A Dwindling Prayer Life| By Jasmine Beard

“Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray Thee Lord, my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray Thee Lord, my soul to take

If I should live for other days

I pray Thee Lord, to guide my ways

Amen”

This was my first encounter with prayer. When I was a little girl, my aunt bought me a stuffed animal that had a recording of this prayer in it when you pressed its paw.

Every night I would hop into bed, tuck my head underneath my covers and whisper this prayer to God. God was not someone I really knew or even knew much about, but I believed. I believed He existed, and I really enjoyed saying this prayer to Him each night.

Years went on, and I slowly forgot about my stuffed animal and the little prayer I said to God each night. As I approached teenage years, my prayers were as if I was wishing at a wishing well, rather than having an intimate conversation with my Heavenly Father.

This all changed when I was confronted with my sin and the love of Jesus Christ at a summer camp at the age of 15. I opened up and told God the whole truth – how I had sinned and how I was so in need of a redeemer like Him. He was gracious and gladly welcomed me into a relationship with Him as He does for all of His wayward children. I dove deep into His word and deep into conversation with Him.

But over the years, I would go through highs, lows, and even lulls in my prayer life with God.

In 2018, I found that I was fed up with the highs and lows of my prayer life and dove into simply asking God, “what is prayer?”

Webster defines it as, “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.”

As you can imagine, this definition did not help me much. I was looking for a Holy Ghost answer, something that would knock me over and leave my prayer life never the same.

To my surprise, God showed me what prayer is not.

Firstly, Prayer is not regurgitation.

We learn this from Jesus himself in Matthew 6:7-8 (NLT)

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.

8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!     

Secondly, I learned that Prayer cannot be paired with unbelief,

“I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” Matthew 11:24-24 (NLT)

Lastly, I learned that Prayer is not for show,

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6 (NLT)

After the Holy Spirit showed me what prayer is not, He compared a believer’s prayer life to intimacy within a marriage. He showed me that just like a marriage cannot thrive or be sustained without intimacy, neither can a Christian’s life/walk with God thrive or be sustained with the absence of prayer.

We are already one with God, but prayer is the continuation and sustainability of our marriage with God. I do not know about you, but I would not want to be in a relationship or marriage with a man who does not talk to me.

Just like intimacy in marriage must be paired with vulnerability and exposure, so should our prayer life be with God. We must learn to get naked before the Lord. Take off the masks, the church lingo, religious speech, and lies before Him.

Our Heavenly Father sees all things and knows all things. We do not have to cover up our heart, our hurts, questions, or disappointments when we come to talk to Him. He actually welcomes all of our concerns and longs to change our way of thinking, our hearts, and our circumstances.

Maybe you find that your prayer life is in one of the three categories I mentioned above. Trust me; I have been there. However, this is not where your conversation with God has to stay.

Today, I want to encourage you to just get real with God about everything. Do not be afraid or allow the enemy to tell you that God does not care about your situation. Your Heavenly Father longs for intimacy and closeness with you. He is not looking for you to have the right things to say, but for you to leave nothing unexposed before Him.

“The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalms 145:18 (NLT)


Praying With Boldness| By Tori Savoy

Throughout my life, I have come against some mighty adversities. I have learned that no matter the battle, the outcome is determined by fighting on my knees in prayer. When I began to come before the Lord with boldness and confidence in prayer, I saw mighty things changing in my life.


As Christians, I think we sometimes take prayer for granted. It is something we do from the moment we are saved, but sometimes it so easily becomes a chore. We begin to recite typical Christian phrases to sound “holy” in our prayers and feel good about our prayer quality. It can so easily become a rehearsed speech rather than a conversation with our loving father.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Matthew 6:7

As a young child, I would pray fervently – believing all my prayers would come to pass. However, as some prayers over the years went unanswered, I began to doubt the importance of my prayers. Instead of believing what I was praying, I slipped into a routine of praying passively. I would only pray for the things that seemed attainable – mostly things that I could control the outcome of.

Although I did not suffer from deferred hope with this method of prayer, I also did not see the hand of God in my life. It was not until into my early marriage that I truly began to see the power of my prayers. I am sure you’re thinking my mind was changed when God miraculously answered one of my prayers. Actually, no. I realized the power of my prayers when I saw that the devil was threatened by them.

Early in my marriage, God placed on my heart to pray for my husband and our marriage. At first, I did not understand why. We had no specific marital problems and were still basically in that newlywed  stage. Nonetheless, I listened to the leading of the Holy Spirit and prayed over my marriage and truly believed every word I spoke over my husband and I.

Later that evening, something broke loose between the two of us. I do not remember the exact circumstances, but both of us became edgy with one another. Sitting up that night, frustrated at my husband, God revealed to me that this very thing happened because of my prayers.

The devil, seeing how powerful my faith was during that prayer time earlier that morning, decided to shake my faith and put a stop to my prayers.

If the devil becomes threatened by your faith, he will do everything in his power to remove the source of your faith. He wants to leave you hopeless. Your faith and your prayers will stop him right in his tracks and leave him powerless.

Once I realized this, I knew the devil, not my husband, was the real enemy. In that moment, I rebuked the devil and began to pray even harder. If my one little prayer that morning intimidated him, I would pray several more times a day until he was powerless. Never had my faith in prayer been stronger.

Today, not only have I seen the benefits of praying for my marriage, but as well as other areas of my life. When I turned my prayers from praying passively to praying with boldness and confidence that God can accomplish the impossible, I began to see chains break and things restored.

“…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” James 5:16

At the head of 2019, I am proclaiming this the “year of prayer”. I encourage you to join me in praying with boldness and faith as we see strongholds break and lives made new this year. I pray over each of you proclaiming freedom, peace, abundance, joy, success, and unending love.

“Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.’ If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.’’ Matthew 21:21-22