1. Pray with thanksgiving…regardless of expectations.
It guards our hearts because we appreciate God’s work in our lives even when we may not know or understand what He is up to. What we do know is that God knows what’s best for us. Therefore we must: “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:17-18).
If we lose a heart of thanksgiving, the dangerous result is that our hearts become susceptible to bitterness, resentment, discouragement, and even defeat. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
2. Pray with great wisdom.
There are two great pains in life: The first is that of not receiving what we want. And the second is actually getting what we pray for. “Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few’ (Eccl. 5:2).
Pray for help in doing what God is blessing, not just what you are wanting. Which is critical in the next principle…
3. Prayer is not forcing God to do something for you.
Billy Graham said prayer is not pulling God closer to us, but aligning snuggly to Him. Jesus said it well, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Even Jesus allowed God veto power.
Of course, if we do try to force God to do something for us we may lose something precious in the bargain. That’s what the Bible warns: “They lusted exceedingly…and tempted God in the desert. And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul” (Ps. 106:14-15). Be mindful, otherwise we may get our way by demanding it of God, but our souls will be barren.
Trust that the Holy Spirit will not only answer our prayers for our lives, He’ll go a step further…
4. He will answer the Father’s prayer for our lives.
“The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words… because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:26-27).
My heart needed this today. Did yours?
This was taken straight from New Hope’s website. I have no idea if that’s allowed but my purpose was not to claim it as my own – it is not – but rather I wanted more people to read it! To see the original click here.