And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
When you plant a seed in your garden, do you get discouraged the very next day when you don’t see any growth? Do you walk away and abandon your garden altogether? No, of course not. We trust that if we plant a seed in fertile soil and faithfully water it, that it will grow and eventually bear fruit.
Our prayers are no different. In fact, you could think of praying as planting. With each prayer to God, you’re planting a seed. And when we faithfully pray; truly putting our trust in God, our prayers will take root if they are in accordance with his will.
Likewise, a tree takes years to grow but when fully developed, people can enjoy its shade for generations. In other words, our personal prayers to God become our legacy.
However, the concept of prayer is foreign to too many people. There’s a common misconception that prayer must be formal, elaborate, and well articulated. While that’s not true, there are some simple and practical ways to improve how you pray.
- Pray like everything depends on God, but work like it depends on you. In other words, trust that God will put in place what you’ve prayed for, but don’t assume he’ll do all the work while you sit back and watch. Our God empowers us, strengthens and comforts us, but he’s not an enabler. Remember, we can achieve great things when we put our faith in Christ (Phil 4:13).
- There is power in laying hands on someone during prayer, but prayer is not limited to your proximity. The power of prayer is held by the Holy Spirit, not in how close we are to what or whom our prayers are directed. When you feel prompted to pray, then pray. God hears our prayers no matter where we are.
- Practice a humble prayer posture. The most common one: on your knees. When speaking to God, this simple practice keeps our spirit humbly in tune with His. “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father (Eph 3:14 ESV).”
- Carve out time every single day to be still and listen to what God has to say in response to your prayers. If we don’t attune our spirit for his whispers, we can’t learn to recognize his voice. And if we don’t know his voice, we’ll never be able to discern his direction for our lives.
When you’re done reading this, take just one minute and pray to God. Ask him for what you need, or give thanks for what you already have. Then, find time today and listen to what God might have to say to you in return.
Today’s author: Mark Henderson—Founder of The Inspired Legacy
Mark is a creative professional with more than 20 years experience in the fields of web design and advertising. He also serves as the chief content officer at The Inspired Legacy, an online ministry dedicated to shining a light on God’s gift of parenthood. The organization aims to inspire and equip fathers to boldly lead their families, love their kids unconditionally, and leave a legacy of grown children that carry on these same traditions. Mark resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with his wife, Kimberly. Together, they have three children, two girls, and one boy.