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What I Have Learned About Prayer
Author Andrea Picarelli
What I Have Learned about Prayer
I grew up in a Christian home and I was confident that I knew how to pray. I used to think that prayer was like ordering a pizza. You simply ask for what you want and how you want it. I thought when my prayers were not answered it was because either God was punishing me or that what I wanted was simply just not Gods’ will. I thought that I was just not good enough for God to bless me the way he blessed others.
Recently, I have learned that my approach to prayer was all wrong. It is not like ordering a pizza at all. I can ask God for things but I should not be telling God how I want and how I expect things to transpire. I learned to approach prayer with humility and flexibility. I should ask for what I need but not be so rigid in my expectations in how things transpire. I have learned to pray, have faith, and trust that God will work things out for the best.
I had to learn to trust in God and his wisdom. Heavenly Father does know what is best for us and we must be patient and trust. I have learned that sometimes God sees and knows something that I am unaware of and he will answer my prayer but not as I expected it to come about. Other times God knows that what I am asking for is actually unhealthy for me and he re-directs me to something better suited for me.
Gratitude is very important part of praying because when we are not thankful for what we already have then how can we expect to be blessed with more by God? I used to be guilty of focusing on everything that was wrong or lacking instead of what is going right and the many blessings in my life. Then I learned from Oprah Winfrey about keeping a Gratitude Journal and this really helped me to change my thinking and see how blessed I am already. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have you will never, ever have enough.-Oprah Winfrey
I then started to thank God every morning and every night for my many blessings. It was not long after this when I started to make progress with my prayers. My life became much more abundant and I had more to thank God for. God started to work miracles in my life. If I look at it from the view of a parent I have a better understanding of it. If you have an ungrateful child that does not appreciate anything that you give or do for them are you really going to want to give them more? I have learned that I have to thank God for all that I have and all that I am. I must thank God for all that he provides for me on a daily basis and for my answered prayers. “Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value in your life.”-Northrup Chistiane
Now instead of using my old pizza order method of praying I start out with thanking God for all that I have and what is going right in my life. Then I ask God to help me become a better person and break bad habits. If something in particular is weighing on my heart I ask God to heal the situation or help me to see how to accept it and learn from it. I ask God to help me to be a light and blessing to everyone I come in contact with each and every day. I pray that I do his will instead of my will and live up to my full potential. I thank God for answering my prayers and blessing me with plenty of food, clean drinking water, and all other necessities. I thank God for my family, my dog, and for protecting us.
There have been many times in my life when I was in overwhelming situations that seemed impossible. During one of these situations I felt like I was in a dark tunnel and there was no light in sight. I felt hopeless, distraught, and could not see a way out. All I could do is pray so I kept getting down on my knees, humbling myself before God and praying for a miracle. During this time I learned to walk in faith. Scripture gave me a great deal of comfort during this time.
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven- Psalm 107:28-30
God did come through for me and blessed me when I needed him the most. I had to learn to be patient and walk in faith. I had to trust that when the time was right that God would open a door for me and he did. I just had to keep praying, be patient, and keep the faith. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”-Mark 21:24
Time and time again God has always provided for me since I learned to walk in faith and just be patient. I have noticed that when I worry instead of walk in faith that I only bring on more to worry about. When I trust God to provide, keep praying, remain patient he always comes through. A good example of this was in January of this year when I my car broke down and shortly after I suffered an unexpected financial loss. First God provided me with a newer and more reliable car. Next God provided me with a way to pay for the newer car and continues to do so. In spite of my financial loss I have not lacked for anything. I always have plenty of clean drinking water and food to eat. From this I have learned that God takes care of his children. When I feel fear or start to worry I remind myself of what the Bible says. “Ask and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be open to you.” Matthew 7:7
“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”-Luke 18:7
Sometimes as humans we doubt what is possible. We forget just how powerful God is. We must remember that God is the divine creator that created the earth and everything on earth. We forget that miracles occur every day like the birth of a baby, the sunrise, and more. God has worked miracles in my life when I thought all was hopeless. When I am worried about a situation in my life that seems hopeless I reflect on this scripture. “He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." –Matthew 17:20
Once I learned that praying is not at all like ordering a pizza my life has changed for the better and my relationship with God has been enriched. My faith is growing on a daily basis. I pray more and worry less. Now that I am more flexible in my expectations I see more prayers being answered. Gratitude enhances prayer. The more gratitude I show to God the more I have to show gratitude for.