As Christians, we know we can pray to God and ask Him to provide for our needs. We are aware that He helps us in times of distress, and we know that He wants the best for us. But do we really know how much help we need from God? Do we truly understand how Satan is working in our lives to separate us from the Living God?
This article will discuss the importance of prayer for our lives and keeping within His timing, but it will also briefly explain how Satan is working through us, even when we don’t realize it. Satan is subtle in his ways. He is clever and crafty, and he is always watching for our moment of weakness to slip in and start corrupting.
1 Peter 5:8
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
The importance of giving our matters to God in prayer
A strong Christian knows that the enemy is constantly ready to pounce and attack. This means, that person knows the importance of staying connected and relying on God at all times throughout the day; every day.“But when we are walking daily with Jesus, we are powerful to resist the enemy” Click To Tweet
This is because when we let our guard down even for a moment, the devil sneaks in and starts putting messages into our mind. For many, they won’t learn this lesson from others, but from their own experiences.
Articles like this won’t stop Satan from attacking people; rather, our awareness of his craftiness and our increased connection with Christ will. Satan will always try, but when we are walking daily with Jesus, we are powerful to resist the enemy (James 4:7).
One of Satan’s methods he has used on me countless times is when he tells me that I don’t have to pray to God about something; that it’s too small and God doesn’t really care about the little things. I know this might sound foolish to some, but it is the little subtle things like this that will separate us from God.
God does in fact care, as God knows that any little issue in our life can take root in our life and become something large. If this little thing happens to be something damaging, well, when it grows, it will surely create a barrier between us and the Lord.
When we get a thought that says, “Ah, don’t bother the Lord with this; He’s too busy and we can make our own decisions,” take that thought before the Lord and ask Him to search our heart; to reveal anything in us that isn’t Him. God is faithful to protect us. We are wise to pray constantly for a discerning spirit.
Why does God take so long to answer my prayers?
Anyone who has prayed will have a story about how God took forever to answer their prayer, or even that, God totally forgot about their prayer.
We can’t understand God’s timing, or what He is doing in our situations. We are told to bring all our prayers before the Lord and to thank Him in advance for all He has done for us (Philippians 4:6). This means that we must bring all our concerns before the Lord and see that thing as done. We can then wait patiently and thankfully and without worry.
Prayer isn’t always going to be a quick fix. In some instances, God will move quickly and rectify the situation according to His Will. However, other instances might take considerable time before God shows His power.
If we have an issue that is causing us discomfort, God see’s our pain. But He knows the bigger picture; He knows how this will unfold for us. So, in our pain, we cry out to God, but to our dismay, He doesn’t answer us. But why?
We must understand that the only true way to develop our faith or patience is through times of testing. We effectively benefit from hard times in our life, that is, when we are obedient to God and patiently trusting Him. He understands that we won’t always get this right, and that we will make mistakes. But in time, our faith will grow.
We should see that God is steadily refining us and making us stronger. God can give us exactly what we want as soon as we pray a prayer, but what do we really learn from this? If God makes us wait a week and we obediently trust in God’s faithfulness to provide and we strive to be fruitful for the Kingdom’s sake during this time, then we are growing in maturity, we are strengthening our faith, and God will see that we are ready for bigger and better things.
What happens when I get ahead of God?
To add to the last point, when we pray to God about something, and instead of patiently waiting and being productive for God and trusting that He is faithful to provide, we quickly step in and try to figure it out ourselves. We essentially get ahead of God.
This is when we focus on what we want to happen, or whatever it is we don’t yet have, we take our focus off God and we start thinking of what we can do to yield the result we want. We wisely bring our prayer to God, but because of little faith and wrong focus, we quickly take it back upon ourselves to find a solution.
So, what happens when we do this?
Primarily, God leaves us to the task. This means, we risk falling on our face, being embarrassed, taking on prolonged negative consequence, and even causing negative consequences for our entire household, our families.
One thing God doesn’t tolerate with us is our pride. Think of the glorious angel Satan was before his pride got him an eternity in Hell. God wants to give us a great life and He wants to reward us. But He doesn’t want to compete with us.
He will simply allow us to go ahead with our plans and reap all that comes with it. After we fall on our faces in whatever we are trying to accomplish on our own, sure, we can then come to God and seek His direction, and He will surely help. This is because our God is full of grace and mercy and forgiveness.
But even at this time, God will require us to patiently wait for Him to put the pieces back together.
So, why not just patiently wait and let God work on our prayers in the first place, right?
