The 10 Misconceptions Of Prayer

The 10 Misconceptions Of Prayer

How many of us make prayer a last resort? Or how many of us do the classic, "Dear God, thank you for this day, please bless my day, Amen" type of prayer as we hop in our cars on the way to school?
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We miss out on so much in life when we limit how much time we spend talking to God. Believe it or not, you can talk and pray to God about anything and everything. He desires to take you on life's greatest adventures and reveal to you life's biggest mysteries.

I hope that by addressing some of our biggest misconceptions when it comes to prayer, your prayer life will be rejuvenated and you will seek to have conversations with your Creator every moment of the day. It will no longer be something that you just check off your list of to-do's, but it will be something you desire to engage in all the time!

The 10 Misconceptions of Prayer are...

1. That prayer is a one-way street.

The best relationships are the ones where both people are mutually communicating with each other. Everyone knows that if it is only one person talking to the other, the relationship will eventually fail.

We often talk to God like He's a wall who just sits there and listens without saying a word. We also have the tendency to just talk and talk and talk - which is fine! God loves hearing you talking to Him, but He also wants to talk to you. He wants to give you advice. He wants to encourage you. He wants to give you the wise council you need for your circumstances.

The more you practice being completely still and just waiting in His presence, the clearer you will hear His voice and His promptings in your life. This will make your life exciting! You will start loving prayer because you will look forward to hearing all the wonderful things God wants to share with you.

2. That God only listens to you when you've been a 'good' person.

God is a Holy God, but since He so desired to communicate with us even while we were sinners, He sent Christ to die on our behalf so that if we receive Him, all of the sin that separates us from God is washed away clean, and we can approach God boldly and confidently knowing that we can have a relationship with Him regardless of what we have done in the past or what we will do in the future. Therefore, God will never shun you or turn away from you when you communicate with Him.


3. That prayer is powerless unless you take action too. After all, God only helps those who help themselves, right? Wrong.

No where in the Bible does it say that God only helps those who help themselves. In fact, the Bible says the opposite - it says that God empowers the weak and makes strengths out of our weaknesses. In life, there are going to be many times where we are too weak and powerless to overcome our problems. But that's why God is here to help. He's not going to watch you fall and stand watching until you regain the strength to get back up on your own. As a loving Father, He will come swiftly to your aid as long as you pray and ask for His help. He is always there for you, and He will never leave you nor forsake you.



4. That prayers ought to be soft, little meek statements in which you beg God for the things that you want.

If you are a believing Christian, embrace the fact that you are a child of God! You can come boldly before the throne of the Father and pray with authority. Pray humbly but powerfully. God is attracted to prayers that are prayed out of faith. He wants you to come before Him already knowing that He is listening to you. You don't have to beg God for anything! In the Bible, Jesus says to just ask Him, believing that you have already received what you have prayed for.

I once heard a powerful, true story of an old woman who lived alone in a village that was far from town. Every time she needed to go to town to buy necessities, she would have to take an extra long route because a huge mountain was in her way. The older she got, the more tiresome it became. Then one day, she decided to stop complaining about it and just pray about it! She didn't beg or plead with God. Instead, she prayed saying, "God, I know you are powerful and strong enough to remove this mountain and ease my commute into town." Several weeks later, city authorities came to her home and told her that they would be building a highway near her home, and in order to do so, they would need to use explosives to remove the mountain. They even paid her a sum of money to compensate her for any inconvenience caused! What an amazing miracle.

You see, begging and pleading with God would be implying that God is a shallow, sadistic being who only answers your call if you act desperate enough. The truth is that God desires to meet all of your needs. You just need to ask confidently with faith. Remember, you don't need to pray for victory; you pray from victory. In Christ, you are already victorious!


5. That if you don't see the answer right away, your prayers have not been heard nor have they had any effect.

A prayer delayed is not a prayer denied. Think of your prayers like this: Every time an ax is swung at the trunk of the tree, it makes a deeper cut. It doesn't usually take just one swing to chop the whole tree down - it takes many swings, and with each swing the tree comes closer to being cut down. This is usually the case with your prayers. You might not see any visible results quickly, but know that God is working actively behind the scenes on your behalf. Just wait for God's timing - He knows what He is doing

6. That prayers ought to use lots of great sounding 'Christian' words.

God loves childlike faith, so He welcomes and cherishes all prayers. Remember, He is looking at your heart and the faith that you have in Him, not at how fancy your language is or how eloquent you sound. And prayers sometimes don't even need words - if you don't know what to say or have nothing on your mind to tell God, your silent waiting in His presence is a prayer to Him. Or sometimes if you're too sad or too burdened to say anything, just sit in His presence without trying to put words to what you're feeling. God knows. He sees you in every moment of your life. You don't need to sound like your pastor in order for God to hear you and meet you where you are at.



