The Christian life can seem like a paradox sometimes. We believe in the power of prayer so we pray daily for others and we pray for our country. Yet we sometimes struggle with faith and believing God’s Word in our own lives. News flash—you’re normal. There’s nothing wrong with you! But you can learn to be more effective in your prayer life and this post will show you how.
For years, I used to beat up on myself because I kept losing focus during my prayer time or because my prayers just did not sound as powerful as Sharon’s, or whoever the unsuspecting person was that was the target of my comparison.
God is not only delivering me from the spirit of comparison, but He is also helping me to understand the power of prayer for my own life (we already know how to do it for others).
In my ‘Weight Loss, God’s Way Book‘, I share that the power of prayer is life-changing. The more we reach out to God in prayer, the more we experience His transforming peace.Through prayer, we war against our strongholds, we replace our fear with faith and we receive his peace when nothing around us is peaceful. Through prayer, God’s power gets downloaded into us. Click To Tweet
Despite believing what I wrote intellectually, I (we) continue to spend more time worrying than praying and continue wasting precious time trying to figure things out in our own strength instead of getting on our knees and casting our cares on Him as His Word promises.
Not going to God in prayer is usually because of the following reasons:
1. You trust Him, but you’re so entrenched in your daily routine and responsibilities that it ‘feels’ impossible to stop, even if it’s just to pray about your food choices or your self-discipline.
2. You trust Him, but you keep forgetting to pray, except when things get really bad, then you desperately cry out to God.
3. You trust Him, but the pain, the cravings, the desires, the urges are so strong that they overpower you every time, despite calling out to God for help.
4. This is the hard one …, deep down inside, if you’re truly honest with yourself, you want what you want when you want it and you don’t call out to God because you don’t want to be talked out of it.
These can be painful truths to accept but none of them will diminish the power of prayer. Regardless of which of the reasons you might have. Prayer works and it will help you in every single area of your life, including your health and weight loss goals.
Despite where you find yourself right now, below are a few tips to help you unleash the power of prayer in your life and health.
Pray with Simplicity
Don’t overcomplicate your prayers with fancy words or feel like you need a prayer closet or that you must wake up at 5:00 a.m. Prayer is a conversation that can be had anywhere, anytime. No need to overthink or wonder if you inserted enough ‘thus saith the Lord’ into your prayers.
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Matthew 6:7 NIV
Pray with Honesty
God knows that there are parts of you that you have not fully submitted. You may have fooled others. but there’s no fooling God by eating a salad for lunch because He already knows that you’ve counted down the minutes for when you get home to devour your secret stash of snack foods. It’s not a surprise to Him. So, be honest with Him. Let Him know that you can’t imagine how this habit will ever change; let him know how much you enjoy the foods when you’re eating them, although you know they are not good for you; let him know that, at the moment, you want the foods more than you want Him. He won’t be surprised and He will not turn His back on you. But, it’s only when you can get honest with yourself that He will come in to help you and change your heart.
“Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” Psalm 51:6
Pray with Expectancy Then Let It Go
Here’s what seems like another oxymoron. How can we have expectations yet no expectations at the same time? The Bible tells us to have faith and believe that God will meet our needs. BUT, we have to let go of how we think God should work; we have to let go of when we think God should work, and we have to let go of the results because we will never be able to comprehend the mind of God. We will be disappointed every time if we want God to work in a certain way.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6
Pray with Patience
Similarly to the above point, our prayer life will be strengthened when we let go of how fast we think that God should work in our life. God does not operate in the realm of a 24 hour day as we do. Understand that while your goal might be quick weight loss, God is concerned with changing you from the inside out; with aligning your thoughts with His thoughts and cultivating the fruits of the Spirit in you. These things cannot be measured on a schedule, so buckle up and pack your patience. As you pray, know that God is changing you and it will always be for your good and His glory. Yet, create schedules but then offer them up to God and trust that His timing is best.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Perhaps the most important factor in unleashing the power of prayer in your life and your health is understanding why we should pray. Hint: It’s not to get stuff.
It’s probably easier to say what prayer is not:
It’s not to get what we want—the perfect body, the perfect husband, the perfect life. I suspect that it’s why so many of us are disappointed with our prayer lives. We can’t understand why God has not answered our prayers, or why He made us overweight, or why He let our friend get cancer.
With that expectation, we will always be disappointed.
Prayer is our opportunity to connect and align our spirit with God, not the other way around. It’s a time to listen to how God is talking to us and then get in agreement with Him. In speaking for myself, I’ve got it backward and that’s why I feel like my prayers have no power.
But know that the power comes when you let go of your wants, your needs, your desires and say, “Yes, God, I trust you!” That’s when true power will be unleashed in your health and every other area of your life.