Categories
Reflections

How to Know When You’ve Prayed Long Enough

Have you ever wondered how to know when you’ve prayed for something long enough? I do this emotional dance where I feel burdened about something and I want to just keep talking to God about it. But I know that if I were God, I’d be getting tired of hearing it. I don’t want to nag God. Can you relate with me on this?

Granted, I’ve heard sermons about how God is our loving Father and He delights in us, and of course He wants to hear what is on our minds. And I’ve believed it, but still. My mind has always asked the question, “If God knows what I’m thinking, does He really want me to continue to verbalize it? Shouldn’t I just say it once and trust Him with it?”

Lets be honest – I relate to God out of my experience. I do not appreciate when my children ask for something over and over and over again. My thought is always “I heard you the first time and I’m thinking about it. I will be much more likely to form an answer if you be quiet and let me think.” So, my instinct with God is to bite my tongue and let Him work.

This has been something I’ve dealt with for many, many years. You can imagine my relief when God finally spoke to me about it. He said,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6, 7

Did you catch that? He wants me – you – us to pray about everything. Let Him know all our requests. And His incomprehensible peace, will guard, surround, protect our hearts and minds. Friends, this is how to know when we’ve prayed about something long enough – Jesus will give us peace.

When we feel anxious and like we need to keep talking to God, our Father, about whatever it is, He wants us to do it. He wants us to talk until our anxiety gives way to peace.

The words "Pray until the peace presses in!" against a sunset sky.
Peace lets you know you’ve prayed long enough!

If you’re not there yet, friend, keep talking. Keep praying. The peace will come. And that is how you will know you’ve prayed long enough.

Categories
Devotions

God Will Meet You Right Now as You Ready, Set, Pray!

Do you feel a million miles away from God right now? Well, let me ask you this: Have you ever invited Him into your heart? If not, it is impossible to be close to Him. Are you ready? Get set! And then pray! Tell Him you want to meet. Ask Him in.

For more information, read The Gospel in a Nutshell and feel free to ask any questions you have.

Once you’ve done that- even as you’re doing that- He will meet you where you are and NEVER leave you.

“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’.”

Hebrews 13:5b

Maybe you have already established a personal relationship with God but still feel distant and alone today. If so, there is hope! This is fixable.

While it is true that God will never leave us, we often turn our backs on Him. And once we’re facing in that opposite direction, we can move as far and as fast from Him as we will. Can you look back and recall small steps or long sprints you took which carried you away from Him?

He isn’t a dictator, and He doesn’t force our faithfulness. We are free to make our choices. But He is a loving Father, and He wants a relationship with us. All it takes to restore our closeness with Him is our repentance.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:9

No matter how far we’ve gotten, or how lost we feel, He knows exactly where we are. We just need to decide that we’re ready, set our hearts towards Him, and pray. He will meet us. He will walk with us as we face the natural consequences of the poor decisions we’ve made. I read this recently:

“One thing I love about God is, He’ll bring you out of situations that you got yourself into, and won’t hold it against you.”

TobyMac

Precious friend, if you’re feeling separation between you and God today, please know this:

No matter how far you have gotten, you’re only just a prayer away.

He will cover the distance and come to you. He will walk you back. If you want to erase the miles between you, let Him know. He’s not mad; He’s waiting. Moments from now, you could be enjoying sweet fellowship with your Creator again. Ready, Set, Pray!