Christians are meant to know joy and peace, and that isn’t possible unless we know how to pray and have confidence in its power. God actually needs our prayers because there is a great deal He desires to do and cannot do unless someone asks Him to do it.
It seems impossible that God would need us for anything, but since He works through us, He does need us. Obviously, God can do anything He chooses to without anyone’s help, but He has committed Himself to partnering with His children and that is amazing.
If we want to do much for God, then we must ask much of God. Paul says that God is …able to do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think… (Ephesians 3:20). Satan desires that we not pray at all, or if we do pray, that we ask for very little. He hates bold, aggressive, confident prayers. Just think of your own prayers and how often they are attacked in some way.
For example, the phone rings while you are praying and you feel compelled to answer it. Or someone has an emergency just as you are about to pray, and you have to change your plans. Or you suddenly become sleepy shortly after you begin praying or you have difficulty focusing.
How about this one: Even if we succeed at putting time into prayer, the devil will immediately suggest to us that our prayers were not “right”—that we didn’t pray about the right things, pray the right way or pray long enough.
James 5:16 in the New King James Bible says the “fervent” prayer of the righteous person is powerful. The word fervent may give us the idea that our prayers need to be intense. Although that is one part of the definition, fervent also means “to be sincere and heartfelt.”
My prayers are usually simple, but they are sincere. I think the devil wants us to believe that prayer should always be hard work and that we need to feel deep emotion concerning what we pray about. That may be the case at times, but it is the sincerity of our prayers and the faith offered with them that makes them effective—not what we feel or how loud and long we pray.
Be cautious not to let the enemy deceive you concerning the validity of your prayers. When you pray in faith, know that God hears you…and He will answer in His way and timing.
And that’s the memo.
By Joyce Meyer