Talking with Jesus - 2 Mistakes I Made

Do you ever wonder if you’re doing this prayer thing right? Do you wonder if God actually hears you? Do you ever wonder “What’s the point? He’s not going to answer the way I want anyway.”

Maybe you trust he hears you but you don’t know what to say. 

I used to wonder if my prayers were “spiritual” enough. I used to hear wise women pray and be intimidated by their words and wonder if mine sounded silly to God. I have since learned that no prayer sounds silly to God but as I’ve studied the Scriptures and grown in wisdom, I’ve learned that I was making 2 major mistakes in my prayers.

I was making the prayer about me rather than God. ​

I was so focused on me and the result I wanted when I was praying, I was forgetting WHO I was praying to. I was asking God to give me this or give me that. And I would thank Him for it. But I was treating him more like a genie or a vending machine than the creator of the universe.

I was asking God for things and outcomes I wanted with no regard for His will for me.

I was so focused on what I wanted and what I thought was best for me, I didn’t consider the big picture and what the main goal was—my transformation not my comfort.

As I’ve studied sample prayers in the Bible (there are many), I’ve learned that, though there is no right or wrong way to pray, there is a guide to ensuring my posture and mindset stay focused on God, rather than me and that the outcome be inline with what He wants for me. 

Introducing the “6 Rs” Prayer Guide

Recognize Who He Is

First thing I noticed when I read David’s prayer or Hannah’s prayer or Jeremiah’s prayer…they all acknowledged who God is. Even Jesus did this. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” When you pray, recognize with whom you’re having a conversation. 

Remember What He Has Done

Remembering all he has already done for you and thanking Him for it is important. It keeps us focused on gratitude rather than greed. It focuses on our provider. And it helps keep my pride in check. I see all he has done that I don’t deserve and puts me in my place. 

Repent of WHat I've Done

Repenting is an important part of prayer. When we are able to see our sin and what Jesus did on the cross for us, it places our heart in a position of awe and surrender. Of humility. And be specific as you can. Don’t just say “sorry for all I did wrong today” or “forgive me for my sins”. Say “God I’m sorry for yelling at _____. Forgive me for losing my temper.” True repentance is a sorrow over what you have done, recognition of who you have wronged, and a conscious choice to make a change.

Request for what I or someone else needs

After I’ve recognized who He is and thanked Him for all He’s done and repented of what I’ve done, now my heart is in the proper place to request what I need. If I start with requests, I tend to treat him as a genie or a magician. Give me this and give me that. Instead, I request for wisdom and discernment. I ask for His provision according to His will and creativity. 

Relinquish the Result

This part of my prayer life held the biggest shift. I used to pray often for a specific result and then be frustrated with God when I wasn’t seeing it happen. But now, I can state my case—share my heart and desires—but then truly say as Jesus said “not my will but yours be done”. And then leave the results in His hands. And instead of being frustrated with the result, I am now constantly in awe of how God works and moves for my good. It’s not like I would have planned…it’s better!

Rest in His Response

Now I rest in his peace and joy and comfort and hope as I know I can trust Him. Whatever is going on in my life, I can trust Him. I can see each moment as an opportunity for great joy because he’s developing my perseverance and that perseverance is making me more like Christ every day. 

I encourage you to use these 6 R’s when you pray and watch your prayer life and trust in God grow! 

Click below to download a free printable of the Prayer Guide with sample prayers!

To Him Be the Glory!

- Janine