Last night, as we were closing our bible study/cell group with prayer, I felt frustrated. I kept on feeling we were just on the brink of really powerful prayer but we never crossed over. We were praying for things close to our hearts, but the prayers felt... not powerless exactly, but not very effective either. I know God still heard us, but today as I was pondering this issue, I finally realised what the problem is. We were not praying honestly.
I'm sure the other members of my group must at this moment think I'm not very nice for saying that, but let me explain what I mean. I believe we will all agree on my definition in the end. :-)
Do you know when I really feel that I've prayed and reached God? It's when I tell Him exactly what I want to happen, what end result I would like to happen more than anything in the world and THEN leave Him room to talk to me about it or to make it happen.
Well, what do I mean by this? Say, for example, there's this woman you know in an abusive relationship. You really want her to see the light and get out. You want her to leave that poor example of a human being, she calls her boyfriend. That is what you want. But when you pray, you ask God in general terms to intervene, to touch her, to help her, etc. You don't come before God and just say: "God, I want Miss X to leave Mr Y. I can't stand to see what he's doing to her. You know though, that I can't make another person do anything." You add whatever else is on your heart regarding this, then, with your heart open because you've been completely honest, you wait before God. Maybe He leads you into what to pray, maybe He's silent. But you leave it with Him and I tell you, He usually then does something about the situation that completely and very pleasantly surprises you.
God knows. He knows what you really want deep down in your heart.You are not fooling Him that you don't feel passionately about something by saying a meek "politically correct" prayer. And when you honestly tell Him what you want, it just opens up this huge powerful honest space between the two of you.
Have I made sense?