I have to admit that I don’t always feel like my prayers are being heard by God. It’s very frustrating, to say the least, but during one of my devotions this week, I really paid attention and noticed the cause of my frustration with my prayer life.
I noticed that there were a lot of ‘pleas’ and ‘needs’ in my prayers. Most of them were to help either myself or someone else achieve or overcome something.
In the Weight Loss, God’s Way Membership Program, I hear members have similar pleas and questions, too:
“Show me what’s wrong with me.”
“Why do I keep putting on and taking off the same X pounds?”
“Help me overcome my emotional eating”
“Help me to resist temptation.”
I’m learning that the problem with many of these prayers is that they leave me feeling frustrated with God and with myself because:
1. I usually don’t get answers when I pose these types of questions to Him which creates more anxiety in my body, mind, and spirit.
2. They leave me feeling bad about myself because they reinforce my belief that something is wrong with me.
3. I usually end up answering my own questions based on my own logic, which keeps me on the perpetual hamster wheel.
I’m learning that asking myself these types of questions in prayer only skim the surface of what’s really going on with me, and as a result, my mind will only search its shallow memory bank for answers, instead of seeking after God for the deeper truths (Psalm 139:23).
Unfortunately, many of the answers you and I will receive from these types of prayers come from our own intellect, not God, and often only produce more feelings of anxiety, guilt, shame, disappointment, and failure.
I think the issue with prayer is that we do not have a good understanding of what it is. In my studies, here’s what I’m learning about prayer:
What Prayer Is NotPrayer is not a wish to be granted. We treat God like a genie, and prayer like wishes that we've been granted. Click To Tweet
- Prayer is not only for catastrophes, crises, and causalities; we can take our everyday cares to Him too. We often go to God as a last resort, instead of our first line of defense.
- Prayer is not a one-way conversation. I must admit that, more often than not, my prayer time is about casting my burden on Him (which is good), but I don’t always take the time to hear what He’s telling me.
Then, What is Prayer?
- Prayer is our form of communication with God where we come together in agreement with Him. Notice I did not say that God comes into agreement with us. So in order for prayer to work, we have to know what to agree with Him on. This will require careful listening.
- God will not give you what He knows is less than His best. So when we pray, God will fill us with a desire for what is best for us, then come along and satisfy those desires in us.
Here are some examples of prayers and questions, and how you can change them around to make your prayer life more effective in relation to your health:
1. Don’t ask:
“Why can’t I stop myself from eating these foods?”
“How can I find satisfaction in you, instead of food?”
2. Don’t ask:
“Why can’t I control myself?”
“God, how can I come under your control? How can I decrease while you increase?”
3. Don’t pray:
“Help me to stop emotional eating.”
“Show me what emotions I am stuffing and how can I draw closer to you instead of food.”
4. Don’t pray:
“Help me to lose weight.”
“Teach me how to rely on and trust you with my health.”
5. Don’t pray or ask:
“To take away your desire or cravings.”
Pray and ask:
“For the strength to experience His transforming power which is stronger than any desire or craving.”
These inquiring questions and heart-felt prayers will lead to deeper insight into what’s really going on within you, instead of making you feel bad about yourself.
They will also turn your attention to Christ and not on yourself and your own inabilities.
Once the Holy Spirit has led you to your answers, be sure to write them down, and most importantly, act on them.
Praying these powerful prayers will also prevent you from unknowingly searching for answers in your own strength, which is what we naturally tend to do when we pray these guilt-ridden prayers.
Remember, this weight-releasing journey you’re on is not really about the number on the scale, or what size jeans you can fit into.
It’s about learning:
- How to discipline your body and bring it under submission to God (1 Corinthians 9:27) ;
- That He wants you to live in peace and joy (Romans 14:7);
- To trust Him alone (Psalm 9:10);
- That He wants you to live in the freedom that came through His Son (John 8:36).
All of these lessons will be learned when you and I seek God in prayer and understand His transforming power. And when we stop relying on our own intellect and human abilities.
Open yourself to His leading and direction in prayer and He will help you to pursue life as an overcomer!
How’s your prayer life? Do you pray for your health and weight loss victory? Share your responses below!
P.S. To learn more about healthy living without the struggle and deprivation often found in other programs, check out Weight Loss, God’s Way at weightlossgodsway.com.