Many of us can find that we struggle at times to have faith in prayer. How do we know that it is working? Here are six common myths about prayer that can be harmful to our relationship with God, along with the truth that He really wants you to know.
Myth 1: God only hears my prayers if I am a “good” person.
Truth: God is happy to hear from His children, regardless of the circumstances of your life. He is not upset with you or holding anything back because of mistakes you have made or because you have not prayed consistently. Many times, we hold ourselves back and choose not to reach out to Him because we don’t feel worthy enough to do so. The truth is that He is always there and ready to listen to our prayers and is grateful we want to reach out to Him.
Myth 2: Prayer is a one-way conversation.
Truth: While we may not be able to hear or see anyone listening to our prayers, God is on the other end taking in all that we tell Him every time we pray. He is not only there and listening, but He also hears us and finds ways to send us His love and comfort. Often, we can see that love manifest through the help and support of other people around us, like our family and friends.
Myth 3: Prayer is only reserved as something I do during difficult times when I’m struggling.
Truth: We can pray in any circumstances and at any time. God is not waiting for us to be suffering or struggling to hear from us. We can talk to Him about any of our trials, but also about our lives in general. We can pray as we drive in the car just to tell him about our day. We can pray out loud or in our mind and express feelings of joy, gratitude, confusion, or sadness. He is our best friend and wants to know about everything we are feeling. Continually having a prayer in our heart not only makes the struggles we are facing more bearable but keeps us tethered to and focused on God.
Myth 4: When I pray, it is all about my wants and needs.
Truth: God loves to hear from His children. We do not have to wait to talk to Him until we need or want something. We can reach out and pray just to tell Him thank you, or to tell Him that we love Him. It is not just reserved for when we want to give Him a long list of things that we don’t have yet. He wants to know every detail of our lives. He is our Father and feels joy as we talk with Him as our loving God.
Myth 5: I only need to pray when everything else fails.
Truth: Prayer should not be a last resort tool that stays in our toolbox until we have no other choice but to use it. We can choose to use it whenever we feel we need it – in times of happiness, gratitude, sadness, confusion, or heartache. It can be one of the most used and well-loved tools we have at our disposal. The more we use it, the easier it becomes to talk with God.
Myth 6: If I don’t get immediate results, God didn’t hear my prayer.
Truth: It can be hard to remember that when we pray, God is not going to magically answer us in the exact way we are wanting Him to and right when we want it. He will answer us in the way that He knows is best for us. That might not always be how we hoped for, or at the precise time we wanted. However, we can trust that He will answer at the best time and according to our needs, not our wants. God sees the whole picture and knows how to best help and guide us. As we trust in Him and His wisdom, we will be able to recognize the blessings and answers that come in unexpected and beautiful ways.