Popular Christian speaker and author Joyce Meyer used to think that there was always something lacking in her prayers. She often struggled with feelings of doubt, fear, and lack of confidence that God even heard her at all.
"I used to have feelings like this and would think, 'Maybe I didn't say the right thing, or pray long enough, or my words weren't eloquent enough.' It was so frustrating because I didn't want to waste time, wondering if it was doing any good. After I pray, I want to know that God is working and my prayers make a difference," Meyer writes in an article for Charisma News.
However, things all changed for Meyer when she realised two important things. The first thing she learned is that all people have to do is ask God with a sincere heart.
"It's exciting to get the revelation that God loves us, cares for us and wants to help us. But we have a part to do in getting the things God has for us — we have to ask," says Meyer. "Now, it's important to understand that we have to ask for God's will to be done, not just for the things we think we want or should have apart from Him."
When people ask for things that would only cause a rift between them and God, Meyer says that prayer will not be answered. God refuses these prayers because it will only cause rifts and conflicts, she says, adding that many times, people think that they need certain material things that will only make them feel jealous and unhappy.
"But the reality is only God can give us what we're longing for in our hearts. He alone is the source of righteousness, peace and joy. And we will never enjoy life until we learn to abide in Him and trust Him to do what's best for us," she explains.
The second realisation Meyer has is that people have to pray for God's Will. "To abide means to live, dwell and remain. It's not just spending time with God on Sunday morning and then going through your week doing what you want apart from Him. God wants to do life with us Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday too," she says.
Meyer says it is always an amazing privilege to talk to God, and this is why she encourages Christians to come to Him with humility and open their hearts up to Him.
"Pray about everything that's on your heart and keep it simple. Remember, prayer is simply talking to God, and you can pray anytime, anywhere, all day long... and He will answer," she assures.