Prayer: the Power of Opening up the Windows of Heaven

 

Lately I have really come to enjoy and depend on the power of prayer in my life, yet before my husband’s death I often struggled to open the widows of heaven.  How do you take your prayers from simple pleadings, or rote recitations to powerful entreaties that call down blessing?  How do you deal with prayers that do not bring the results you desire, that make you wonder if God is really there?
 
I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned on this journey with the hopes that others who are struggling might be able to learn from my experiences, experience less frustration, and better find their own direction.

What is prayer and Why do we pray?

 
I can tell you what I have learned prayer is not...

Prayer is not the mechanism to tell God how to do things.

We do not pray to convince God that our way or plan is a better than His.
We do not pray to try to change his mind.

 

 
Perhaps this is why so many people loose their faith in prayer.  If we pray for what we want, and our desires are not immediately granted, we may conclude that God isn’t there or doesn’t care.  However, this problem lies not in God, but in our understanding of the purpose of prayer.
 

 

Prayer is not the same as rubbing a magic lamp,
 and God is not a genie.  
 
God is not a wish-granter.  He is our Heavenly Father… someone who loves us and in His infinite wisdom wants what is best for us in the long run.  This change of how we view God lets us have a different perspective on the purpose of prayer.

 

 
  • God wants a relationship with us.  A parent/child relationship.
If you had a child away at school who called with a list of demands, many of which you did not think were in his or her best interest, and then promptly hung up would you grant them?  Even if you were a perfect parent and you didn’t get mad about the lack of ingratitude and selfishness, would would drop everything to give them what they wanted?  
 
This senerio gives us an interesting insight into prayer and how God might feel on the other side of the phone call.  Maybe that is something we haven’t even considered, that God can feel…
 
I remember the first time as a teenager that I said something hurtful to my mom, and instead of getting mad at me, she started to cry.  Up to that point, I had not ever considered that my mom’s feelings could be injured like that.  It changed me and how I viewed her. She became a person to me.

 

  • Do we hurt our Heavenly Father some times?
  • Is He sad when we don’t seem to learn a lesson and we have to try again?
  • Does it hurt when we are rebellious and choose ‘things’ and “pleasure’ over Him?  
  • Does He feel compassion when we are suffering?
Would a loving parent ever grant a desire that was not in the child’s best interest?  Even if the child desperately wanted it and pleaded and pleaded and threw a temper tantrum?  

I have had children do this to me.  in fact, I wrote a post earlier about my son who desperately wanted to try out his new wings but jumping off the roof.( Why would a loving God let us suffer).  

A loving parent doesn’t give in, but instead tries to help the child understand.

The True Purpose of Prayer

 

We pray to…

  • Align ourselves with God’s will.  
  • Know what He was us to do, 
  • Understand what we are to learn from trials 
  • Learn to want what He wants.
  • Express gratitude to Him 
  • Procure the blessings He wants to bestow upon us and others
 
As we do that, we open the door of communication with him.  The more in tune and aligned with Him we are the more we can open the windows of heaven to receive of His love, peace and help.

 

Being ‘in tune’ takes practice.

 

If our desires are selfish then there is a lot of static and the door is only open a crack.  As we humble ourselves and are willing to submit to the Lord in all things then that door opens wider and wider.  As we ask him to help us change desires and behaviors that are not inline with Him, and as we work on those things, His help and grace is allowed to flow more freely into our lives.

 

  • We find it easier to do good and to become better.
  • We feel more happiness.
  • Our minds are enlightened and our understanding is increased. 
These things do not happen immediately just like when we knock at a door someone does not instantaneously greet us.  We have to knock with patient persistence. In time, as our hearts begin to change those answers will come.
 

Matt 7: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

As we take the time to ask what He would have us do, to really seek the Lord’s will, and to patiently wait while we knock, we find the power of prayer.  As we look back at our life it will become apparent to us the many times that the windows of heaven were opened for us and that we did receive blessings. We can use that pattern to help us get through the waiting as we go through current trials.

I want to share some comments from a friend who is working on his prayers.  Notice how he makes connections with the past and how he is coming to understand what to pray for…

“Reading the Psalms helps me feel grounded and know that things are the way they are and that God is always here for us.  Like kids we need to go through certain lessons — painful — yet for whatever reason important. 

My thinking became so negative over the past few years after things fell apart -all from an entitlement mentality.  I had it so good for so long and many people never have it as good.   I feel like a spoiled kid whose toys got taken away. 

For whatever reason it isn’t easy to know what to say in prayers.  Sounds silly perhaps though finding the words doesn’t come so naturally.  Especially when I know it’s more about peace than about stuff.  And I too need to pray for strength and wisdom and guidance to let go of my negative and bad thoughts, to replace them with kind and loving ones, for forgiveness for what I’ve done wrong, and to see people the way God sees them and love them and to understand. 

I pray a lot for gratitude as it seems like somewhere along the way I stopped being grateful for the gift of life.  I read the part in the book about the Psalms that talks about how many things we simply don’t even know that He was there to save us from what would/could have happened.  I used to think that way.   Though I stopped being grateful when my  “toys’ were taken away … “

I encourage you to spend time in your prayers thinking back on those patterns in your life.  Talk to God like he is your Father, express the feelings you have, and as you do, you will find your heart began to change and those windows will be open again.

Please share with us how praying this way has helped you.

Comments

  1. wrote on September 29th, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Daphne Sebastian

    One day I asked God why my prayers were not answered. He showed me John chapter 15. In it i read Jesus said there are five areas we need to address before we pray a prayer that pleases God. They are:-
    1. Fear God
    2. Love God.
    3.Abide in Him
    4.Bear fruit in Him
    5.Obey God.
    Jesus says if we exhibit these five characteristics, we can ask God whatever we wish and it will be done for us.
    Indeed I believe that if we fulfill all these five conditions genuinely, we will be asking correctly and we will receive.