HOW TO PRAY WITH CONFIDENCE
Stopping to pray for someone is one of the best ways I know to actively love your neighbor. As Christians, we have something special to offer each other and our non-believing neighbors. We have access to God. As his children, we can walk right into the throne room with our friends and their needs. What an incredible opportunity, not only to express love, but to introduce people to our Father! So what stops us? How do we pray with more confidence? Here are three moves that can help.
Move from disappointment to trust.
Some of us are afraid to pray out loud for someone else because we have been disappointed by our own unanswered prayers. When we do pray, we usually throw in an “if it’s your will” qualifier to let God off the hook in case he doesn’t answer. We don’t really trust that he will. I have been there. The best remedy for this is to go back and read the gospels. See how Jesus responds to requests. Ask yourself what he says about his Father. Knowing God’s character will help you trust him. Trusting him will make you want to pray.
Move from confusion to clarity.
Most people who pray believe God CAN answer. They just aren’t sure he WANTS TO. This is a big deal. The Bible teaches us in several places that if we ask anything according to God’s will, he hears and acts. So knowing his will can give you more confidence to pray boldly. If you want to know his will, ask him! He can speak to you by the Spirit and through the Bible. If there is something he has revealed is his will in the Bible, you can pray in confidence that he will do it.
Move from hesitation to willingness.
The biggest reason many of us don’t pray has nothing to do with a lack of faith in God. It’s lack faith in ourselves. We don’t feel confident that we know the right words or will say the right thing. I admit, sometimes I feel awkward praying for someone. Sometimes I miss opportunities. When I don’t know what to say or how to pray, I go back to the Lord’s prayer and use it as a template. If you have been praying it in private, you will be better at using it in public. In fact, the best way to feel confident in a “game time” situation, is lots of practice on your own. The more I pray in the secret place, the more comfortable I am offering to pray for others – and the more natural prayer feels.