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August 21, 2023

Ep.1295: How Can I Transform My Prayer Life? (Part II)

Discussing the practical everyday questions that make prayer work

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Play Part I

CHAPTERS

[00:14:07]
How am I presenting myself to God in my prayers?


[00:29:32]
How can I pray when I don't feel grateful for anything?


[00:46:04]
What are some reasons we don't pray and what can we do about them?


Theme Scripture: Jeremiah 10:23

In our last episode, we talked about many big-picture aspects of how the humbling and amazing privilege of prayer works. We learned that, as is usually the case with true Christian discipleship, there is much more to praying than talking to God about things and letting him know what we need and want. Today we will focus on the details of our prayer life. We will look at many of those simple questions about the practicality of prayer. Questions like, how do we fit prayer into busy lives? How do we pray when we are not feeling grateful for anything? How do we know if God is answering our prayers or if we are just making up answers? 

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Obviously, prayer can be tricky.

Here are a few examples of how we can become disillusioned. First, we can get very excited when we think about Jesus saying, “Ask and you shall receive,” so we pray when we want something from God. We have really good reasons for wanting it, so we tell him what’s on our mind and then look for His answer. Time passes and we don’t get what we want. Now we get all bummed out. We don’t understand. We were supposed to receive, just like Jesus said! What we asked for was a good thing, and we’re trying to be a really good person. Why didn’t God respond favorably?

We pray, but maybe we hold back with a few secrets.

Another example. We pray about a challenge we really want God to handle for us. We are detailed and sincere in our request, as we believe this issue needs serious divine intervention. As we pray, we think about some other things we have fallen down on but decide not to pray about those things. After all, they aren't as pressing for us. Besides, we feel like we really don’t want to talk to God about them anyway. Again, time goes by, and we don’t seem to be getting the answers we are looking for. What’s wrong? Doesn’t God see how important this challenge is to us?

These two examples are just the tip of the iceberg regarding the kinds of challenges many of us have with prayer. They typify some of the mystery and disappointment we can face when our prayers don’t produce the kinds of results we are looking for. What are we supposed to do?

Check out our August 21, 2023 podcast, “How Can I Transform My Prayer Life? (Part II)” for some perspective. We take these basic questions and combine them with several others as a starting point for examining the intricacies of prayer. What we find is fascinating! Prayer is a powerful privilege in the lives of Christians that enables us to approach God through Jesus with our requests, our praise and our issues. But here’s the thing. Sometimes we confuse the purpose of prayer to be a tool of fulfilling our preferences instead of following God’s providences. Join us as we ask the questions, learn the differences and apply the lessons to a stronger prayer life!

 

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