“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
Do we ever wonder if our prayers reach the ears of God? Are we praying the right way? I know God is not Santa Claus or the tooth fairy, there to meet our every desire. Even though the opening scripture sort of sounds that way, doesn’t it?
The asking, seeking and knocking is how we seek God’s will for our lives, not a new car or home. We can certainly pray for Him to bring us those material things though. Seeking God’s will for our lives is trickier than asking for a new Porsche. Sometimes, we request something God knows is not the best for us. He knows, so we keep asking, seeking and knocking.
We should always pray for His will in our lives. We are His sons and daughters. Don’t you always pray the best for your own children? Imagine how much more our heavenly father wants for us.
How can we know we’re praying the right way? Being a bookworm, I have numerous books meant to answer that very question. Prayer is not a Christian duty. We’re relating to someone who knows us better than we know ourselves. Just BE in that relationship! Even though He already knows our fears and desires, tell Him anyway. Sometimes we just need to hear it coming out of our own minds.
My friend and Bible study leader taught me a way to pray that you may already know. It’s the ACTS way. A-Acknowlege, C-Confession, T-Thanksgiving, S-Supplication.
I can see why the A-Acknowledge is first. How often when we pray do we forget to praise our Father, our Creator, our Savior, our Friend? I used to, but that familiar saying about prayer kept tormenting my mind. Complain and remain. Praise and be raised. God is still God, even in the bad stuff. Surprising things can happen when we give God first place in our lives.
Next we take a moment to Confess anything we’ve done to offend….God, or others. What opportunities to be kind have we let slip through our fingers?
Step 3 is Thanksgiving for all that we’ve been given, remembering that it all came from God. Don’t you like it when your children acknowledge or give thanks for the things you do for them? Surely God likes that too!
Step 4 is Supplication. That’s how most of us know to pray. We pray for our family and friends. We pray for mercy and forgiveness. We pray for the impossible. We pray to know God’s will!
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26 (NIV)
There are a thousand different ways we can pray. Perhaps we don’t have the time or inclination to pray half-hour or more every morning/evening. We can pray all day. Like everything, it has to become a habit. Praise God for His creation when watering the landscape. Pray for family/friends while waiting in line or stuck in traffic. Pray for America and our leaders BEFORE you turn on the news. Proclaim thanks all day long…for big blessings and little blessings. I say “Thank you Jesus. Good save!” every time I keep myself from falling.
God just wants to know we’re thinking about Him. In faith I believe He hears me. I expect Him to answer me and in real life I see God’s answers because I’m looking for them. And no, God doesn’t always answer the way we want. How many times have we looked back though and thanked Him for not answering our prayer?
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
Psalm 145:18-19 NIV
So yes, I do believe our prayers reach the ears of God.
Thank You for being a Father to all of us. All we have to do is call out for you…and then expect You to answer.
Help us to relax our minds about whether we’re praying the right way or not. You know our hearts and we know how much you want the best for all of us!
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