Once I learned that prayers were more than requests, my prayer life changed completely. I found out that prayer was more like a ceremony. It was more like a ceremony of interaction with God. Interaction and communication are key elements when it comes to prayer. Prayer is a form of communication where both parties are engaged. It shouldn’t be a passive recitation of memorized lines that sound good but that are empty at the same time. When we get into prayer, we engage with God and He actively engages with us. Prayer exalts the Lord and puts Him at the center of our focus. It is an engaged act of adoration and surrender. God comes first when we pray. Our request and needs come last. Why? If we put Him first everything else will be added into us. When I started to look at prayer from that angle, I started seeing things I had never seen before and I started experiencing a level of God’s impact on my life that I had never had before. Prayer is that time when God imparts His presence and changes us on the inside. Today I want to encourage you to be actively engaged with God when you pray. See prayer as more than words. It is a beautiful love letter from your heart to God’s and from His heart to yours.
When I say that prayer is a ceremony I am not saying that it is anything formal. I think that “formal” makes it less intimate and more complicated than it is. Prayer is time set aside to be with the Lord and to magnify Him. It’s a chance to give Him credit and to learn about Him. It’s a two-way street where we can walk to God and He walks down to us. God is the center of prayer so we should expect Him to show up. What if you don’t see Him or feel Him? He doesn’t live in our feelings. He always shows up and we know that through faith. Faith is what fuels our prayers. Faith makes it all happen. The Holy Spirit is also a main player in prayer. He gives us the desire to pray. You might not be aware of it but the Spirit of God leads you to pray. He does it subtly or He can do it in a big way.
When you feel an urge to pray, it’s the Holy Spirit knocking at the door of your spirit. You open the door by getting into prayer mode. What happens after that is up to you. You can continue to be led by Him or you can do your own thing. The Bible says that we should open up the gates with praise. Starting prayers with praise is what made my prayers stand out from what they used to be. It is what made me see prayer more as a ceremony or a time of adoration. Jesus should come first in our prayers and He is in our praises so entering prayer with praise is like giving Him the front seat. I spend a good part of my prayer time in praise. I glorify Him. It is a precious time. Joy comes in. Peace shows up. Praise and adoration are fun times! They make prayer time a more personal time with the Lord. I sing songs I know or songs I have made up. What matters is that I start prayer with praise. I go into prayer through the gate of bliss and joy.
Gratitude and thanksgiving are a natural segue during my prayer time. I thank the Lord for His kindness and His goodness. I thank Him for the people in my life. I give Him the glory for saving my life. Then I ask Him to guide me and to change me so I can be more like Him. I give Him anything and everything I am holding on that is getting in the way. I ask for forgiveness and I forgive those who have not treated me well. I also pray for them. Then I pray for my family and friends. I keep a log of people’s prayer requests and I thank the Lord for answering those requests. Now, during the whole time after praise and adoration I remain attentive because the Lord often interrupts me and gives me messages. I sit there and listen. It is quite a wonderful daily experience. I love being “interrupted” by the Lord. His voice is what I want to hear.
Prayer is such a personal and intimate event with the Lord. I pray that your prayer time is always the best time of the day. I pray that you get to know Jesus more than anyone in the world. I pray that you realize how powerful your relationship can be with the Lord. I pray that He floods your spirit with revelation and your heart with His love. I pray that you pray every day and that every time you get more and more in love with Jesus!
Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:12; Psalm 102:17; Philippians 4:6