Never being one to fear standing out in a crowd or of being a bit different, I boldly and without reservation state that for the longest time I believed everything God said about prayer but, and this is a big but, I knew who I was and that diminished my desire to pray and also, I believe, the results of my prayer. You're most likely not like this but you might know someone who is so I will go on.
One of my many heroes of the Bible is a young guy named Elihu. He was an acquaintance of Job. For the first 31 chapters of the Book of Job we read the thoughts of Job and his older, "wiser" friends. Due to his youth, Elihu just sat by and listened. Finally after 30 chapters of this "wise" counsel Job launches into a long oratory about his frustration over his plight.
Finally, the "wise" friends are silenced. Elihu speaks up. (Please take some time to work your way through the book of Job. Hang in there during the first 31 chapters, chapters 31 through the end of the book are worth the effort.)
Elihu makes the following statement, "Look at the heavens and see; and behold the clouds - they are higher than you. If you have sinned what do you accomplish against Him? And if your transgressions are many, what do you do to Him? If you are righteous, what do you give to Him?"
Elihu says to his advisors, see those clouds, your sin doesn't even effect them, how do you think that they could possibly effect God?
When Jesus tells us to "pray believing" He didn't say "repent, sacrifice, fast" then pray. He simply said "pray believing" because prayer is totally based upon God, not on us!
He said, "I can't believe all that we have going on and I am having trouble handling everything."
She said, "I am just as overwhelmed as you are if not more." "What can we do about our situation?"
He said, "Maybe we should pray"
She said, "Well I guess that's all we have left; we've tried everything else"
Does this sound at all familiar? We all reach our limits sometimes, don't we?
Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest" Matthew 11:28
So is prayer "all we have left" or is "life all we have after prayer"?
Let's "come to Jesus" first for our peace and to make sense out of our lives and out of our situations. Putting it off until it is the only thing left seems a tad foolish and unnecessary, doesn't it?
Eternity is a long, long. long, long, long, longer, longer, longer........time. It is impossible for us to comprehend eternity. The stars in the heavens can be counted, the sand on all of the beaches in the world could be counted, it would take some time and great patience but it is possible to count them. Eternity can not be counted or even considered. We have no point of reference by which we can understand the concept of eternity.
So what? What does this have to do with you ? Just this; a simple prayer in faith makes a difference for eternity. Not because of how we pray, but only because of Who has invited us to pray!
Talk to Him like you would to your best friend who has just returnd from a long, long time away!