Do I pray too quick? Too long? Not enough words? Too many words? Is my heart in it? What is the correct way to pray?

How much we labor in our prayer time has nothing to do with Labor Day. I just heard a pastor teach about this topic. And admittedly, a few of us squirmed because his words stirred a bit of guilt. And, goodness, his message elbowed us out of our comfort zone.

"When we ask God for blessings," he said, "we often repeat mousy petitions."

Mousy petitions? He explained the prayers we blurt out often carry doubt. We lack the reassurance that God will grant what we ask. They repeat the circumstance, not the victory we can count on. They mention the dark side, and fail to declare the victory that comes in His answer.

And when we ask, we forget to give thanks. We forget to anticipate He will answer. We overlook the mighty way He can exercise His power.

So, what's the best way to pray? With boldness, with conviction, with authority, with firmness and with holy audacity.

The number of words we use doesn't matter. Or the flowery expressions either. But, what does matter is the complete faith, the firm authority because of Jesus that makes the difference.

They did for John and Peter. They saw the beggar at the entrance of the temple. "Then Peter said, 'Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God'" (Acts 3:6-8 NIV).

Why did Peter take the man by the hand? Because he was sure he could get up. Because he declared it in the name of Jesus. Because he counted in Jesus' power at work. Because he was confident Jesus was working through him. And because he knew the man's crippled legs were no match to Jesus' healing power.

Father, remove doubt from my prayers. Instead, show me how to pray with conviction, authority, and boldness as I ask in the name of Jesus' amen.

What level of certainty do your prayers have these days?

Janet Eckles

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