Prayer can be intimidating if we don’t trust that God will actually listen to and answer our prayers. We may see prayer as an obligation rather than an opportunity – and end up praying not much and then feeling guilty. However, if we learn to pray confidently, we can enjoy the process of praying because it is there that we wake up with us in the presence of God.
What does it really mean to pray confidently?
Praying with trust means trusting that God will meet us in prayer because He cares for us. 1 John 5: 14-15 assures us that we can pray to our loving God with confidence: “And this is the trust we have in him that he will hear us when we ask something of his will. And when we know that he hears us in everything we ask, we know that we have the requests we made of him. ”It is possible to pray confidently because God will listen to us and us with love respond according to his will, which reflects his great wisdom and strength.
All we have to do is show up, do our best to communicate with God, and then trust that God will respond in the best way and at the best time. The more we devote ourselves to prayer, the more trust we develop in it.
5 Ways We Can Learn To Pray Confidently
Here are 5 ways we can learn to pray confidently:
1. Approach God with awe and humility. If a sin in our lives has removed us from God, we may lack the confidence to pray. John 9:31 reveals, “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but when someone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” We should be reverent and humble as we approach our great God , confess our sins and accept God’s help and forgiveness so that we can come into His holy presence with a clear mind and an open heart. We can confess God directly: “When we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us of our sins and purify us from all injustice” (1 John 1: 9). We can also confess to our brothers and sisters in Christ: “Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is mighty and effective ”(James 5:16). Once we have dealt with all of the sins we must confess, we can be confident that we will come to God with our prayers. “Beloved, if our hearts do not judge us, we will trust God,” 1 John 3:21 assures us.
2. Let go of formulas. We don’t have to worry about following any formulas when we pray. God will still accept our prayers if we don’t use formal language when speaking or if we don’t sit still with our eyes closed. God will still listen and respond when our thoughts are disorganized or our emotions are raw. God will meet us where we are if we pray naturally, and His Spirit will help us express what we really want to pray. Romans 8:26 assures us, “… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. Because we don’t know what to pray for, but the Spirit itself steps in for us with a sigh too deep for words. ”We don’t need formulaic methods of prayer; All we need is a real desire to communicate with God.
3. Try creative options. We can feel free to try prayer in new ways that change our prayer routines. The creative ways to express our prayers are limitless and include writing, drawing, singing, and dancing. We can pray silently anytime, anywhere, for example while driving, walking, or cooking. The most important thing is that we pray in a way that really inspires us to communicate with God. My book Wake Up to Wonder describes how to go from being an obligation (just one more thing on a to-do list) to praying to an opportunity. Every time we pray we have the opportunity to have a wonderful encounter with God. The excitement of the amazing experiences we can have with God can motivate us to pray. Every time we are encouraged in prayer by God’s miracles, we can become more confident in communicating with God.
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4. Listen and speak. Prayer should be a two-way conversation between us and God. So after talking to God we need to listen to what God has to say to us. God promises in Jeremiah 33: 3, “Call me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things that you do not know.” By calming our minds and focusing on hearing from God, we can discern messages that the Holy Spirit sends into our spirits during prayer. It can be helpful to keep a prayer journal to record whatever we feel God tells us after we have prayed. The more we pay attention to God’s answers to our prayers, the more trust we can build because we can see that God really answers.
5. Expect great answers from our great God. We can also develop more confidence in praying by expanding our prayers. Instead of just praying small prayers (for situations that don’t require much help from God to change), pray large prayers (ask God to step in and do what only He can do). We can remove limitations from our prayers by remembering that God “can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine according to His power at work” (Ephesians 3:20). Invite God to do something greater than we can ourselves in any situation we present to God in prayer. Dare to ask for great answers from our great God! As Jesus encourages us in Matthew 7: 7: “Ask and it will be given to you; Search and you will find; knock and it will be opened for you. “
How confident prayer changes our spiritual life
If we pray confidently, we will see our spiritual lives change for the better. Fear will decrease and peace in our life will increase. “Do not be concerned about anything, but in everything through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which is beyond understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus ”(Philippians 4: 6-7).
If we are confident during prayer, we will have the faith to pray for the best of God, not just for what we want. So our prayers are not restricted by our limited perspective. When we pray confidently, we are praying for God’s will to be done instead of trying to convince God to follow our own plans. These pure motives, fueled by the confidence that we can trust God to do what is best for us, welcome God to intervene powerfully in our lives.
Confident prayer also changes our spiritual lives by helping us pray through difficult situations and waiting for God to answer at the best time. Faithful prayer helps us to follow the counsel at Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in adversity, faithful in prayer.” Trust helps us go beyond simply praying one-off prayers for God’s help and instead struggle persistently in prayer to see God’s power come into situations and transform them.
The ability to communicate with our Creator in prayer is a blessing that we can accept with confidence. Learning to pray confidently will bring us closer to our loving God, who always wants to meet us. As Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our need.” Let us look forward to the miracle that we will experience during our times of prayer with God can discover!
Photo credit: © GettyImages / Made Suta / EyeEm
Whitney Hopler is the author of the book “Wake Up to Wonder” and the blog “Wake Up to Wonder”, which help people achieve success through experiencing awe. She heads communications at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University. Whitney has worked as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations including Crosswalk.com, the National Salvation Army publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel about angels and miracles). Connect with Whitney on Twitter and Facebook.