Since praying is such a common practice for believers, over time it's easy to fall into habits that result in a lifeless and empty prayer life. Instead of a dynamic conversation with thoughtful requests and active listening for God's response, our prayers can seem more like grocery lists. Because communication with the Lord is such a vital part of the Christian life, we occasionally need to step back and examine how we're doing.
Begin by asking yourself these questions:
How effective are my prayers? Is God answering my petitions, or does it seem as if they never go past the ceiling?
Who am I praying for? Are most of my requests for myself or others?
What am I asking the Lord to do? Have I looked in the Word to see what He wants, or am I trying to get Him to intervene according to my plans and desires?
When do I pray? Is it only during emergencies or when I need something?
If you discovered any selfishness in your answers, you're not alone. Most of us struggle to enter God's presence with our eyes focused on Him instead of our needs. But the only way we'll be able to pray with impact is to fill our minds with Scripture so we can find out what the Lord wants to do.
Your prayer life can become effective and dynamic if you'll approach the Lord with a clean heart (Psalms 66:18), align your requests with His will, and believe He will do what He says (Mark ). Then you'll be able to pray with absolute confidence knowing that He will hear and answer your petitions.
~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~