I got prayer all wrong in the past. I thought if I prayed and focused long enough for something like confidence I would be confident for the rest of the year at least if not for life. But sooner or later my doubts would creep in and I would wonder, “Where did my confidence go?” My prayer worked but my confidence only lasted for a while.
The thing I realized was that my confidence had an expiration date. I thought maybe I’m not being faithful enough. So then I would pray for faith thinking that if I prayed for it religiously for a week I would have faith for the rest of the year or for a couple months at least and that I would never have to pray for it again until when I was desperate enough.
Our Father in Heaven never meant for us to come to Him asking for specific things just once or even twice. He knows just how needy we are. He wants to have a connection with us all the time that’s why He uses our lack, our imperfections, and our weaknesses to drive us back to Him. But our human nature usually opts to wait for those desperate moments to bring them up in prayer when we can make a habit instead to pray about them throughout the day. Our faith and confidence expires for a reason and that’s because God’s does not. Isn’t His love so amazing to call us back to Him when our cups have run dry?
Prayer is undervalued because not everyone around you will see exactly how you’re benefitting from it as it’s usually a private activity. Only you will know more often than even the closest people to you that it actually works.
SO, EXACTLY HOW DOES ONE BENEFIT FROM PRAYING?
1. PRAYER PRODUCES CONFIDENCE. If it’s self-confidence you want more of, placing it in God is your best move. Sure you’ll find confidence in other things, but do those things build your integrity? When your hope and trust is placed in your Creator, your confidence becomes a firm faith, and you’ll be more positive and optimistic about where you’re headed in life, which means your worries and anxieties lessen, you gain more focus, and become more aware of the opportunities around you. Confidence says a lot about a person’s worth and without knowing your worth, who is going to believe you?
2. PRAYER STRENGTHENS OUR BOND WITH GOD & PEOPLE. The joy and peace we give to and receive from our relationships greatly depend on the strength of our relationship and oneness with the LORD. Our meditations to Him manifests as our internal dialogue, which has a great effect on the way we communicate with others. Prayer helps us make connections with people we have a hard time understanding or just getting along with because it builds patience within us as we realize how patient God is with us. The overall quality of life is enhanced through healthy relationships.
3. PRAYER HELPS US TO LIVE IN GOD’S WILL. Discernment is important if we want to make good decisions that keep us in alignment with God’s plan. As we become consistent with prayer, we are able to know quickly what ideas and suggestions are from Satan and what ideas and suggestions are from God. The wisdom we gain will help us to be more aware of the difference between conviction and condemnation that we might save ourselves from pain and suffering later on. His will becomes ours the more we accept it.
4. PRAYER HELPS US TO VALUE DISCIPLINE. Our confessions and repentance produces humility to continually welcome righteousness into our hearts. Prayer reaffirms that our goal is to have the characteristics of Jesus because when we display His qualities we attract like-minded people who help us make life a little easier. Self-control is such an important quality if anyone wants to make it far in life.
5. PRAYER HELPS COMBAT STRESS/ANXIETY & DEPRESSION. When the mind and body suffers, it is often the spirit that is overlooked. Prayer produces relaxation that is very well an alternative to medicine. Our God and Creator made us for Himself, and that is why when we worship Him with all our being, He really is everything we ever need. Prayer encourages us to forgive easily, which protects us from anxiety and a host of others mental illnesses as well as cardiovascular disease. He heals our hearts and minds as we live more for Him.
Mark 11:24 – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)