God, please give my family member strength and peace for her day. Please draw my co-worker closer to you. Lord, help me forgive. Thank you for getting me home through the snowstorm today. Oh no, I forgot to clean the guinea pig’s cage today! Guess I’ll do it before work…
Such is my prayer life. I’ve been a Christian for 45 years. I write to encourage others in their faith, and I’m the prayer team liaison for Candidly Christian. But my prayer life often seems tethered.
As a child, I learned there is a proper method and stance for prayer. I memorized the litany of catechism prayers, including Hail Mary, the Lord’s Prayer, and our mealtime and bedtime prayers. On my knees, hands together, head bowed, eyes closed, Sign of the Cross… Amen.
A few years ago, I learned that prayer is a way to spend time with Jesus. I poured my heart out to Him in my journal or my tear-stained pillow and He healed my hurts. But it was all about me.
As I grew stronger, I’ve wanted to share His peace through prayer with others. I feel the weight of other’s burdens and I long to lighten it for them. I wanted so much to be a prayer warrior, but no matter how hard I tried, my prayers never seem to take off.
Until I read “The Heart That Heals: Healing Our Brokenness Through the Promises of God” by Patsy Burnette.
In Chapter 5, “Bearing Up Others”, The Holy Spirit sparked a revelation when I read that the power of prayer comes from praying effectively.
When we pray, we should pray specifically with a desired outcome in mind… Our prayers should be effectual — to produce a desired outcome, and they must be fervent- marked by great intensity
I’m familiar with James 5:16 which says that “ the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” I’ve also read books about effective, fervent prayer before, but Patty’s words hit me differently. I realized that my prayers had no power because they were not specific.
I always thought praying with details was pointless because God knows the situation. In addition, Matthew 6:7 says “ And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” I didn’t want to be like the pagans, so I got straight to the point. God, please give her strength. The End. No babbling there!
As I read Patsy’s instructions to pray specifically, the Holy Spirit revealed that the details aren’t for God — they’re for me.
The next morning the Holy Spirit prompted me for a lesson. I was in the shower but, hey — when the still, small voice speaks, I listen! Despite what I perceived as an inappropriate method and stance for prayer, I obediently declared my burdens for others to the Lord in detail. In obedience, I spoke my prayers through the spraying water, presenting the details to Our Father.
I focused as I thought of my loved one and what I wanted for them. An urgency overcame me as I realized, this was my chance to heal them! I didn’t want to stop as I earnestly presented my loved one’s brokenness to the Almighty God of the universe pleading Here Daddy, please fix it!
And a strange thing happened: The burden on my heart came alive with passion.
As I prayed effectively, (specifically, with a desired outcome in mind), my prayers became fervent (exhibiting or marked by great intensity of feeling). And fervency is where a prayer gets its wings!
So now I’m a prayer warrior, right?
Not quite, but I have the tools to cultivate a prayer life that accomplishes much.
Lifting others in prayer is now something I get to do rather than something I have to remember.
Patty’s greatest wish for her book is not only to heal her readers, but to teach us to heal others. I pray that you will now go to Jesus and earnestly ask Him to untether your prayers. Don’t be shy. Tell Him everything that He already knows!
I could write many more posts about the healing I’ve experienced from reading Patsy Burnett’s book “The Heart That Heals.” I encourage you to get your copy today.
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