Do You Approach Prayer in a Healthy Way?
How do you approach prayer? Do you treat it as a conversation with your best friend? Do you approach God like you would an acquaintance? Or maybe even like a genie in a bottle? What if I challenged you to take a close look at how you approach prayer and consider that none of these are the best way? You may initially disagree with me, because the first approach sounds pretty spot on, doesn’t it?
Let me explain why I believe none of these are the best or healthiest way to approach prayer and what I believe is a healthy way to approach it.
First, while Christ should be our closest relationship I don’t believe that seeing Him as our best friend is quite the right attitude. While there are aspects of a best friend relationship that would be good to mirror in our approach to Christ, this is not a healthy way to see Him. We must be careful not to view Him as an equal.
Rather, our approach should be as a child to a father. Now I realize not all of us have had a healthy relationship with our earthly fathers or even a relationship at all and therefore, this makes it difficult to imagine what a perfect father/child relationship is suppose to look like. I could probably be the poster child for this in how I've struggled with it my entire life. But, I can say at this point how thankful I am that these struggles have been so very real to me because God has used them to show me that I'm no longer fatherless, but I am a child of God. Royalty. An heir. We're so blessed that we have His Word to show us just how to approach Him. Just how deeply and perfectly He loves us.
Let's look at the healthiest way to approach prayer.
Acknowledge that He is our Father.
Just as I've already pointed out we need to see Him for who He is and that is simply our Father. (The study of the Hebrew meaning of Father would give us a great deal of insight and would be worth digging into.) Acknowledge that our relationship with God is one of highest respect. That we see Him as our provider, our caregiver, our protector, as one who loves us more than anyone else.
This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name.” Matthew 6:9
Don’t sugar coat your conversation with Him.
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Matthew 6:7
Simply tell Him your need trust and believe.
And stop there. He doesn’t need to know the options in how He should respond to your prayer. He doesn’t need to be given Plan A, B, C etc. Mary is a great example of this when she simply tells Jesus that the host of the wedding they were attending was out of wine. She told Him and left the rest up to Him.
Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
Acknowledge that you don’t even know how to pray and need His help.
Praying in the Spirit is simply praying with the Spirit’s help and leading us how to pray.
Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26
Approach God humbly admitting that you’re a sinner needing forgiveness.
We're all sinners. We all need forgiveness. We won't reach perfection until we see Him face to face.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Psalm 66:18
Acknowledge that you can’t do anything without Him.
We all also face temptations every day. Be careful never to think that you've arrived or that you can do anything on your own. It is simply a lie...don't buy into it.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7
The Bible is our manual. It offers so much more than what I've offered today. In fact, we can talk about prayer many times over and the conversation would be different, yet the same, right? I encourage you to dig in for yourself and see what He'd like to say to you today about how you approach prayer. I know I've been guilty of all kinds of various unhealthy approaches to prayer. From fast-food mentality to losing it somewhere in the junk drawer of life. My prayer for you and me today, dear friend, is that we would have a healthy approach to prayer and a thriving relationship with Jesus.
What have your struggles been as you approach prayer?
A sneak peek at the Free Downloads Library
For your pinning pleasure!