A young university student was home for the summer. She had gone to visit some friends one evening and time passed quickly as each shared their various experiences of the past year. She ended up staying longer than planned and had to walk home alone. She wasn't afraid because it was a small town and she lived only a few blocks away. As she walked along under the tall elm trees, Diane asked "God" to keep her safe from harm and danger. When she reached the alley, which was a shortcut to her house, she decided to take it.
However, halfway down the alley she noticed a man standing at the end as though he were waiting for her. She became uneasy and began to pray, asking for "God's" protection. Instantly a comforting feeling of quietness and security wrapped around her, she felt as though someone was walking with her. When she reached the end of the alley, she walked right past the man and arrived home safely. The following day, she read in the newspaper that a young girl had been raped in the same alley just twenty minutes after she had been there. Feeling overwhelmed by this tragedy and the fact that it could have been her, she began to weep. Thanking the Lord for her safety and to help this young woman, she decided to go to the police station. She felt she could recognize the man, so she told them her story.
The police asked her if she would be willing to look at a lineup to see if she could identify him. She agreed and immediately pointed out the man she had seen in the alley the night before. When the man was told he had been identified, he immediately broke down and confessed. The officer thanked Diane for her bravery and asked if there was anything they could do for her. She asked if they would ask the man one question. Diane was curious as to why he had not attacked her.
When the policeman asked him, he answered, “Because she wasn't alone. She had two tall men walking on either side of her."
God is always in the midst of our prayer. Don't neglect such an awesome opportunity given to us; "Let us come boldly before the throne of grace." Paul reminds us not to be anxious for anything but through prayer and supplication make your petitions made know to God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding shall guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus!! We are told men ought to always pray. We are equally reminded that the fervent effectual prayer of the righteous avails much.
Here are some prayer tips to assist with a successful prayer life:
- Remember prayer is a dialogue not a monologue. Don't spend all your time in prayer with a one-sided conversation. You know a one-sided conversation in any realm is only of interest to the person doing all the talking. How do you have a conversation you simply stop talking and listen with your heart and allow God to speak to you.
- Give some real time to prayer. Don't rush through but purpose in your heart that you will spend some quite time praying and listening to what God has to say to you.
- Make sure your prayer is combination of praise and petition. Praise acknowledges God for who He is. Petitions are specific requests that you have for God.
- Get your slate clean first. Ask for forgiveness for any sin committed knowingly and unknowingly. God cannot look upon sin so in order for your prayers to be heard you don't want any hindrances.
- Pray for others. Our prayer life should not be simply me focused. It must be focused on the lives of those in need, unsaved, our judicial systems, our government, our church family, etc. You can add to your list.
- Don't pray while you're tired/sleepy. You will fall asleep during the prayer.
- Get rid of all distractions. Go into your prayer closet. Turn off television, cell phones, etc. You know what's a distraction.
- Incorporate the word of God into your prayers. When we make promises or say things people tend to hold us to them, at the very least remind us of what we said. As you hide the word in your heart that you might not sin against God, the Holy Spirit will remind you of God's promises which are yea and amen through Christ Jesus. (Example: Lord you told me to trust you with all my heart lean not to my own understanding and you would direct my path. I'm trusting you Lord to direct my path.)
- End your prayer in praise, simply loving on God.
Embrace prayer and it’s principle into your everyday life and see how prayer will change you and allow you to see your circumstances through the prism of God’s lenses.