Prayer moves the heart of God. He has said in His word that the prayer of a righteous person has great power (ESV, James 5:16). God has stated “…Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (ESV, Luke 11:9). He has declared that when we call upon Him, He will answer and will tell us great and hidden things that we have not known (Jeremiah 33:3). We are told that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed and we tell a mountain to move, the mountain will move (Matthew 17:20). The beautiful grace of God is shown in Romans 8:26 as it says,
What a gift. God Himself, pleading on our behalf, inspiring our souls, giving us wisdom as we get a glimpse of His heart.
We’ve spent a lot of time during the span of this journey praying and seeking for the Lord to speak in such a way that we would hear Him. We’ve talked about the importance of our heart posture and coming to the Lord with true humility. We have done this because true transformation and sanctification cannot come from a prayerless life. God uses the very act of prayer to grow us—how can a relationship grow without the depth of communion?
Jesus’ disciples asked the Lord to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1), so we ask too. Spend a moment and ask that God would teach you the power of prayer, knowing it is a wonderful nuance of a back-and-forth conversation between us and God the Father (both receiving and petitioning).
Romans 8:26 (read above) holds the same rich confession we have made before: apart from God, we can do nothing, nor do we have any good thing (John 15:5 & Psalm 16:2). As we learn to pray, we must realize first that prayer is more listening than it is speaking. 1 John 5:14 says that we have confidence in approaching God because we know if we ask in accordance to His will, He hears us and He will give us what we ask for. We must be willing to wait on the voice of the Lord to speak, and the Holy Spirit to convict for us to discern His will so that we might pray for those things. It is truly astounding that God would use the power of prayer to accomplish His will. Again, we see so much dignity placed upon us in light of this truth.
Richard J. Foster in Celebration of Discipline: The Path of Spiritual Growth encourages the use of child-like-faith through allowing God to speak through our imagination because it opens the door to faith. We’re not conjuring up something using our imagination or manipulating the heart of God, but as we ask God to inspire. Foster says, “Our prayer is to be like a reflex action to God’s prior initiative upon the heart. The ideas, the pictures, the words are of no avail unless they proceed from the Holy Spirit who, as you know, is interceding for us ‘with sighs too deep for words.’”
Knowing that God does not speak in contradiction to His written word, finish your time by asking the Lord to inspire your prayers and bring things to mind for which to pray. For Him to create a child-like-faith in your prayer life. Be patient as the Lord enables you to grow in this practice.
May you allow the space needed to discern the voice of the Lord. May you not only hear Him speaking words and phrases to you, but more so, hear the very rounding of His mouth as the words form. That you would hear the intake of breath He prepares with which He speaks life over your soul, giving you breath to your very lungs. May you in turn use this breath to declare boldly wonderous things of Him.