Ten Ways Not to Pray

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by Jeff Buscher

This article is from ec magazine.

Want to get on Satan’s nerves? Learn how not to pray. You’ll discover it will make a world of difference in your life and in your relationship with your heavenly Father. Here are ten things not to do:

1. Pray Loudly

This is very important. God is very busy these days. There is no way He will hear your prayer unless you pray loudly. If possible, find some sort of amplification device – anything that will help you be heard. A firm, deep voice and using a lot of “thee” and “thou” type words are great. In fact, the more religious words you can use, the better.

2. Pray in Public

Anytime you’re around a group of people and can draw attention to yourself, it’s definitely time for you to break out in prayer. This would also be a great time to mention any recent good deeds you may have done. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate. God knows the truth, but those around you need someone to look up to!

3. Pray Rarely

When you really think about it, prayer is entering the throne room of God. So before entering, be absolutely sure you’re not wasting the trip. Don’t waste God’s time with your petty little concerns about illnesses or tests or insignificant relationship problems. Only pray when it’s absolutely the last possible resort. Just don’t come to God if you can handle it yourself.

4. Pray Generally

When you actually do pray, remember that God knows everything, so you can get away with being very general. Some of His favorite prayers include, “God bless all the missionaries” and “Forgive us our sins.” Use these sparingly; but when you need them, remember to pray them loudly in public!

5. Pray for Yourself

There are lots of things to pray for out there; but whenever you get the chance, you should always pray for yourself first. You may have heard that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Well, if that’s true (and we’re not saying it is!), what does God want with a bunch of cows? He doesn’t need them, so pray to have your needs met as soon as possible.

6. Pray Without Feeling Anything

When you are experiencing feelings of sadness, anger, or excitement about life, it’s definitely not a good time to pray. God doesn’t really care about your feelings. He has this incredible “to do” list He’s working on, and He can’t be bothered by your emotional babble.

7. Combine Praying and Sinning

When you are sinning, that’s the best time to pray. Remember, He is God, and He’ll forgive you anyway. If it’s one of those sins you commit often, we suggest you develop a numbering system to speed up your requests. Lust could be #1; gossip could be #2; and so forth. This way, if you’re headed to a party, you can ask to be forgiven for numbers 1, 2, 5 and 7 before you leave the house.

8. Pray and Forget

Whatever you do, don’t worry about writing down your prayer requests. God never forgets anything. There is no reason to keep score. Just trust Him. Journals are a big mistake, and who’s got time for that anyway?

9. Pray Thoughtlessly

Don’t worry about concentrating when you pray. In fact, a good time to pray is just before you go to sleep. Let your mind wander. Think about all those things you really want and need, and just let your mind drift. It’s all out there, just for you; but you won’t retain it if you don’t let your mind wander aimlessly. You’ll get more praying done that way!

10. Ignore Answers

When you follow these first nine basic steps, there may be an occasional answered prayer. When this happens, do not believe it. Pray again and be sure you asked properly. When you do sense some sort of direction or guidance from God, don’t act on it right away. Wait at least a week or two, and you will find that what you were actually feeling may have been some form of indigestion.

Of course, you’re probably not going to have an Internet encounter with Satan or study the subject of prayer on his Web site. You will, however, be tempted to approach prayer with some of the attitudes listed above; and you can be sure that’s just fine with the devil!

God loves you, and He’s never too busy for you. Come to Him with whatever is holding you back or dragging you down.

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