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As Christians we know that prayer is a powerful tool at our disposal. However, we may never have learned how to pray effectively. Simply memorizing prayers we learned as children is only repeating empty words; true prayer is a conversation with God that doesn’t necessarily fit into a pre-defined mold. When we’re praying, remembering all the good things He has done and continues to do for us infuses thankfulness and gratitude into our prayers.
It’s easy to focus on all the bad things happening around us, but that way of thinking isn’t uplifting or beneficial to our frame of mind. It may take some initial effort on our part, but we can reject negative thoughts that try to invade our minds while welcoming the positive thoughts. “For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]” (Philippians 4:8, AMPC). We have the authority as gatekeepers of our thought lives to allow only thoughts that agree with the Word of God to reside in our minds.
A thankful attitude empowers our prayer lives. We may remember our parents telling us as children to count our blessings. We need to do just that when we go to God in prayer. Reflecting on all the times He has turned bad situations around, and continues to do so, moves us to want to thank Him.
Prayer brings us into God’s presence, and when we’re in His presence we’ll feel it. All anxiety and worry disappear and all that’s left is His peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7, NKJV). We can be ourselves with Him and there are no limits to what we can pray about. As our heavenly Father, He always welcomes an opportunity to hear from His children.
Sometimes we may feel led to pray about particular individuals or certain circumstances. This is a prompting from the Holy Spirit that goes beyond our intellectual understanding because it comes directly from the mind of God. When we feel the need to pray but we can’t think of the right words, we can depend on the Spirit to pray the perfect prayer for us. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26, 27, NKJV).
God loves to get involved in every aspect of our lives and He takes great delight in blessing us. We don’t have to look very far to see His goodness. “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3). Prayer the way it was meant to be puts us in touch with our joy and gladness. Praying like this is God’s will for us.
For more on how thankfulness is a game-changer not only in our prayers but also in our lives in general, click on the link to find the single message The Supernatural Power of Thanksgiving, in our eStore.