The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” – Psalm 91:14-16.
Prayer is very simple. Praying is having a personal conversation with a loving God who’s always there to hear us and help us. Real prayer, the truly powerful kind of prayer, is just a heartfelt, honest conversation between God and us that we can do anytime, anyplace. But there are some misconceptions about prayer.
Over the years people have developed the idea that prayer is reserved for “big” things in our life. That is a misconception. Prayer is an appropriate response for any situation. Prayer can be used for healing from breast cancer to asking God to stop the itching from a yellow fly bite. Regardless of if we are praying for little things or big things, we must remember that God isn’t a vending machine. We can’t pick the outcome we want. Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we would like them answered. One of the great things about praying often—for both little and big things—is that it keeps us in communication with God. Communicating with Him helps our hearts become more like His. The better we know God’s heart, the more we understand His ways and His will. This helps us align our hearts with His so we have a better idea of how to pray and how to respond regardless of how these prayers are answered.
Another misconception is that prayer is complicated. Sometimes we make prayer more complicated than it is. It’s not a formal conversation in which we’re required to repeat spiritual-sounding phrases. Neither is it a case of meeting some criteria to enter God’s presence. Prayer is a heart-to-heart connection in which we come into God’s presence assured of His welcome: “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” (Ephesians 3:12). God wants us to pour out our hearts when we feel grieved or disappointed. To tell Him when we’re afraid. To share our delights and joys with Him. He wants to be a part of our life. He wants to be our life. Prayer is not complicated.
Still another misconception is that God doesn’t answer our prayers. You heard the phrase prayer changes things. But sometimes it seems like it doesn’t. You ask for something from God and nothing happens—it’s like He wasn’t even listening. God listens to all of our prayers, regardless of what we ask (Matthew 7:7). He does not ignore His children (Luke 18:1–8). His answer may be some variation of “yes” or “no” or “wait, not now.” But God always answers.
- Do you pray for little things? Why or why not?
- Do you think prayer is complicated? If so, how do you uncomplicate it this week?
- How has God answered prayers in your life?