BC Coast sky-photo

The art of successful prayer
how and when to pray
is God really there?

God never did anything for me; If God is there, Why doesn't He answer my prayers? Why bother praying if no one is there? If God were there wouldn't He show Himself to us?  

Have you asked youself these questions? In the Bible, in 1Corinthians 2:14, Paul says, "The man without the spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned." What a dilemma: You have to accept Jesus as real before you can believe in him but you can't accept or understand him until you develop faith in his existence.

The most common reason for not taking this leap of faith is that we think we are giving up our ability to run our own lives and that we are giving up the pleasures we pursue. Now if you don't know Jesus, then these seem like good reasons. If you do know him you realize we're not giving much up because we're getting more back.

If you are still reading this, here's more good news:You can ask God for things through prayer and often enough you will get them. Maybe not right away and maybe not exactly what you asked for but a response just the same. If you are praying and getting nothing back it's likely because you are asking for something that doesn't fit his purpose or possibly because he doesn't know you. You can get to know him and vice versa through prayer, bible reading and faith in him by reaching out to him: adult baptism is a good way however I believe if you're not ready for this you can commit to Him in prayer: The Lord's Prayer is good and so is telling Him, in prayer that you believe in Jesus, in His death and resurrection and presence within us today.

I also believe that God has a plan for each of us. If we work with Him, he will work with us to see this plan unfold. In Jeremiah 29:11, God says, "For I know the plans I have for you . . . .plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I believe that the stronger your bond with Jesus Christ, the more your prayers will get answered positively. Jesus died and was resurrected and has been living with us since then. Given his close presence, he is not difficult to connect to, especially since He wants to be connected to each of us. He stated in James 15:5, "I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit." In James 4:8; "Come near to God and he will come near to you."

So how do we pray? Quietly, privately and with regard for God and others. Personally one of my favorites is the Lord's prayer. It covers a lot of ground. Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdon come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever, Amen.