The risk of saying God doesn’t answer prayers
I am reminded of the many times that I’ve prayed to God for something, waited one day, then decided that God just doesn’t seem to answer my prayers. I have found this to be Satan working directly through me to break me down where I am most powerful; in my direct connection to God through prayer.
So, every time I do this, it weakens my faith in God. I start to get used to saying, “God isn’t going to answer my prayers, so what’s the point?”
This is counterproductive. Instead of growing closer to God through prayer, I was effectively strengthening Satan’s power in my life. I was allowing a root of bitterness to form within me. This bitterness would grow in me each time I would pray and quickly take that prayer back upon myself because God wasn’t moving fast enough.
Satan wants us to say foolish things like this because it breaks down our inner spirit and our self-image. First, it draws us further apart from God, and second, then we feel bad for our actions and attitude towards God.
So, we can see in an example here from my life, Satan creeps in when we’re vulnerable, when we are praying for a need or deep desire, he keeps putting the desire on our mind which relocates our focus from God to our problem, he tells us we can just figure it out and instills doubt that God will answer us, then he fills us with condemnation afterwards as we feel bad about ourselves and more separated from God.“I quickly replace Satan’s lies with God’s promises.” Click To Tweet
In most instances, and in my experiences, this is subtle, and I don’t catch it until the root of bitterness is bigger. I have literally gotten to the point previously where I would pray, and immediately, a strong feeling of disbelief or doubt would come over me that God would answer my prayer for me.
This happened because I gave Satan too much power in my life. Now when I pray, and even though those thoughts still come to mind at times, I quickly replace Satan’s lies with God’s promises.
How to have faith in God
“You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
God is big on trust. God wants to do so many great things for us in our lives, but most importantly, He wants us to love Him and trust Him.
The whole Christian religion is based on faith. We are called to believe in a God we can’t see, fight a spiritual battle that we can’t see, ask for things that seem impossible to come into fruition, and believe that we are going to a place that we can’t see.
But, if we tune into God, that is, if we fully surrender to Him each day in prayer, in reading the bible, and in worship, we can grow a strong relationship with Him where He is faithful to make himself known to us.
As we trust in Him and He shows us His faithfulness to us, we start to fill our “faith bank” with these experiences where God answered our prayers and showed His power in our life. This is when our confidence in the unseen God, our faith in Him, can really grow and become powerful.
We must be sure to know that we will have struggles in this life, and that through them, God can grow our faith. But we need to be in a position of awareness. When the hard times come, we absolutely need to realize that God is more powerful than any situation, and that we can trust Him to bring us out and put us in a better place afterwards.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Jesus is telling us here that He knows that we will have hard times. He is trying to reassure us that, no matter how bad it seems, we can have victory in Him.
If you want to grow your faith in God, start learning about His promises and look for any and all areas in your own life where He has shown you His faithfulness. When you ask for something in prayer, remember these and trust Him to work out everything for your good.
Why we must worship instead of worry
When we are frustrated with life or worrying about a difficult situation or struggling with loss, it’s hard to think about jumping up and down for God’s glory. However, this is the best method for us to deal with our biggest issues.
God created us to glorify Him. He didn’t create us so that we could see how much money we could earn in forty-plus years, or to see how big of a house we could attain, or to see how wise we can get. God created us to have a relationship with Him and to love Him and to worship Him.
God is a God of love. He cherishes relationships. God will move mountains for us when we trust Him and worship Him. But how many of us are doing this? How full are the hospitals around the world because of worry and stress?
We are told to cast our cares upon the Lord in Psalms 55:22. When we bring our greatest concerns to God and leave them with Him while we go about bringing praise to His name, He see’s this as maturity, wisdom, and great faith in Him. God is in a hurry to help people who do it this way.
Knowing that God wants us to cast our cares on Him, we should be willing to do this in any and every situation in our life; even if it’s on a moment-to-moment daily basis. God can handle it. We should never believe Satan when he tells us we are wearing God out. This simply isn’t possible. At that time, remind Satan of where he’s headed, and go about enjoying all that God has for you.
Prayer and worship to the Living God are our most powerful tools in this life. No matter how big our problem is or how deep the pain seems to go, we can give it to God, remember His promises, and spend our time in praise and worship to Him.
This is the way we get wisdom and answers from God; this is the way we overcome anxiety in our lives; this is the way we move mountains in this world.
Don’t be afraid to trust God with your biggest concerns. God is ready and willing to help you find victory in your life, but He wants you to trust Him and not stare at your watch while tapping your foot. He wants you to grow your faith in Him and use your experiences to help others grow their faith in Him, too!
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