A Habit of Prayer
The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. James 5:16b AMP
Prayer is so vital that we have devoted an entire section to this point. While we should endeavor to understand spiritual things, we do live on the earth so long as God allows it to be so. Therefore, from time to time we will require practical solutions to real world problems. The good news is that the same basic instructions we receive from the Word of God, are applicable to life’s most complicated challenges. The more we search the scriptures, the more we are empowered to deal with our own issues and to help others along the way.
America’s founding fathers called for prayer during the Constitutional Congress. In their eyes, our recently created nation and freedoms were a direct gift from God. And in so, there was only one way to ensure protection – through prayer.” (The Official National Day of Prayer Website on, “Why Pray?”  – nationaldayofprayer.org).
Prayer is your golden opportunity to learn about God, from God, through the Holy Spirit. Finding your purpose is an important part of spiritual growth. As you grow, you will need a mentor. As you pray, think of God as you father; and of His Son Jesus as your brother and best friend. The most excellent part is that Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). Thus, when you talk to Jesus, you are communicating with God. What’s more, Jesus sent you a comforter: the Holy Spirit, when He gave His life for you at Calvary (Matthew 27:50) – who will teach and guide you in all truth.
The Holy Spirit is your portal to understanding. God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9), and now His Holy Spirit is yours for the asking (through prayer) (Luke 11:13)! This Holy Trinity (I John 5:7): the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is your Spiritual Living MVP – your mentor via prayer!
The next time you are faced with a specific problem, begin with a prayer to God to open your understanding, that you may receive his divine guidance; and that He will block the adversary’s attempts to create illusions of defeat in your situation. Then, begin searching the scriptures.
Break The Silence
Rather than waiting for a hard question – when you are uncomfortable asking and not sure how God will respond, begin with the simple questions that you may already know the answer to, but would like to confirm. You will be learning to strike up a conversation with God. If you are unaccustomed to speaking to God, this experience will be like the first conversations with a stranger, perhaps. Yet, you need to develop that habit of speaking to God in order for your first response to challenges to be communion with Him, rather than panic or desperate actions that you will likely later regret, and incur headaches or worse consequences in trying to reverse those actions done in haste.
God’s word instructs us not to sin, even when we are provoked to anger. If you have not developed a habit of speaking to God, it may be more difficult to control your emotions. Speaking to God is an effective coping skill for most – and I dare say all of life’s challenges. If there is any way that you can overcome opposition, communing with God is the best way. This is not the same as resigning to defeat. It is rather allowing God to fight your battles, which is something God said that He would do for those whose trust in Him.
Satan learned a long time ago that utterly destroying people is not necessary for him to filibuster. He gets more mileage out of your distraction than by annihilating you – because distracted people help others to also get off course. If Satan would just gets rid of you, he would lose destructive potential. He only need distract you enough to keep you busy with sidebars: busybody work, which will deter you from finding your purpose and fulfilling it. Edmund Burke said it best, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” While you are distracted, he will get focused on isolating you. We seen then that the enemy’s strategy for your defeat is to divide and conquer; but God works in unity. Not only is He there in the midst where two or three are gathered in His name; He said that one could set one thousand to flight, but two could send ten thousand. There is power in unity with the Holy Spirit of God.
Read James 5:13-18 and Ephesians 6:10-18. Whether you spend an hour or a second on any one occupation, you can never get that moment or group of moments back because time is fleeting and irreplaceable. In other words, your time is priceless. Allotting such a hot commodity may require changing your comfortable routines to allow one-to-one communication with a friend who is closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
Since we are made in the image of God, we do well to recognize the significance of our closeness to God by design. We have thoughts, emotions and personal will. We have these traits in common with God. When He says that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8), we should not take those words to mean that God does not understand or is unable to relate to our needs. In fact, we can read in the Word that God is touched by the movement our hearts; and He knows exactly how we feel (Hebrews 4:15a). He is more intimately knowledgeable and concerned with your life and well-being than any other person. Thus, God is a perfect example of a best friend.
