Prayer can seem like a tricky thing. Sometimes it's straight forward. But like any conversation with anyone, the results of a conversation with God can sometimes be hard to understand. There is a learning curve, but it's no harder to climb than the ones we overcome with each other. In fact a sit-down with the big guy can in many ways be much easier. God doesn't always answer with what we think should happen, but the good news is, he always answers with fairness for everyone and love for anyone who prays.
Every article and video in this package comes based on one thing, my own learning process. I started this process with unrealistic expectations and weak prayer, asking God to help me understand why my words were so ineffective. Months later, after a string of lessons, my prayers became much stronger and much more effective. Through prayer, I'm able to gain things now that I couldn't have even imagined before.
So how did I make my prayers stronger?
I took the steps that are illustrated below. And in the interest of helping others, I've posted them in curriculum-like form. I recommend using them in the order they're presented.
Can, and how, do we actually talk to God?
An article that clears up the many mistakes people make when both talking and listening to God. This one is a must, but if you want more information you can also continue by reading about my own experience in
The first two in the above series have the necessary information, but for supporters, Can We Really Talk to God? (pt 3/3, Resources for Supporters) also packs some great, external, personally checked articles and videos that help cover the subject.
Earning vs Mercy
There is no tally. There is no list. God owes us nothing. He's just being a good parent. Work with it and your prayers will get stronger.
How improvement of our behavior effects prayer
We grow up with so many spiritual contaminants that, for the most part, they aren't just accepted. They blend into every day life so well that we're often not aware they don't belong. Habits and addictions are especially hard to recognize and move away from when they help soften the blows struck by this life. Thing is, we often aren't told that the rewards of breaking such behaviors are far greater than those we get from engaging in them.
Think about this in a technical way. Our human made machines communicate best through clear lines. Take radio waves that go between phones and cell towers. They travel well through a clear environment, but not through one that is contaminated with blockages, like metal walls, etc. This principle applies in our communications with God, and sin can contaminate those lines of communication. God can hear us no matter what we do. But on the flip side, contaminates can not only prevent us from hearing him, they can open doors to the misguiding language of the enemy. Therefore one of the most important components of strong prayer is to come to God and pray with the cleanest heart possible.
That doesn't mean you should give up if you're not ready to break certain behaviors. Prayer is beneficial no matter who you are and what you're doing. But what I learned through experience is, the more we break bad habits, the stronger and more effective our prayer becomes. God opens doors through sacrifice. This is one of the biggest reasons I wrote the articles below.
An article that gives a non-judgmental view of the stigmas, the acceptance and the forgiveness of sin.
Improving behavior can be done. Here I give some realistic tips on how to do it, along with some of my own experience.
The first two in the above series have the necessary information, but for supporters, Sin, a Realistic View (Part 3/3, Resources, Supporters only) also packs some great, external, personally checked articles and videos that help cover the subject.
Vengeance does not mix with wisdom and Prayer
Praying for revenge does no good for anyone. If you do pray for it and get it, it's likely not coming from God. Those brothers and sisters with poor behavior... as much legitimate anger as we may have toward them, they're not just our family, most importantly they're God's. And when God sees that we're willing to put aside our anger and pray for what's right for all of us, those open doors of his become more numerous. So as hard is it is (it was incredibly hard for me to learn) we need to help even those we feel cannot or should not be helped.
Praying for the enemy is completely anti-intuitive. It goes against not only basic instinct, but long-time, deeply engrained modes of dealing with social conflict. And yet it’s beneficial to everyone.
Wisdom vs Intelligence
In prayer we need more wisdom than intelligence. This video is not specifically about prayer, but it does address the need for wisdom along side of intelligence and can help enhance prayer.