Prayer and decisions
In my previous article, I talked about some practical ways to improve your prayer life. The book I mentioned ("A young woman after Gods own heart" by Elizabth George) described a three-step pattern that can help us make better decisions in our life:
1. Wait to make decisions so that you can
2. Write them down on your prayer list and then
3. Wait on God for direction
Elizabeth George has a prayer principal; “No decision made without prayer!” So when you are faced with a decision, instead of making it straight away according to what you feel, make a decision through and after prayer. Add on your prayer sheet a list of decisions you must make. Be faithful to bring them to God in prayer each day and ask him for wisdom. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
Prayer and relationships
Prayer results in improved relationships. When you pray for others, it forces you to think of others. Prayer is an act of love that changes your heart, and causes you to care more about others as you carry them in your heart. We can pray to God for improved relationships with anyone, including:
- Parents: Ephesians 6:1-3 and Colossians 3:20 tell us to obey our parents. This can be included in our prayers.
- Friends: 1 Corinthians 15:33 and Proverbs 18:24 tell us to choose our friends wisely which can greatly influence our prayers.
- Boyfriends/Girlfriends: Concerning boyfriends and girlfriends, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, 7 tells us how we should behave in these types of relationships.
- Enemies. Luke 6:27-28 tells us to love, do good to and pray for our enemies!
No matter who we pray for, prayer can make a difference in our relationships with them. The book I read talked about picking the person you dislike the most, and praying for them constantly for a month. This dislike could be replaced by a growing compassion and understanding.
Prayer and worry
Matthew 6:34 and Philippians 4:6-7,11-13, tell us to be content and not to worry. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 1 Peter 5:7 says; “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Pray at all times
Prayer should be a top priority. Jesus demonstrates this in Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” We should all set aside time each day. Sometimes this gets hard as life gets busy, but something is better than nothing and God wants to hear our voices. Making prayer the first thing you do in the morning can be beneficial as you can dedicate your fresh new day to God which can make a difference in the day. This may mean just setting the alarm 10 minutes earlier. We should take seriously the privilege of prayer and never underestimate its power. James 5:16-18 demonstrates how powerful prayer is. We should pray always (Ephesians 6:18) and everywhere, enjoying God’s presence wherever we go (Joshua 1:9).
This is what God wants; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Hebrews 4:16 tells us about our attitude as we pray and the results.
Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
I hope the tips in this article, and the previous one encourage you to develop a prayer diary and to begin regularly committing time to God in meaningful prayer.