Prayer has always been of paramount importance in the Christan life. How much more so, now that we've entered the perilous times of the last days? Truly, our very survival is now dependent upon prayer. It is therefore of utmost importance that we learn to pray.
The only thing Jesus' disciples ever asked Him to teach them how to do was how to pray (Luke 11:1). They understood, as we should, that the secret to the Master's miraculous life, was His prayer life. Likewise, prayer is also the secret to our spiritual success in this sin-cursed world. Unfortunately, the majority of today's professed Christians don't know how to pray, having never studied the subject nor seriously practiced the art. What is even worse is that they don't care to learn and are totally unwilling to invest the time and pay the price to truly pray.
In His parable of the Pharisee and Publican (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus taught that the Pharisee "prayed with himself" (v. 11). God didn't pay any attention to his prayer. Have you ever felt like God wasn't paying any attention to your prayer? Have you ever considered that such may be the case, because you, like the Pharisee in our Lord's parable, are praying with yourself. Well, here's six sure signs that we are praying with ourselves rather than to God when we pray.
1. We pray with ourselves when we’re not on speaking terms with God, due to unconfessed sin in our
lives. (Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2)
2. We pray with ourselves when we attempt to strut into God’s presence clothed in the filthy rags of our
own self-righteousness. (Isaiah 64:6; Luke 18:11-12)
3. We pray with ourselves when we pray self-initiated prayers of self-interests, which God is neither
interested in nor attentive to. (James 4:3)
4. We pray with ourselves when we attempt to persuade God to do our will rather than petition Him to do
His will. (1 John 5:14-15)
5. We pray with ourselves when we attempt to impress God or to inform God. (Matthew 6:7-8)
6. We pray with ourselves when we attempt to counsel and correct God rather than commit ourselves to
God’s care and control in the midst of life’s most trying circumstances. (Job 38:1-2; 40:1-2; 42:1-6)