When it comes to prayer; it would seem that everyone and their mother has the best formula for doing it. However, I’ve often found myself wondering just how much of what is out there on the subject isn’t just out and out garbage. Perhaps the formulas offered are nothing short of deception; put out on the web by church leaders just looking for docile sheep to add to their flock? Thankfully though; The Bible tells us a few things that have helped me personally to come up with a format, which might actually help you.
The thing The Bible demonstrates to us is how folks, particularly in the Old Testament, were talking to God in direct fashion; as you and I would speak to each other face to face. “True!” This is largely because they really were talking to a physical manifestation of the Lord in a face to face sort of context. However, there were often times when the Lord didn’t make any kind of visual, or even physical, representation of himself available to His people. But, “Yet,” they spoke to Him; trusting that He would hear them.
For example; the servant of Abraham was tasked with finding Abraham’s son, Isaac, a wife. However, rather than attempt to carry this task out completely on His own; in Genesis 24:12-14 the servant called upon the Lord for assistance.
Per the account; the Lord was nowhere to be seen or felt in any way, shape or form. “However,” the servant made His request for assistance in finding Isaac a wife, with no pomp or circumstance, and the Lord obliged him by sending forth Rebekah. The servant simply trusted that He would get a response; not questioning for a second as to whether the Lord had His ears on at that moment.
There are many accounts in The Bible, from cover to cover, that show us beyond a doubt that effective prayer is anything but, “Complicated.” There is only one crucial step to effective prayer; added by Jesus himself in the New testament. That step being that we talk to God, “In the name of His son Jesus.”
Of course; what I’m driving at here is that we should be talking to God just as we would anyone else in our lives; fully believing that He is right beside us and all ears. Our faith that His son Jesus did in fact exist and die for our sins, of course, is essential to this process. Therefore, our conversations with God should always start with, “In Jesus name,” or, “In the name of Jesus,” depending upon the syntax of our words.
If you are a bit confused as to why Jesus is essential to talking with God; you might want to think of it this way. “Jesus,” is the password that gives you access to your account with, “God.” God will not hear a word you are saying if you don’t log on to His domain with your “truthfully” expressed faith in Jesus, “First.”
Personally; over the course of a day; I write down things in summary that I feel the need to share with the Lord in verbal conversation; my War Room being the perfect place for these private exchanges with the Almighty. The things we cover during these War Room Chats fall into four categories.
- The things He has done over the course of my day that I’m grateful for.
- The things that have come up during the course of my day, which cause me concern.
- The matters (often concerns) that come up during the course of the day I am trusting Him to handle, either through me, another party, or directly; the choice always being His.
- The things I would like to see happen if He will allow them to; desires triggered during the course of my day.
“Yes!” I’m having these War Room meetings with the Lord before I turn in for the night. “And,” I must say, “I’ve been sleeping like a baby,” waking the next morning feeling fully refreshed and ready to begin a new day ever since I started doing this.
“True,” I’m using some of the people management skills I’ve picked up over the years to efficiently conduct these, often late night, War Room Conversations with the big guy. However, I find that it’s a lot easier to talk to God “out loud” if I’ve got an outline in front of me to work from.
Too, as I run through each category with Him, I’m pretty much guaranteed to hit on the essential points of the day I want to go over with Him; all simply because I took a few moments to fill in the things appropriate to each category; making it a point to do so while my day was still in progress. So, if you are thinking that I take notes on my day in preparation for my night time conversations with the Lord, just as a student would do in a classroom in preparation for the next test, “You’d be write.”
Do you have to use the categories I’ve mentioned above to converse with the Lord? “No,” you don’t. However, God is in many ways like a person and people like to be thanked for the things that they do; to know what you expect of them, to be given options as to what they may or may not want to do for you, etcetera, etcetera. So, when you talk to God, you might just want to keep the conversation human; viewing the Lord as a living breathing person with feelings; treating Him the way you would want Him to treat you.