You may have heard the hymn, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, only half a million times unto this day. Still, it is a wonder that some believers do not treat their relationship with Christ as lovingly as they do friendships with other people whom they call friends. God calls you his friend if you do His will (John 15:15). Have you ever examined God’s approach to friendship? How does He show his care for you? In fact, He extends to you the highest quality of friendship: love… And that love is so great (John 15:13) that He allowed His own son to take your place on the cross (John 3:16), to secure your opportunity to live with Him in eternity.
God values your friendship so much that although He is an omnipotent King, he does not treat you as a hired servant (John 15:15). God is willing to share His wisdom, resources and power with you. All He asks in return is your trust in Him and support of His will in your life. For this we can take the example of Abraham, with whom God established a lasting covenant, according to Abraham’s faith in God and willingness to be in total submission to His creator (James 2:23).
In light of the value God places on His friendship with you, a good way to begin your devotional time is by thanking God for the opportunity to strengthen your personal relationship with Him.
Having a friend you can trust on this earth is a blessing (James 5:16)8. Confession is good for the soul. However, we must be careful that we do not depend solely, or primarily on the human sounding board. We should not forget that God has all of the answers; and his advice is never flawed, biased or just plain wrong.
Never be afraid or reluctant to be totally honest with God. If you feel any need to ask forgiveness from God, do it. If you know you have lived salvation to the best of your ability all day long, it is yet good to ask God to forgive anything that may have offended someone, although it was not your intent to injure their feelings. Repent and ask for forgiveness for anything of offense; ask God to speak to you from His heart; and be prepared to listen to Him. The most important part of praying for your purpose is to commit it to habit. Make prayer a part of your every day life. The more time you spend communing with God, the more you can learn by association; the more you will become like Him; and this is the ultimate path to your purpose.
- Prepare your heart to commune with God. Psalm 100 is one of my favorite passages of scripture. Psalm 100 directs you in how to come before the presence of God. You are to approach Him with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, with a heart full of gladness, with praises unto Him, and by blessing His name.
a. Listen to or sing songs of praise to God.
b. Read scriptures that praise God.
- Thank God for anything you feel grateful for. A grateful heart gets God’s attention. Remember that God made people for His own glory. You were created to praise God. When you thank God for what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do, you speak to the very core of His omnipotence. God can do anything – and He can do everything.
- Be totally honest with God. God already knows your situation including every part that is “complicated.” Thus, there is no reason to be pretentious with Him.
- Repent and ask for forgiveness. I also pray for remission of sins.
a. Apologize for any wrong you know you have committed; and ask forgiveness.
b. Even if you know you have lived salvation to the best of your ability , it is yet good to ask God to forgive anything that may have offended someone, although it was not your intent to injure their feelings.
- Accept Jesus as your Savior, if you have not already done so. God loved you so much that He gave His only begotten Son to redeem you unto Himself. Christ’s resurrection is also your victory . Salvation is a gift that you must choose to receive.
- Ask God to guard all communication to you, from you, around you and concerning you, to protect your mind from doubt and any attack of the enemy.
- Ask God to renew your mind as you submit your body and life as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God.
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Romans 12:1-2 AMP
- Ask God to speak to you from His heart and to reveal to you His purpose for your life.
- Ask God to help you to recognize His voice and leading, so that when He is trying to communicate with you, you will know it is His influence and will respond accordingly. Knowing God’s voice and recognizing the leading of His Holy Spirit are two of the most important parts of being a woman of purpose. To be a woman of purpose means to follow God’s will in your womanhood and in everything that affects your womanhood quadrant – womanhood, sisterhood, motherhood, and ministry.
- Ask God to confirm His directions to you. He will provide witnesses. There are few things more damaging to purpose than misdirection. You want to avoid putting much effort in a wrong place. Detours can cost you time, money, influence, and more. Better to get a confirmation than to tire out on a dead end. Save your strength for the right course. Whilst you wait for direction, stand still on major decisions if possible. If you must proceed without prior confirmation, pray for grace and peace. Follow peace when there is any question of what to do . God is the author of peace, whereas Satan is the author of confusion. Following the spirit of peace is following the Spirit of God.
- Continue in prayer daily, even after you know what your purpose is. Knowing your purpose does not mean that you should stop praying about it. Knowledge of your purpose should allow you to pray more specifically.