When You Pray | Overseer Joshua Goodin
“When You Pray”
Matthew 6:5-8 (NIV)
The reason your prayers are not answered is that you’re praying the wrong way. There are instructions on how to pray because you think you can just say anything to God and address God in any type of way. If that were the case, he would not have left a model to follow, the Bible. Sometimes people confuse being religious with being righteous. Everyone can be religious, but not everyone can be righteous in their own standing but through Christ Jesus, you are the righteousness of God. Your fasting has become complex. The things you decide to give up are not sacrificial. How can you be a disciple of Jesus Christ, but you don’t pray? When was the last time you sat and had a dialogue with God? You spoke and then stuck around long enough to hear the answer because prayer is dialogue. You’re so comfortable with having one-sided dialogue because most of the time how you interact with people is how you interact with God. If you don’t stick around to let God, get a word in, that’s why when people talk to you, they feel like they’re talking to a brick wall. You just talk but never take the time to listen.
*When you pray don’t try to show up like someone else, show up as yourself. Don’t come before God hiding as if God doesn’t already know everything you did before you pray. What sense does it make for you to go before the throne and come hiding who you really are? One of the reasons you’ve spent a lot of time faking and pretending in different spaces is because that’s how you are with God. You don’t want God to see who you are, but remember he made you, he knows everything about you, and you can’t fool God. You avoid God in prayer because you don’t want to confess the things that you’ve done, but God knew it before you did it.
*When you need something from God you don’t have to be cute and use a lot of words. You don’t impress God using long words and praying for long periods of time. You put God to sleep, and he never slumbers or sleeps. You pray long prayers thinking the longer you pray the more God is going to move, but God can move if you just say Father, I stretch my hand to thee. When you go to God in prayer be like Jacob and keep asking him to do it until he does it. Wrestle with him until he answers and shows up for you, because you have enough faith in God that when you pray you believe the Bible. Ask and it shall be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door shall be opened (see Matthew 7). Be a witness that you called on the Lord, you asked God to come through for you, and he showed up. Every now and again you need to stop, pause, and play the rewind button and think about how you prayed to God in the past and how he showed up for you. God shows up for you in times when you didn’t deserve it when you didn’t think, he was going to do it, and when you thought, he was going to leave you by yourself. He reminds you in his word that he’ll never leave you nor forsake you; he will be with you (see Hebrews 13). Some of you have been walking with the Lord for so long and have become seasoned in your age that you think you don’t have to cry out to God like you used to. God will come through for you in ways that may seem simple to other people, and you don’t have to thank him for what others thank him for, but thank him for everything he’s done for you, the ways he’s made. You should never come to the house of the Lord and not have a reason to thank God, thinking about what you’ve done. He’s a God of another chance because you exceeded the second chance a long time ago but thank God, he has enough grace that when you confess your sins, he’s faithful and just to forgive you of your sins and transgressions and throw them in the sea of forgetfulness (see 1 John 1 & Micah 7). Don’t care what others know about you because God has forgotten it. It doesn’t matter what others think about you, they weren’t there when God saved you and when he blessed you. They don’t understand the price you had to pay to get what you have, calling on the Lord crying out to come through for you, make a way for you, and open a door for you. Think about where God brought you from, you had to lose some things, cry over some things, or couldn’t sleep asking God to come through, deliver, and turn it around.
*There are some people that pray like hypocrites, they talk to God like hypocrites because they’ve been those same praying hypocrites in your life. Actors who have shown up pretending to have your back, pretending to want to do what’s best for you, pretending if you call them, they’ll come through when you need them and they’re not there. One thing you don’t need in this season is pretenders. Some people are acting the part because they see where God is getting ready to take you and they don’t want to miss the blessing. Pray for a spirit of discernment that God will show you who you should have in your life and who you should get rid of. Do not become discouraged by people that are no longer anointed to go with you. They served their time well, and now you need distance between you because they cannot help you with where you’re going. Some people have taken you the distance and they can no longer take you because they can't take you to places, they've never been before. You can trust when God is placing you in the hands of new people because God would not have allowed them to come into your life if they were not anointed enough to carry you into the new place. Sometimes you get frustrated because you think you should be lifers constantly connected, but sometimes you must break up to make up. You need distance to come between you, because you can’t grow in the position that you’re in, and you must disconnect because unintentionally they’re blocking you from where God is trying to take you. God allows this to take place because of the territory he’s ordained for you to walk in, he cannot allow people who will stifle your promise.
*Whenever God opens a door, he will properly equip the space that houses the door and put a framework in place. When God opens the door, you don’t have to worry if the framework will stay up. God cannot fail, you must understand that how God grades and you grade are two different things. Some of you feel like because you’re not where you want to be in life you failed certain things. God says what you look at as a failure was only just a setup. When you go to God in prayer you have to be willing to be vulnerable and transparent with him and say God this is what I need. If you can move past the place of asking God for what you want and start saying God just supply, my needs. He said he’ll supply all your needs according to his riches in glory (see Philippians 4). He also said if your ways are pleasing, he’ll give you the desires of your heart (see Psalm 37), but sometimes God doesn’t give you certain things, because even though you can handle it, it is not conducive to where he’s trying to take you. You are where you are because God had a design, and you may say you messed up, and you did this, God’s grace is greater than your biggest mess up. God only allows what you consider to be a mistake or a mess-up to happen in your life so that he can use it as a teachable moment to help you appreciate where he’s taking you. Stop beating yourself up over the mistakes that you made, because God can turn a mistake into a miracle, he can take what was broken and repair it in ways that nobody can see where the crack took place.
*When you go through it with people in your life you share too much with outside people. When you have a breach with someone, sometimes you just must be quiet. You need someone to talk to, talk to the Lord. You would experience less pain if you had just talked to God, instead of telling people about things that they can’t solve or fix. Now you’re frustrated because you entrusted them, but they entrusted someone else that you didn’t trust. Sometimes you’re too exposed to too many people because not everyone is rooting for you, even if they’re in the crowd and have pom poms. Your prayer life is getting ready to be different. You’ve been seeking God for some things, and he’s been answering prayers, whenever God answers a prayer, it requires you to step up. When God blesses you, it should cause you to step up.