7. That prayer is boring.

Prayer is only boring if you make it boring! It's boring if you treat prayer like it's a task - just something to check off your list of to-do's. The truth is that prayer empowered by the Holy Spirit is so exciting because you never know what new things God will reveal to you in prayer or what/who He puts on your heart to pray for. The fun part afterwards is watching how God works to answer your prayer. God is so creative - He does not always answer your prayers in the way that you expect, but He always answers your prayers in the best way possible

.


8. That once you've prayed about something, you never have to pray about it again.

Many people think that they don't need to pray if God already knows everything or if they've already prayed about it. The truth is, God already knows what you are going to pray about even before you've prayed it! So why pray? Well, it's because He wants you to talk to Him! And He also wants the opportunity to talk to you. He wants to enter into a partnership with you.


9. That the only 'real' prayers are the ones done in church when you're kneeling down prostrate before God.

The Bible says to pray without ceasing. This doesn't mean you are on your knees 24/7, 365 days a year praying. But what God is saying is that prayer is not a duty that you commit to do once or several times a day. It's a lifestyle and an attitude of prayer. As you go about your day, you commit all of your thoughts to Him, whether it be an emotional struggle you are facing or an uncertainty you feel. You can even bring to Him your happy moments! He wants to share that with you. Happy, sad, confused, or worried - bring all of your thoughts to Him, every one. He will bring you serenity and peace. He will guide you. He will realign your thoughts.


10. That God will only hear the prayer of a practicing Christian.

God listens to anyone to cries out to Him. In the Bible, there are countless stories of ungodly, evil Kings and murderers who cried out to the Lord and He heard them. So, you don't have to be this saintly person in order to earn your right to be heard by God. You don't work to earn anything from God - He freely gives, and He wants you to come to Him as you are. He desires to be in a relationship with you and He just wants your honesty - He always knows everything about you and loves you regardless.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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You Ain’t Waiting For God To Bring You Your Dinner, You Get Up And Go Cook It

My words often get jumbled and don't make sense, so I figured writing it would help me come across clearly.

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Dear guy friends of mine,

I want you to know how grateful I am for your friendship. Having close guy friends has helped me better understand men and learn how the male species operates. I've been able to ask you so many questions and you've responded with thoughtfulness, kindness, grace, and honesty. I appreciate your willingness to talk to me.

I want to encourage you in something, and with some of you I have tried, but I think I came across as a little crazy. From what I've been told by married women, guys are very afraid of actual crazy. You want your girl to have some crazy (because all women have at least a little bit of crazy), but you don't want her to be, like, crazy. I get that and respect that.

I want to encourage you to ask girls out. It's scary. You're afraid of rejection. I know this because several of you have told me so. I recently spoke with a guy who's been married for a few years and has a baby daughter. He told me that you guys are scared, you don't want to put your heart on the line and have it crushed. That's a good reason not to pursue girls: you'll remain safe and free from hurt if you don't put your feelings out there.

But here's the other side of it: You'll never find that girl if you never search for her. Now, I know that all things happen in God's timing and as imperfect humans, we can't force things to happen outside of God's timeline. However, Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Dallas, Texas said this in a sermon several years ago:

"But something's happened in evangelical circles where if you're single you're supposed to not want to be married, but be content in a spot and that's somehow more glorifying than following God's wiring of you to want a mate. And so in the end what happens is that you walk around like a liar. I mean, poor young ladies! Almost all of them have been told, "As soon as you're content, God will send you a man." So you've got hundreds of thousands of women running around acting content! "I'm content, where is he?" You've got other guys going, "You know, I'm just gonna wait for God to bring me the right one." Well, you ain't waiting for God to bring you your dinner, alright? You get up and go cook it."

Pastor Chandler goes on to say that he's not telling the guys to go on the hunt and prowl. No! He's telling guys that they have a role to play in pursuing a woman to marry. Girls have a role to play, too. Girls can't just hang out with their girlfriends in hopes that they'll lock eyes with Prince Charming while in the grocery store or walking their dog in the park. No, girls need to build up the guys in their lives and respect them by letting the guys be guys and giving them opportunities to be gentlemen. That's what I appreciate about you guys, my guy friends. You are such gentlemen and I love that. Don't be afraid to ask out the girl that you think is sweet, cute, pretty, funny, kind, silly, honest, loyal, and the right amount of crazy. You've got this!

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