't think God answers our prayers according to our goodness, but I do think He considers our faithfulness. You can't go to God with your christmas wish, or like running to the atm to get a withdrawal, or rub a lamp and get all your wishes. God desires a relationship with you and once we realize that and learn to talk/communicate/pray to God on a regular basis, not based on what we want or will get, but because we love God and want to praise Him and trust Him with all our lives, then we are starting to get what real prayer is about.
I encourage all of us to pray to God daily, multiple times daily, but strive to learn to talk to God just because, take moments just to praise Him, or thank Him. Take time to ask God for things you want or need, but let God know ahead of time regardless of how or when He answers our prayers, we trust Him and know He will do what is best for us.
How is your prayer life? How often do you pray? How do you pray? Some things for us all to think about, maybe we've been going about it wrong?
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.