Tips to Transform Your Prayers
You can become a prayer warrior. Here’s how:
Use Scripture to boost your prayer confidence. If you want to become a prayer warrior, saturate yourself with the words and examples of prayer warriors found in the Bible. For example:
Moses in Exodus 15:2, 3: “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my victory. . . . The Lord is a warrior.”
David in Psalm 28:7: “The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me.”
The three Hebrew captives in Daniel 3:17: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.”
The prophet Micah: “But as for me, I am filled with power and the Spirit of the Lord. I am filled with justice and might” (3:8).
Jesus in Mark 9:23: “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
Paul in Ephesians 3:20: “Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.”
Pray for the “impossible.” Prayer warriors don’t hesitate to pray for the impossible. They take seriously these words from Jesus: “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible” (Matthew 19:26).
No matter how grim the circumstances, pray boldly, even when the request seems impossible.
Robert W. Zinnecker of Rexford, New York, writes about a time when he felt frightened and alone. He was sitting in a garden area outside the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “I had just agreed to have my second major surgery in three weeks for a rare form of cancer,” he recalls. The prospects were dubious. Mayo had handled only 25 cases like his in its history, and no patient had survived.
Throughout his illness, Zinnecker’s faith had remained strong, but now he felt abandoned by God. Returning to his motel room, he found an envelope had been mailed to him. It was from a work colleague and contained a card and a small pewter pin replica of a small child in the palm of a giant hand. The accompanying Scripture was from Isaiah 49:15, 16: “I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”
As Zinnecker read that verse and held the little pewter pin, he felt a warm glow of assurance that God had not forgotten him. He prayed for the “impossible,” a successful surgical outcome. “The next day, after I was four hours in surgery, the surgeon told my wife, ‘There is no trace of the cancer.’ Now, 15 years later, I continue to rejoice in the warmth of that assurance of God’s love. I am in his hands,” Zinnecker says.
Pray in simple, concrete language. That is what Jesus instructed us to do when he taught people the Lord’s Prayer. That prayer, found in Matthew 6:9-13, is only 57 words long in the original Greek. In English it is 52 words and can be recited in less than 30 seconds. And most of the words in the prayer consist of one syllable, which by today’s standards means the written form of the Lord’s Prayer is on a second- or third-grade level.
The lesson: use simple, concrete language when speaking with God. Express yourself clearly and concisely. Consider this wisdom from author John B. Coburn:
Be yourself. Be natural before God. Do not pretend to emotions you do not feel. Tell him whatever is on your heart and mind with whatever words are most natural to you. You do not have to speak to him in “religious” language about “spiritual” matters only. . . . Speak as naturally and as easily as you would to a friend, since God is just that..
Offer bold prayers. When praying, think about this insight from writer William Arthur Ward: “God wants us to be victors, not victims; to grow, not grovel; to soar, not sink; to overcome, not to be overwhelmed.” Offer bold prayers that reflect a large faith and a large hope.
A prayer warrior who offered bold prayers was Archibald Campbell Tait, an archbishop of Canterbury in the 19th century. Between March 11 and April 8, 1856, Tait and his wife lost five of their six daughters to scarlet fever. At the height of his enormous grief, the archbishop offered this bold prayer of gratitude for God’s blessings in his life:
O God, you have dealt very mysteriously with us. We have been passing through deep waters. . . . Yet, O Lord, shall I not thank you now? I will thank you not only for the children you have left to us, but for those you have reclaimed. I thank you for the blessing of the last ten years, and for all the sweet memories of these lives. . . . I thank you for the full assurance that each has gone to the arms of the Good Shepherd, whom each loved according to the capacity of her years. I thank you for the bright hopes of a happy reunion, when we shall meet to part no more.
Have great expectations. Some people are prayer worriers not prayer warriors. They are filled with worry and self-doubt when they pray. This spiritual condition results in weakened, ineffective prayers.
The apostle James addressed this very issue: “When you ask him (God), be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. . . . They waver back and forth in everything they do” (James 1:6-8).
When approaching God with your needs, be strong and positive. Believe with all your mind and heart that God can and will respond to you. Pray big. Believe big. Think big. Cultivate a strong, positive, vibrant faith.