The Prayers That He Answers

“He hears every word we say, when we pray.”

I have lots of thoughts about prayers swirling around out there and showing up here and there in my journal.  Remember my post about praying continually?  Recently, I went back through the list that I made back then and added some more prayers we are told to pray.  This list helps me many times when I don’t know how to pray or what to say.
1.       That the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified (II Th 3:1)
2.       That the Lord of the harvest will send laborers into his field (Matt 9:38)
3.       That my faith fail not (Luke 22:32)
4.       For one another (James 5:16)
5.       That we be one as God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one (John 17:11)
6.       That I may have my joy fulfilled (John 17:13)
7.       That he keep us from evil (Matthew 6:13)
8.       That he help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)
9.       Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34)
10.   Thy will be done (Luke 11:2, Matthew 26:42)
11.   That my love abound more and more in knowledge and wisdom (Philippians 1:9)
12.   To be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9)
13.   For them that despitefully use you (Matthew 5:44)
I am challenged to make prayer a bigger part of my life.  I have actually had this blog post sitting around for quite a while unfinished.  I'm glad now that I haven't posted it yet, because I knew so little about prayer.  I have learned a little more through experience, but mostly, I have learned how much I don't know.  In a way, however, it is simple.  I sometimes try to over-think it.  Prayer is just communion with God--a holy God who wants to hear us pray.  
Many things should cause us to lift our hearts and voice in prayer to God.  Reading God's word should inspire prayer.  A trial, a need, a desire, a care, a worry, a burden, a thanksgiving, a question--all should be taken to God in prayer.  I think He especially delights in answering our prayers when we pray for a spiritual need.  Pray for a trial to teach you something, and just see how quickly God works.  If you are in a trial, pray that he will not take you out of it until you learn what he wants to teach you.  Try it.  It is harder than it sounds.  I tried it this summer with two circumstances.  It took me a while to get to the place that I could pray that way, but as soon as God showed me what I could learn through staying in the trial, I could say from the heart, "Don't take this trial away until I have learned your way."  It was amazing how quickly the trial began to disappear after I prayed that way. I even had to pray again that he would let me stay in it a little longer because I didn't feel like I had fully learned my lesson yet.  Those are the prayers he answers.
Then there are also the little prayers.  Are you at work and things get a little stressful?  Is there someone at school who is making life hard?  Do you ever get in a bad mood at home and know you need to "snap out of it"?  Say a prayer, and don't forget to thank Him later when he calms the waves.  He cares about our day.
The scariest thing, however, is always the unknown--our future.  Have you prayed about your future?  Do you know that God has a plan?  It pleases Him when we look to Him as we make plans and dreams.  Sometimes, it is harder to see him answer these prayers, but be assured that he has heard them.  Look back on your life and see how God has guided you in the past.  It is amazing, isn't it?  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  He will continue to guide you.  It is you that must continue to follow.
Do you see how important prayer is and how much it should be a part of our daily life?  I will close with a quote that always challenges me (especially when talking about prayer):

"Let us remember that talking and writing about prayer is not praying. The devil does not care how much we discuss and applaud the subject, so long as we do not pray. A book on how to pray is good, but the best and only way to learn to pray is to do it." --How to Resist the Devil

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