Stop praying. Why would I suggest that? Even the Bible says to continuously pray,
Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
So why should we stop praying for a minute?
I’ve been studying through Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and the title of his first chapter is Stop Praying. Francis asks us to stop for just a moment and contemplate who we are praying to. So let’s look at some of God’s own words to help us visualize this.
At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These were the seven spirits of God. Also, in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.Revelation 4:2-6
As soon as John entered into heaven this is the site he had seen. That is probably enough to cause most people to fall to their knees in awe. But he continues on;
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.”Revelation 4:6-8
So here are these fantastical creatures, sitting at the feet of God, singing his praise day and night. But John continues on;
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”Revelation 4:9-11
So all these might creatures, those elders who seem greater than any earthly king we could imagine, they all fall to their knees to worship our God.
Yet despite this vision of the mighty, all-powerful God, who create the universe with just a word, we know that he wants a personal relationship with us. That he knows our innermost thoughts and needs. That he has numbered the very hair on our heads. This mighty God, who is awesome beyond our comprehension, has given us a way, through Jesus, to come before him and he hears our prayers.
So this week, after reading this first chapter, I began to pause before my prayers throughout the day. A quick pause, to really try to get in the right mindset before I prayed. I tried to remember and visualize who I was talking to. When I do that, I am now able to start my prayer with praise and worship without thinking. And by the time I get to my petition to God, I feel so filled with the Holy Spirit, that I know God is hearing my prayers.
This past week, I’ve been more conscious of my answered prayers than I ever have been before. I’ve put myself in the right mindset before praying and it only takes a minute to get me there.