Its days like this that I can get caught up in the lies that the Enemy eagerly offers up:
- You’re bad at prayer!
- You’re not holy enough.
- God won’t listen to your in-eloquent babble.
- Dull prayers mean you are a dull Christian.
Does this sound familiar? Ladies, we need to tell that devil to shove off. Is our Christian life so centered on us that we put the weight of answered prayer on our shoulders? Don’t allow it. Re-center your heart on Christ and banish those thoughts.
Take comfort in God’s Word: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27
These are glorious words for us to hear! Here is what you (and I) need to understand about prayer:
- Only God’s words are perfect. We may pray “pretty” words one day and trip over our tongues the next; your verbal eloquence does not affect how God’s ordained plans will be carried out in your life.
- God is searching your heart as you pray, he is not administering a vocabulary quiz.
- You may not have the perfect words to say, but if you are a believer, you have the perfect Holy Spirit within you to communicate for you.
- God loves you and wants you to come to him in prayer, never stop praying because you feel inadequate. We are inadequate, that’s why we pray to an all-powerful God!
We need to be intentional in prayer and to honor God in how we talk to him. But never think for a moment that fancy “Christianese” words or how we feel during prayer indicates whether or not God hears our prayers and certainly not how he responds to them. Don’t take God’s place in the orderly gift of prayer.
Our words have no mountain-moving power. Prayer is powerful only because of the Hearer who receives it. He is the one who can move mountains in your life and in those you are praying for. And he does hear your prayers, “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.” Proverbs 15:29. If you are a believer, God is listening to you (what a crazy-awesome promise).
After having my share of belly-flop moments in prayer (private and even embarrassing public ones), I truly rejoice knowing that the results do not depend on my tongue. God has ordained that prayer be a means by which his great purposes be accomplished in human lives. His grace is not dependent on my verbal prowess or lack thereof. I speak to my Father because he is in charge and he is forever faithful. I encourage you to do the same.