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Marriage and Family: What prayer IS NOT & why it may not be working!

January 08, 2016

If you are married, you have experienced the various degrees of relating with your spouse. Sometimes, there is casual conversation as you are together. Sometimes, there is no communicating at all, just the comfort of one another's presence. Other times, there are some specific topics that the two of you need to address together that requires some undivided attention and uninterrupted "talk time". But if you choose to barge in and start rattling off what you want, more than likely, things are not going to go well for you!

As I (Jena) learn more and more about relating and connecting in conversation with God, my friend, Jennifer Kennedy-Dean, calls prayer not a prayer life, but a praying life. Prayer is developed out of a relationship that is on-going, just like with our husbands. The Bridegroom wants to be in an on-going continual conversation with us, His bride. So prayer is not something we do, as much as, it is a part of who we are: a bride communicating with her Groom.

Sometimes, my Heavenly Father and I have conversations as we are "doing life" together. Sometimes, there is no communicating at all, just the comfort of His abiding presence. Other times, there are some conversations needed regarding specific situations or people, that require some undivided attention and uninterrupted "talk time" with the Father.

If you have found that your prayers are not effective and fervent, let us recommend you include worship and fasting. You see, when we enter a time of worship, fasting and prayer, we are opening the doorway for our connection with the FATHER.  As this happens, we are moved into his presence as we pray. We are giving our undivided attention and time to be in intentional conversation with the Father, interceding for others, and petitioning for ourselves. This prayer approach is much more effective than just barging into His presence and rattling off what you want Him to do!

Prayer is not about barging in and demanding,

but entering in and delighting.

Psalm 100:4-5 says, "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations."

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, beginning with, "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Your name." 

And Paul admonished us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."

If you really want to enter into your time of prayer (and fasting) in a way that God desires, then delight in Him first. Be thankful; for who He is, what He has done, what He will do, and for every circumstance good or bad, recognizing that He has a plan in all of it.  We pray that as you pray, that the presence of the Lord will cover your prayer time, you will sense HIS presence and find HIS purposes for your life. We know this, the promise of scripture is you will find HIM if you seek HIM with all of your heart and these kinds of prayers really do work!

Join the conversation: 

How has God answered your prayers? 

What do you do to enter into HIS presence? 

Has a consistent prayer life been hard for you? 

Is there anything that you have discovered that makes prayer more effective in your life?  

This blog post was originally posted on Jena's Living Deeper Ministries webpage.  She will be posting more about how to pray more intimately and pray in alignment to God's will in other blog posts, so stay connected subscribe, and invite your friends so they can join you!

[to read more about prayer click HERE, or to find the best resources on prayer, visit prayinglife.org]


[to find out more about our resources for men, women and marriages click HERE]


[to find out about how to start the Living Deeper Series for women or small groups click HERE]


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