Before You Pray

Prayer is an act of worship to God, as it expresses our belief in God, his ability and willingness to communicate with us. Prayer is something that is mandatory for every believer, and should be done in the secrecy of the heart, not an outward act like the hypocrites. Prayer is not a religious act that we put up to earn the praise and admiration of men, and manipulate God to do something for us. The purpose of prayer is not just to make supplication, petition, or asking God to do something for you, it is loving God with your words, fellowship and communing with him and seeking to know his desires and will.

As a believer, prayer is not something you rush into without preparation and readiness. Just like every other aspects of life, it requires adequate preparation. Every encounter with the Lord requires adequate preparation. You have to approach the Lord with a ready and prepared heart, an expectation and with his loving words.

Heart Preparation: The heart is the seat of affections of man. Prayer must be an outpouring of the heart to God. James 5:16, states that prayer must be heartfelt (earnest and fervent); offered from a righteous heart for it to be powerful.

Prayer has its root in the heart, because you are praying to a God who is not interested in the outward looks but in the intents of the heart (1Samuel 16:7).

The volume of words you speak in payer does not guarantee an answer to your prayers, but what goes on in the heart and the state of your heart is what releases the answers. The voice of your heart speaks louder to God than our outward voices (1Samuel 1:13). Hannah spoke in her heart, but God heard her.

There is no outstanding answer to prayer without an outstanding preparation of the heart. When you prepare your heart before you begin to pray, God answers (Proverbs 16:1). In the old testament, the heart is represented as altar,- before any sacrifice(prayer) is offered, the altar was prepared and even repaired so that effective communication can be established (1Kings 18:30). If you must encounter God in your prayers, you must prepare for him.

Preparing the heart involves Consecration; because it takes a pure heart and a clean hand to approach God (Psalms 24:3-4). Purity of the heart is the first step to encountering God’s presence in your prayers. Sin is a barrier to your prayers, because if you regard iniquity in your heart he will not hear.

You have to let your heart be free of anything that moves you to murmur or grumble against God. No matter what challenges you might face in life, it shouldn’t make you question the integrity of God, offend him with your words, complain or threaten to backslide.

Avoid trying to justify yourself against God, because you can’t expect answers to your prayers when your heart is full of complaints and offenses against him.

If you have lost anything or failed in any area of your life, remember that God is the reason you have not lost everything, the reason you are not a failure.

Preparing your heart involves Forgiving everyone who have hurt you and seek forgiveness from those you’ve hurt; forgiveness is an expression of love.

Preparing your heart also involves asking the Holy Spirit to search and examine you, and to convict you in any area you have fallen so you can plead for mercy. This is in itself a form of prayer.

Word Preparation: Prayer is praying God’s word and reminding him of his promises. The word of God reveals his heart and will to us. If you must pray according to his will (1John 5:14), then you must be grounded in His Word concerning the area of your request.

Before a lawyer appears in court, he takes time to gather evidences and information as regards the case at hand, and tactfully presents them to court, if he must win. Like a lawyer can’t appear in court without evidences, a believer must not approach God in prayer (the court of heaven) without proper evidence (God’s Word and promises) concerning the case he is presenting before him.

As believers we must learn to approach God with His Word. God is committed only to His Word, so it takes His word to get Him committed to anything we so desire from Him. God is not moved by our tears, or any emotional display in the name of prayer. He is moved only by His Word, and He answers only to His Word.

Remember, He had sworn that His Word cannot return to Him void, it must accomplish the purpose for which it was spoken. Remember also that He has magnified His Word above all His names (Psalms 138:2, Isaiah 55:8-11). Let it be our encouragement that God values His Word more than His name, so whatever He says will come to pass.

Prayer is speaking God’s word concerning your condition. Before you pray, search, study the Scriptures, and find commands or promises that address your prayer needs; hold them and declare them to God as you pray.

Everything we need in life and can ever ask for in prayer is tied to and rooted in the Word; it is our duty as believers to find them and pray with them.

Instead of making empty wordless prayers accompanied by our emotions, pray the Word, because the Word works.

As you pray with a sanctified and consecrated heart, concerning any area of your life, let the word of God (concerning those areas) dwell in you richly for God answers only to his word.

I am Grace Esedeke, a Nigerian. I am just a single Christian lady-- An object of God's love. I like to write about my faith. I blog at http://www.fwgf.wordpress.com where I write devotionals and inspirational posts centered on spiritual growth and how to receive God's fulness.