Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (All day)
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[Steve Myers] Have you ever felt that your prayers haven't gone beyond the ceiling? I think at times we probably all had that feeling before where it just doesn't seem like our prayers are as effective as they should be. Once you struggle with that, what's the solution? How can we begin to really realize that God is hearing us, our prayers are getting through, and that we are communicating with a real Creator God who hears us? I think one of the challenges in doing that is if we think about the w's. There's three w's that we wrote on the board here. And if we begin to think in these terms, it kind of should give us an impression of where our prayers are directed. And I think that's oftentimes the problem is where are we directing our prayers and what are those prayers containing?
[Darris McNeely] We look at the first one here of who - we're praying to God. One of the biggest challenges probably of a prayer life is recognizing we are praying to God, a real being, an invisible spirit being, but nonetheless very real and One who does hear and says that He will answer the sincere prayers of His people. But putting our minds beyond ourselves, onto the greatness of God is probably the first step in this.
[Steve Myers] Yeah, I think as the "who" certainly we've got to be praying to God. There's this aspect as well that I should be praying for others and not just for me. And that who fits in that as well. We're praying to God, but are our prayers only concerned about me? Or are prayers concerned about others as well? And I think that begins to delineate where our focus is and that may also then begin to impact what we pray about as well.
[Darris McNeely] Yeah as we pray for other people we are practicing what is called intercessory prayer, which is again prayer that goes beyond ourselves, puts our minds and our thoughts upon other people and brings their needs, their lives into ours. Yet, we then give that back to God and that's how the body is knit together with everyone concerned for and feeling the needs of others.
[Steve Myers] An interesting aspect of this "what" as well as we pray for others and their needs, sometimes we forget what God intends for us as well. So when we pray for what, do we read the Bible? And when we go through this Bible and determine what God's will is and how we fit into His plan, or sometimes do we find ourselves trying to ask God to fit into our plans? And I think that's what we often do is we try to fit God's will into what we want rather than reading His word and praying in that regard that "God, your will be done in my life," and learning what exactly that is that God intends for us (Matthew 6:10).
[Darris McNeely] And that comes down to detecting really what is God's will and again putting your mind on God and sometimes on others. It helps us to have a frame of mind where we can understand what God's will is.
[Steve Myers] And I think that motivates us then when we pray. When we pray is it just in an emergency? Is it just when we need something? Is that when we really become focused? Is that really when we're striving to have this relationship with God? Or have we come to the point that this is an ongoing thing that we've got to talk to our best friend every single day? We've got to maintain that developing relationship with Him so that we're striving with Him and praising Him, honoring Him not only when I need something, but constantly - not just in emergencies, but it's got to be that every day renewing our mind with Him as we praise Him and honor Him and then make our requests before Him as well.
[Darris McNeely] Sitting down and almost like sitting down and having a conversation with God and pulling up a chair if you will and understanding that God is our Father, wants to hear from us and we have that need to communicate on a regular basis with our Father.
[Steve Myers] So as we're struggling with prayer at times in our life, maybe we can refocus in this way. Think about who, what, and when, and as we do those things let's align our thinking, let's align our prayers, our thoughts with God's intent for us, with His will because I think as we always end our Beyond Today programs, that we should remember to pray, "Thy will be done and Thy kingdom come."
[Steve Myers] If we do those things, then we'll be well on our way to having that closer relationship with God that reaches way beyond the ceiling.
[Darris McNeely] That's BT Daily . Join us next time.