You! Let’s talk about you.
If you don’t learn to pray for yourself, you won’t be able to pray effectively for others or for the Kingdom.
Yes, a bold statement. If you align your prayer requests with God’s purposes in your life, you will be able to target prayers to receive your answers. If you haven’t learned to pray for yourself, how can you pray for others?
Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened. If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?” (Matthew 7:7-11)
If your prayers aren’t answered, then how can you teach others to pray? There is nothing wrong with praying for yourself. If you don’t learn to pray for your food, your finances, your relationships, and for a car – if needed – how can you teach others to pray for their daily needs?
Taking care of yourself is a prerequisite to taking care of others. Jesus said, “Physician, heal yourself!”
Through 50 years of following Jesus, I have learned the following when I pray for myself:
- It is better to ask amiss than to not ask at all. I learn much from unanswered prayer! A father never gets mad if a child asks for the wrong thing. I ask for everything.
- I ask big and bold. If my son comes to me every day and asks, “Give me a sandwich.” Day after day! I will get irritated and think, “Doesn’t my son know that he doesn’t have to ask for a sandwich? He should go to the kitchen and make himself a sandwich.” But if my son comes up to me and says, “Dad, I want to open a restaurant, so will you give me the money that I need?” I’m thinking, “My son went to chef school, he has great recipes, and he works hard. Yes, I’m giving him the money.” Learn to ask for the restaurant and not the sandwich.
- LEARN THIS! Big prayers are a joint venture. There is a point of obedience with God’s answering your faith prayers. I had a great earthly father. I asked him for a motorcycle, a car, all sorts of clothing, a college education, and many other things. He would always say, “You do this, and I will do this.” If I did what he asked, my earthly father kept his promise. Your Heavenly Father keeps promises.
A great prayer life is relational.
When you pray and when you ask, God is God and you aren’t! Answered prayer moves God from an indulgent Father, that we all want Him to be, to our Father in Heaven, who loves us and works according to His (and ultimately our) great purposes.
Warning! Learn to avoid introspective “self-pity” praying. There was a time in my life when I noticed my prayers overly focused on all that was wrong, what I was upset about, and only my needs. Little else; I was consumed with myself.
Me, Me, Me!
There is a difference between “me” praying and prayers with God’s intentions. When you ask, seeking first His Kingdom – mountains will move.
My Heavenly Father has given me a nice house, business partnerships, cars, trips around the world, a great wife, wonderful children and grand-children, a church to pastor for 48 years, and the time to ride a bicycle every other day.
What are your prayers?