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We have the heart to want to pray, but often it’s ourselves who get in the way or fear that stops us from going to God. When we pray and don’t get the answers we want, in the time WE want, we tend to give up.

Our intentions going into prayer might be to pray boldly with intention, and then we get weary, tired, or distracted. It is in those times that our hearts aren’t at peace. We know it and feel it.

Sometimes we think we are praying the wrong way, saying the wrong things, or praying at the wrong time. It’s important to know that when it comes to prayer:

NO, you are not bothering God.

NO, you are not going to mess up.

He wants to hear from you whenever, wherever.

Luke 11
1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught His disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”

Prayer is simply a conversation with The Father; there is no right or wrong way to do it. You are always welcome in His presence. There is no intimidation. Our fear of messing up or bothering Him keeps us from truly experiencing the direct connection He’s there to have.

Kids have no problem asking for something over and over again. They don’t even have to be your kids for them to ask, but they have persistence because they know what they desire and what they want.

So, they ask and ask and ask until they get an answer. They will get their answer, although it might not be what they want.

Take the emphasis off of saying the right words or what you think are the right words, and put it back on the genuine state of heart.

Don’t be generic in your prayers, be genuine, be specific. God is much more interested in the genuine state of your heart than big words or trying to impress Him or others.

Luke 11
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to Him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer Him.’ 7 And suppose the one insider answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though He will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity He will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will you Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

The tensions of prayer are captured in the subtext of these verses. It’s apparent the friend in these verses doesn’t want to get out of bed at the moment – and we can all relate to that.

We think our Father doesn’t have the time. He’s busy with other people’s prayers, bigger issues, more important people, or more important requests. Then, other times, we feel like our Father doesn’t care enough, if at all, and we start questioning or doubting.

I must not have enough faith.

I don’t think God is hearing me.

I must deserve what I’m going through.

I’m probably bothering God.

How often do people say, “I’m sorry to bother you,” before coming to someone with a request or something you need to say?  Why do we think we are always bothering each other?

The same is true with God, even though He instructs us to:

  1. Ask
  2. Seek
  3. Knock

We’re being told to have shameless audacity. To never give up, to never stop going to Him. When we continuously pray to Him, we are obedient in doing exactly what He says to do.

Keep after it and keep asking for that job, that future spouse, the kids you desire so badly, answers regarding your future, healing, family, friends, ourselves, or anything God is putting on your heart.

ASK Him for them, SEEK Him for them, KNOCK on His door, and keep knocking – don’t stop.

Often, we tend to think that our needs and wants are too small to ask Him, let alone keep asking Him. There’s no such thing as a prayer that is too small.

When you think you are nagging God about something, remember that He is the one inviting us to have shameless audacity. He wants us to ask Him and keep asking Him, to keep coming to Him. To remain faithful in prayer for the things we need.

We never know what future generations our prayers might be affecting. What we pray for today may impact our great-great-great-grandchildren. God’s promise to Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation in Genesis took generations to fulfill. Look around at your family, look around at the people you work with, look around at the neighborhood God has placed you in, and look around your church. What impact could your prayers have on generations to come for His Kingdom?

Don’t stop praying, and don’t settle.

The person Jesus is describing in this parable desperately needs a friend’s help. The persistent asking to the point of shameless audacity is the kind of person who understands they can’t move on or move past this place on their journey without help.

It typically takes something monumentally world-shaking to get us to the point of shameless audacity. And why wouldn’t it? After all, we’re all competent people. The person who asks, seeks, and knocks is desperate. It’s the one who asks that receives. It’s the one who seeks, that finds, and it’s the one who knocks, that the door is opened to.  

When we do things in our own ability, strength, and will, we settle for our best instead of God’s.

Only those who are desperate for Jesus are invited into the Father’s house, His table, His fridge, and His presence. This is a good place for us to pause and remember that even in our shameless audacity, we still pray, “Your will be done.”

We must understand we need to be on the same page as God when we’re praying. It keeps us from praying selfish prayers. We are human beings, so sometimes, we are not on the same page as God. And if we are honest, although we get the answers we may not be seeking, they are always exactly what we need.

Throughout scripture, the people of great faith always yield to the will of the Father as they remain faithful to Him. But they also don’t give up. They keep after the things they’re praying for. They aren’t afraid to be that person who goes to God with shameless audacity with the needs they have, never fearing that their request doesn’t matter.

If it matters to us, it matters to God.

So, when it comes to praying, here are 5 things to remember:

  1. Be genuine/authentic.
  2. Be desperate.
  3. Be persistent to shameless audacity.
  4. Be confident and bold.
  5. Be faithful to Jesus, His Kingdom, and His will.

And that’s the story we find ourselves in.

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