Prayer–you know you should do it. You even want to do it. But for some reason, when you bow your head and close your eyes, nothing comes to mind. You feel blank, unable to conjure up a single request. Or maybe you know what you want to pray for, but you’re not sure how to say it. After all, doesn’t God already know about this? Perhaps you find yourself always saying the same thing, over and over, till even you’re tired of hearing it. These instances leave you discouraged, unsure if you’re connecting with God, and not really wanting to pray more.
These are not uncommon prayer problems; in fact, most people go through struggles like these. Prayer is something that we all know about, but many of us don’t understand how it’s done effectively.
I don’t pretend that I’ve got prayer all figured out. I definitely don’t. But I do believe that it’s important. I believe that God answers prayer. And I believe that He desires me to talk to Him about my life. And so I keep trying, even when I feel like it’s not working. Because it’s not about what I feel–it’s about what I know to be true. And this is what I know is true:
God hears our prayers if we are His children.
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12)
God answers prayers.
“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” (James 5:16-18)
Jesus prayed (so it must be important!).
“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” (Hebrews 5:7)
God is pleased by prayer.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
If all these things are true, then I can trust that my prayers (and your prayers) are not worthless. He does hear us. So continue to pray, even when you feel blank or tired or bored or grumpy or even guilty. He wants to hear from His children.