I want to ask you a question: Do you believe your prayers are really making a difference? Think about it: deep in your heart, do you ever wonder if God is hearing you when you pray? When your finished praying, are you convinced that your prayers have accomplished something? Are you satisfied with your prayer life? If you are like many others, your are saying, "Yes!" Since Interacting with others, I've realized that people really want to pray; they want to know that God hears them and that their prayers are effective. In fact, I recently read about a survey done in 2005 on more than eight hundred pastors in the United States. The survey revealed that only 16 percent say they are "very satisfied" with their prayer lives. That leaves an overwhelming 84 percent who feel their prayer lives could definitely be better. Like the pastors in the survey, I believe there are countless others who are un-satisfied with their prayer lives. They're not sure God is really listening when they talk to Him; they don't understand why some prayers seem to go unanswered and wonder if their praying 'right' or praying enough. One of the most important prayers a person can ever utter is: "Lord teach me to pray." As I've heard before; it's not just, "Lord, teach me to pray," but, "Lord, teach me to pray." I believe many people today are asking the same questions the disciples asked nearly 2000 years ago: "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). Even though they spent a great deal of time with Jesus, listening to Him, learning from Him and watching Him work miracles, they still felt the need for His instruction on prayer. The disciples went to Jesus as a group asking Him to teach them to pray, but as I made that same request as an individual, God answered me and brought a wonderful improvement to my prayer life. Such as:
-I have moved from praying panic-driven, selfish prayers (prayers that come from one's mind, will, or emotions) to Spirit-filled, faith-based prayers.
- No longer do I approach God in fear, wondering if He will really hear me and send an answer to my prayers. I now approach Him as His Word teaches me to do, and with great expectation.
I believe if you will ask God to teach you to pray, you will also experience great changes in the way you pray, tremendous satisfaction in your relationship with God, and a refreshing freedom.
I took this photo on a beach in Maui, Hawaii. During my time there I had some of the most amazing experiences with prayer and seeing how God can use His breathtaking creation to move us deeply.