1) When we just don’t feel like praying at all!
When we are sick, miserable, in a dark place, feeling lost, forgotten or too heavy to lift ourselves up. We pray to God for healing, joy, comfort, light to pierce all darkness, remembering the Lord and the goodness of Him and His good gifts of the past given to us by way of the altars we have built in our hearts out of the love we have for Him (the uncut rough stones of past resolve and hardness of heart or the wall we had built around our hearts against Him), and realize the promises of God that He will be with us even until the end of time and that nothing in Heaven and Earth can separate us from His eternal unconditional love for us, and then allow Him to lift us up and stop struggling under the weight of our own oppression with our own meager strength and let the strong arm of the Lord do the work we could never do alone! The enemy will be there too! So be warned! It will try to convince you that God is no longer with you. It will try to convince you that there is no hope or even a future for you. Maybe it would seek to convince you even that God would never forgive the sins you have committed! In a dark place where you are having trouble feeling the presence of God, Lucifer’s voice can get really loud. Just remember, you have power from on high through the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose Name has been given authority over all things in heaven and in earth! That is power to call upon to silence any voice! Never forget! And if it gets hard to remember sometimes, build an altar. You can keep a ledger of all the times God blesses you, great or small, or set a place in your heart that you tend every day with thankfulness and joy, worshiping God with your very life for the great gifts He has given you. If you need a place to start because you haven’t done this up until.now, start with Gift #1, and either watch the movie produced by Mel Gibson, “The Passion” or read Luke chapters 22-24. As you watch and/or read, consider this: He did this for you. Had you been the only one in all of history to be saved by His sacrifice, He would have STILL done all of this, just for you! He’s just that kind of KING!
2) When we don’t feel like we really “need” to pray right now!
If you ever get in this place, it’s probably NOT good! Where there is a will, there is a way, and obstacles to overcome! We never finish that anecdote! We hate to think about obstacles. We think that the absence of obstacles is good, because it’s easy. But if God says that nothing can be done without Him, and that all things are possible through Him, and we stop for a moment in the path we are on and recognize that things are really easy right now and that we are doing just fine on our own, it’s about that time that a 1-Ton cartoonesque anvil is about to fall on your head! It wouldn’t be easy for you to do alone if the way of the will were in line with those of God! No obstacles, no obstructions, is a very bad sign. The enemy, Lucifer, only throws obstacles at the people walking on that path that fulfills the will of God! Being on the way of the will that meets no obstacles should reveal to you that God’s way is somewhere else, and it’s time to change course. But first, stop right where you are, and start praying. Because in a place of peace in a war for your very soul, is the very best time to build up those prayer reserves, rations if you will, to make it back onto the right way and stay the obstacle course you will find there. Remember that God has never failed you in this moment. Build an altar of love and of thanks for revelation and joy in your heart right where you stand, stuff your pockets and your hungry face with all the manna you receive because you can’t take any with you, fill your prayer bowl in Heaven with that sweet savor that pleases God, and take the Lord by the hand, trusting fully in Him to continue to be unchanging, forever loving, and step back into the Will of God where there is a Way to overcome every Obstacle, and the enemy itself, and reach the greatest of goals. God will keep you fed, quench your every thirst, and help you lift your legs over every high hill that gets in the way. Do not be afraid.
3) When we need to pray for someone that causes us to feel angry, hurt, frustrated or even to hate them!
One of the most obedient prayer you can ever pray is the one you speak aloud to God on behalf of someone you hate. You can’t find it in your heart to pray for someone you hate all on your own! Only the presence of God and the Holy Spirit in your heart would even care! We think prayer is an act of our will. It is not. It is an act of our obedience, discarding our will and sense of good and bad, right or wrong, and just appealing to the Lord for the manifestation of the things we know from hearing His voice and reading His Word and walking His Way, are in accordance with His Will, not ours. Jesus had a will, just before He was crucified, but he Obeyed God instead. You would will or curse or criticize or get incensed at another, a totally natural human reaction to excessive stresses. Your act of aggression is the human way. But God’s ways are not our ways. God responds, he does not react, and He wants us to practice at doing the same! Stop reacting and then excusing your behavior based on the findings of sciences that tell us it is just part of being human to do these things. We are strangers in a strange land, Pilgrims passing through, no longer human, but still no better than the strangers we long with all our God-given love and passion and desires and dreams in our heart to bring with us into God’s Holy discipleship unto the singular salvation. There is no way to reach God except through Jesus the Christ. He said so Himself. Pray for those who use, abuse, persecute, harm, frustrate, anger, and seek to destroy you! And do so most especially, if that other person is another child of God! There can be no love in the heart of a daughter or a son of God that does not seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the peaceful correction of their siblings in the Lord).
God bless you all! I hope these three points give you some insight into yourself and into your prayer life. God wants us to pray most especially when it is hardest for us to pray, love when it is most especially difficult to love, and fight when we are most especially incapable of fighting. Those are the circumstances in our lives that most definitely require God to help us get things done! In spite of how it feels in those situations, those are really great places in which to find yourself.
– Alecia Shepherd