Our prayer life is important. It’s a time where we can worship and talk to God. We’re able to pour our heart out to the One who loves and deeply cares about us no matter what. Without a prayer life, we put our lives in danger of moving away from the Lord. The Constant One, He never moves away, we are the ones who move away from Him. The One who is in total control of everything that is going on around us, we’re the ones who move away from the control and safety of the Lord. We need to have a guarded prayer life.
When I opened an email asking me to guest post, I was humbled. But fear hit me because I had to be honest with this friend, I was the wrong person at that moment to write about prayer. Over the years, I’ve shared plenty about prayer on my site, but that day, I was in the middle of a battle because of it. The battle hit me out of nowhere and had been going on for several weeks with no end in sight.
Four years praying about a need with no answer, I was discouraged. I even felt a little vindictive; “Why would I want to spend time in prayer when the prayers were not being listened to or answered? It was all a waste of time”. Funny, I felt guilty anytime I thought about praying for safety or guidance throughout the day. I was the one who moved away from a guarded prayer life.
Nothing Should keep you from having a guarded prayer life.
As a mom and homemaker, I have to be careful when I have my devotion and prayer time. This special time with the Lord happens in the early morning after my husband leaves for work. If I wait later on in the day, everything that is going on pulls my attention away from worshiping and talking to God. Those dirty dishes become vocal when I leave them. The pile of dirty laundry throws a party in celebration of being neglected. School work that needs grading shouts my name with threats of a revolt. My prayer time can’t revolve around life. Life has to revolve around my prayer time. When I take those early moments in the day, everything else seems to fall into place. While my days are not perfect, they are easier to face because I have already turned everything over to the Lord. He is in total control of what goes on.
Our Prayer Time Can't Revolve Around Life, Life Must Revolve Around Our Prayer Time.
When I told my friend I would pray about sharing my thoughts on prayer, I meant it. Before I could ask the Lord about a guest post, I had to find the root of my problem. Discouragement is a HUGE problem for many, myself included. All it takes is a little seed to take root and disrupt a good thing we have going in our prayer life. It took a little growth from discouragement to cause me to lose my faith in the Lord.
During my prayers, the Lord showed me several things I want to share with you today.
We are to have a constant abiding prayer life. Without it, we can’t dodge the fiery darts Satan shoots at us. (Eph 6:12) Because of Jesus, we can come boldly to the throne of grace to ask for help. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
4 Ways to a Guarded Prayer Life
Prepare our hearts for prayer
• We can’t tolerate sin. Yes, we are under grace, but it doesn’t give us a pass to do as we please. • We have to confess all known sin. • Sometimes, fasting is required. Our hearts have to be sincere and fully focused on God. We have to willing to give up something(s) for the Lord to answer a prayer.
Prepare our lives
• Our lives reflect God’s righteousness. • Our lives are to be obedient to the Bible. (1 John 3:22) A Christian’s prayers are hindered because of disobedience. • Our marriage is to reflect God. Ill thoughts and actions against our spouse is a sin and hinder our prayers. (1 Peter 3:1-7)
Prepare in faith
• When our faith is in God, anything is possible when we pray. (Mark 9:23) • We are to come in diligent faith. (Hebrews 11:6)
Prepare our motives
• Ask for the right reasons. (James 4:3)
Remember: delayed answers to prayers are not denials. Unanswered prayers may be answered, but not like we think. We’ve all prayed silly prayers in the past we are thankful God didn’t answer. We’ve prayed about situations and the Lord didn’t see fit to answer for whatever reason. Sometimes those unanswered prayers are answered prayers.
"When we do not see how things can work out for the best and do not understand why our prayers seem to go unanswered, we can be confident that God is till in control. In the fullness of His time, the “counsel of the Lord” - His purpose and plan for our lives – will be accomplished no matter what it takes. There is no reason for us to fret and fear, for God is in charge." - Dr. Paul Chappell