By LaVondilyn J. Watson
Do you believe that God cares about your life?
Let me let you in on something.You truly do matter to Him. You are His creation and He wants desperately to fellowship with you. He wants to know what’s on your heart, what’s weighing you down, what’s lifting you up. He’s the best friend you could ever hope to have – He’s honest, trustworthy and totally committed to you.
But just as in any friendship, the key to continued growth is communication. The more you talk with (not at) someone, the closer you will grow to them, the deeper the relationship will become. Not only does God care about your life, your wants, your needs, your joys, but He wants you to care about His! He wants to share His heart with you as well—His desires, His joys, His plan for your life.
Prayer facilitates this kind of exchange! Prayer is simply communicating with God. It’s a two-way conversation that solidifies your relationship with your Creator. It can be a beautiful, desirable time of connection…if you know how to effectively do it.
Here is my four-step process to prayer:
1) Praise – Begin your prayers with praise. Thank God for His goodness, for His kindness, for being the amazing Light in your life! This is where you pour your heart out to Him and tell Him how much you love Him. The Lord inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3). And He loves to be praised and adored (not to mention how worthy He is!). Make this the first thing you do when you go to God in prayer.
2) Repent – Romans 3:23 reminds us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” None of us is perfect. So, undoubtedly there are some things you wish you hadn’t done – lies you may have told, anger you may be harboring, unrighteous thoughts you may have entertained, sins you’ve committed. If you confess your sins before the Lord, He is faithful and just to forgive you (1John 1:19). Repent – ask for forgiveness and then don’t commit those same sins again. This is an important step because if you have iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not hear your prayers (Psalm 66:18)
3) Ask – Now you are free to ask anything of the Lord! Jesus says in Matthew 21:22, “And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” Do you need His intervention in a situation? Do you need a particular blessing? Provision, protection, grace, favor? What do you need? Ask your Father. Your God shall provide all of your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:19). In that same chapter Paul reminds you to, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Do you have a request? Ask Him!
4) Yield. So you’ve, praised, repented and asked, but in order for it to be a conversation, you must listen. This is the most important part of the process because it does you no good to talk at God and not wait for His response. He wants to respond to you, but you have to be available to listen! Spend some time in quiet expectation. Look for His response around you – perhaps through the lyrics of a song, or the kind gesture of a person, or maybe through a revelation that leaps from the pages of the Word. He will respond! Make sure you are open to hear what the Lord has to say to you. The Word says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). Look for Him. He’s heard your prayer and if you’re open, He will respond in due time.
Use this four part process whenever you pray to God.
PRAY is a simple, effective way to communicate with Him that covers all bases – it allows Him to know how much you love and appreciate Him, it helps you to make sure you’re in “right standing” when you approach the throne, it allows you to make any requests you have known and it gives you room to hear all that He has to say to you.
Imagine if you did this several times a day? What kind of relationship do you think would come as a result?
LaVondilyn J. Watson
Contributing Writer, B.L.O.G. Magazine
LaVondilyn J. Watson coaches women of faith, just like you, on tapping into their faith to overcome obstacles, live their lives on purpose and bring glory to God through their living! For a free 60-minute coaching on “How to Respond When Trouble Comes,” join her online community at www.EncourageTheKingdom.com.