4 Common Mistakes We Make During Prayer
Praying in unbelief — The scriptures say it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he exists and he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Throughout Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the instruction was given to purify yourself before approaching the altar of God. This is because there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2). In that condition, our prayers won’t get past the ceiling. But, when we confess our sins to God, we restore our relationship with him (1 John 1:9).
Daniel confessed the sins of the people in his prayers (Daniel 9)
Go boldly to the throne of grace to obtain help (Hebrews 4:16)
The gospel of rest
Praying with pride and arrogance — This is the actual sin of Satan, who being the most powerful angel, decided that he could be like God (Isaiah 14). It didn’t end well for him (Ezekiel 28). It won’t end well for you either.
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5)
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:17)
Though the LORD is on high, He attends to the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar. (Psalm 138:6)
He mocks the mockers, but gives grace to the humble. (Proverbs 3:34)
For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and humble of spirit, to restore the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)
We have heard of Moab’s pride, his exceeding pride and conceit, his proud arrogance and haughtiness of heart. (Jeremiah 48:29)
Now this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and complacent; they did not help the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49)
Praying my will not thy will — When we forget to ask God for his will in our prayers, we are actually telling God what to do. It’s okay to tell God what we want, but it’s never okay to tell him what to do.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)
A second time He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cup cannot pass unless I drink it, may Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)
Has anyone taught God? Who did he take counsel with, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? (Isaiah 40:14)
You ask, and don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures. (James 4:3)
Praying in public — We all know somebody who always prays loudly with drama in public. There may be times when this is appropriate, but most of the time we should go into a secret place to pray in private to God. The most powerful public prayer I ever heard was, “Don’t let Satan snatch this seed. Amen!” The most effective prayer I ever heard was, “Forgive me. Amen!”
Be careful about doing righteous acts before men, to be seen of them. (Matthew 6:1)
“When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most certainly, I tell you, they have received their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your inner room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:5-6)
Praying with repetition — Babbling the same words over and over or repeating the same prayer over and over (1 Kings 18:26). God is not looking for a formula. He wants to be your friend. He wants a relationship with you. He wants you to be real with him.
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