Years ago when I started out praying for Dick and others I ran into some problems— I was focusing on the wrong thing.
Here are some problems people have with prayer:
- Focusing on the “right” techniques of prayer
- Focusing on happy feelings alone
- Focusing on how big the need is
- Focusing on how much time you spend in prayer
- Focusing on past failures in prayer
One of my problems was trying to pray like someone else does. There are hundreds of books on how to pray and some teach certain techniques in prayer— so I would try to mimic their way of praying.
Mostly I ended up discouraged with my unanswered prayer and go buy another book— thinking if I could just get the technique right or the words right, then God would answer my prayers. I came to realize I was focusing on the wrong thing.
To start with— let’s look at number one.
1. Don’t focus on the “right” technique of prayer.
I believe God has called and inspired many in the body of Christ to teach on prayer. If you have any books on prayer on your bookshelf you know there’s different ways, methods, patterns, and techniques of prayer.
They say if you do it their way then you will be “successful in your praying”. Then to be “successful in praying”— you must learn their ways, methods, patterns, and techniques and words.
Maybe you didn’t do that— but I did. That was my first problem. James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”.
Sometimes God answered my request I was praying for others— but far to many times, what I did, was just “parrot” what some else said. It was a formula— so I would become discouraged again.
Can you identify with what I’m describing?
So for some, the conclusion they came to was— why should I pray and is it even necessary?
The conclusion I’ve come to is— methods, patterns, and formulas are not the answer. These were never intended to be our focus on “intercessory prayer”.
We don’t want to just copy someone else when it comes to praying. I came across this statement and it says what I’m trying to say.
“Each of us prays differently according to who we are in God. My sister-in-law, would ask me to agree with her in prayer about some truly catastrophic situation. She prays simple sentence prayers.
When I get into prayer, I PRAY!— with fervency and authority and a loud voice at times, and often with much crying and tears. She quietly, with a soft childlike voice would say something like, “Dear Jesus, we just believe You now to take care of this thing.” And— He did!!”
If our praying for others comes out of our relationship with the Father, then our prayers will be Spirit led— we won’t get caught up on the right method or formula.