Principles of Prayer

In the famous musical Fiddler on the Roof, main character and protagonist Tevye, early in the film, begins to lament his poverty. As he progresses, he starts to sing a very well known tune called “If I Were A Rich Man”. At the end of the song, he cries out to God this line:

“Lord, who made the lion and the lamb, You decreed I should be what I am, Would it spoil some vast eternal plan…If I were a rich man?”

It’s obvious that there are certain things, prayers rather, that are not going to be answered the way that we, or should I say, our flesh, would like.

To sort all that out, and help my brothers and sisters pray more effectively (and therefore not get discouraged when they pray, or feel like they are wasting breath), here are four HIGHLY important principles of prayer.

Are you ready?

1.) God answers all prayers. It’s just that sometimes, perhaps even most times, the answer is “NO”. So how does one receive a “YES” from God when they pray? Simple; pray only and always according to His will. God’s will is His desire. If God doesn’t desire that something come to pass, it will not. You can beg and plead all your life long, and He won’t budge. So rather, study the Word, allow Him to teach you what His will is, and your prayer life will be much more rewarding, effective, and benefitial to you.

2.) God will never violate someone’s free will to answer your prayers for them. Get this through to your soul as fast as possible. All your asking and supplication won’t accomplish anything if it requires God to do something that causes a person to be forced.

3.) The golden rule applies to prayer. Pray for others the kinds of things you would want or appreciate if others prayed it for you. You must remember, you probably aren’t going to experience the aftermath or results of your answered prayers for other people. Praying for a backslider, for example, and giving God a “whatever it takes” type prayer is a very hard thing. Would you be prepared to have God do “whatever it takes” to you, should the situation be reversed?

While God may, if it’s His will, answer yes to such a prayer, please just be mindful of what you’re asking God. It’s just consideration of the person you are praying for. If you wouldn’t like the kind of answer you want God to give to someone else for yourself, maybe you should rethink your petition. Just a thought.

4.) God’s way of answering prayer is a lot more practical and mundane than we give Him credit for. If you are praying for yourself for God to help you do or be X, it just might be that God’s response to such a prayer is “DO IT YOURSELF”. You can’t stop saying God-d***it” every time you stub your toe or hit your head, and you want some supernatural power from on high to deliver you? How about you just control yourself and stop it?

Don’t get me wrong, brothers and sisters, pour your heart out to God and talk to Him about everything. He wants you to do so. But just remember, if you ever have a specific request of God that is more than just soul to Spirit communication or conversation, then the principles above absolutely apply.

Peace and God bless,



~ by votivesoul on 11/22/2012.

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Mark Showalter's Blog

Always seeking to know God more

Theo-sophical Ruminations

A collage of theological and philosophical musings

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