I am tired of mumbling dead prayers. Even worse, my fears of praying dead prayers to others is something that plagued me for years. In our bible study session tonight, where we were focusing on prayer, we had a great discussion that sparked my desire to share with you.
Have you ever been in a situation where you needed someone to pray for you? You needed to identify someone who is a ‘heaven shaking’, ‘holy rising’, ‘declaring it in Jesus’ name’ kind of prayer warrior? Someone that when they prayed, God surely only listened to them! No one else can pray like them!
In my life, my mom used to be that person.
If I was going to an interview, I had to call mom to pray for me right before I stepped through that door. When I was sick, the only person who could pray to God to heal me was my mom. The times where life was crazy, and I couldn’t understand what was happening, I needed mom to connect with God and pray for me.
Why? Her prayers were ‘better’ than mine. In fact, in my eyes, her prayers were better than many of the pastor’s, church leaders, and other spiritual guides. When I prayed, it sounded dead! I didn’t feel any cold chills going down my spine or the holy ghost power flowing through me. It was always just dead prayers.
When she got sick with cancer, I prayed with all of my heart and belief that God would heal this amazing woman of God. He didn’t. And I felt despair at my lack of being able to pray in a way that God would hear me and answer my prayers.
Was my prayers not being answered because I lack faith?
The Bible says that “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22) Earlier in the same book, we are told “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
Does this mean that if I lack faith, I won’t receive? Is the Bible contradicting itself? After all, in Matthew 7, we are told just to ask. Digging deeper, I know that faith is not the only precursor to answered prayers, but it is important. Even those that may know God but do not have faith will get answered prayers. Why?
As I prayed to understand this truly I felt God leading me to 1 John 5:14-15: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” This is the answer. Faith is important, but the key to reviving dead prayers is asking in accordance with God’s will.
We can shout the place down, beg and plead, proclaim at the amount of faith we have that God will do X, but if we are not in accordance with God’s will then our prayers will not be answered.
It hurt to realize that God’s will was for my mom to die. Intellectually I know that we all are going to die, I just wasn’t ready for her to leave me. Years later, I understand a little bit more about why. I had to journey down a very dark road to get where I am today and have the kind of relationship that I do with Christ. My Christian journey at the time was through my mom. I didn’t need to get close to Christ, because I could go to mommy for her to pray for me, explain scripture to me or be my spiritual guide. It was God and me via mommy. Not just me and God.
God was pursuing me with a love that I didn’t understand. If mommy were still here, I wouldn’t have started the Godly Woman 911 Ministry. I was comfortable with the status quo. Even though I still miss her a lot, I strongly believe that when I do see her again, she will greet me with a big smile and hug. I can hear her words now, “Baby girl, you did well.”
Food for thought
How is your prayer life? Are you praying dead prayers? Are your prayers not being answered? Join us in our bible study series, where we are focusing on praying powerful prayers.
For free resources on praying powerfully, you can access them here.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come before you today a sinner that needs your grace. Forgive me for choosing everything else but you. What a privilege you have given me to directly connect with you through prayer. Speak to me Lord. I am listening. Move within me. May your glory and light shine through me for the furtherance of your kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen