Prayer For A Fruitful Relationship
Prayer for Relationships
The issue of relationships is something that’s constantly talked about among both men and women. Husbands, wives, kids, bosses, neighbors… relationships can be rewarding and fulfilling, but they can also be testy and challenging. When your heart is involved, your deepest needs tend to come to the surface.
So how can you pray for your relationships? Here are a few sample prayers for when you’re at a loss for words.
1. Prayer in the midst of conflict
Father in Heaven, I know I add fuel to the fire in my relationships because I am needy myself. I don’t to admit it, but I know it’s true. Thank You that You see me as I truly am and that You still love me.
Please help me to see myself honestly, and to own my own part in this conflict before I point my finger. Please give me insight into my own needs and give me patience as I encounter needs in the ones I love. I need Your help, Lord. Please guide me.
I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Conflict very often reflects unmet needs. Sometimes there’s an easy solution, such as the need for sleep. But frequently, the need is much deeper:
- To feel valued and heard.This often stems from insecurity or past hurts, and may show up as overly defensive with gloves on, ready to fight.
- To forgive others or one’s self.The need to control can stem from an angry heart, and can show up as manipulation.
If your unmet needs are showing up in your relationships, talk to a mentor, friend, or a counselor to work through some of these issues. Pray for patience as you encounter the unmet needs in others, and regularly ask God for His help.
2. Prayer for help when I feel “less than”
Lord God, I so often feel inadequate without even realizing it. The disapproval I pour out on others often stems from my own insecurity. I don’t intend to fight. God, I need Your help. Please remind me to address my issues.
Help me to see myself differently and to allow You to love me and to change me. Help me to find my confidence in Your strength and in Your forgiveness. I invite You into my life today. I need You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.It’s a natural tendency to want God to change the other person. Yet the reality is that you can only change yourself. Sometimes just realizing what words and situations make you feel “less than” is enough to begin the journey of change. Other times you may need help seeing yourself differently.
Be the beginning of change in your relationships. Find ways to give approval more often to those around you. When things need addressing don’t show your disapproval, but choose a calm time to talk. Ask for prayer. Relationships that are worth keeping are worth the effort.
3. Prayer for the words to say in a challenging relationship
Dear Father in Heaven, it is not possible for me to keep my mouth from speaking things it should not. I need Your power to guard my tongue. Help me to think before I speak. Help me to feel that nudge of Your Holy Spirit before words rush my mouth.
Father, I need You to help me to know what to say that will build __________ up rather than tear down or hurt. Please make me aware, by Your divine power, of __________’s needs so I can respond in a way that benefits him/her.
Help me to run to You when frustrations and anger bubble up, and may You ease my emotions and send me back with grace on my lips. Help me to be bold when issues need addressing, but gentle and loving in the way I address them.
Father, You are the only one who can perform this miracle in my life. I look to You today to set a guard on my heart and my mouth, as I don’t want to grieve You. And please forgive me for the times when I have grieved You! Walk with me closely today, because I need the help of Your Holy Spirit in dealing with __________. Thank You. I pray this in Jesus’ Name, amen.
God gives sound counsel in His word about how to deal with relationships. It all begins with what comes your mouth.
Listen to His words of wisdom:
“The tongue holds the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21
The power of our words is a tremendous force. It has been said that people will seldom remember the words you spoke, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
It’s true, isn’t it? It’s easy to remember those who have made you feel inspired and empowered. But it’s also easy to recall those who made you feel down and useless… just by their words.Words have power. They can heal or hurt, build up or drag down, encourage or discourage, inspire or deflate.
You can begin the change today. And the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone! Jesus wants to transform and restore your challenging relationships, starting today. I encourage you to use the form below (in the “Connect” tab) to connect with a mentor for prayer. You can also leave a prayer request in the “Discuss” section and we'll pray for you there.
Connect with a mentor now!
Prayer Points on Fruitfulness – Meaning of fruitfulness in the Bible
Meaning of fruitfulness in the Bible and prayer points on fruitfulness. March 24. There is fruitfulness, and there is overflowing fruitfulness. The difference in the two is the quantity. Overflowing fruitfulness is abundant. Let’s tell God to make us experience an overflowing fruitfulness.
Bible Verse on Fruitfulness
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)
Prayer points on fruitfulness. The first commandment God gave man was to be fruitful, and it is the will of God that we are fruitful.
It is expected of us to be fruitful because God has already given us the capacity to be fruitful and also he granted us the permission to be fruitful. Everybody desire to be fruitful. Whatever you find yourself doing, you really want it to grow.
Even as a Christian, preaching the gospel and winning souls is an act of being fruitful because you multiply the Kingdom of heaven.
Hannah was fruitless until she cried out to God. She initially wanted just one boy but she experienced overflowing fruitfulness, she had six children.
God is capable of giving you beyond your request, God can make you to be fruitful if you are experiencing fruitlessness, just depend on him. Paul in Acts 19:11-12, was so anointed that his handkerchiefs performed miracles.
That’s an anointing that causes an overflow. Trust God for overflowing fruitfulness because only he can give you.
Be Fruitful Prayer for Today
Lord Jesus, I praise you for the gift of another day. I was able to open my eyes and I felt my heart beating. That’s because your mercy still stand for sure.
Lord, help me to forgive those that will trespass against me today. Teach me to stand strong in you and let my ways be aligned with yours and let me not deviate from it. Guide me through temptation, do not let me fall into temptation.
Lord, it is your will that we should bear fruit. I want to bear fruit so much that the world will see it in me and that your name may be glorified. Help me Lord to achieve this. Because the world is expecting our manifestation, I will bear fruit that will make me manifest, to your glory alone. Amen.
Fruitfulness in the Bible
Meaning of fruitfulness in the Bible and Bible based prayer points on fruitfulness. A fruitful man is one who is merged with Jesus – he grows, overgrows, thrives and reproduces many fruits.
Fruitfulness is the goal for every believer, for every Christian.
John 15:1-2 says, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
- The Vine – Jesus. He is the Source and origin of the believer’s life. He supplies and deliver everything necessary for growth in life, faith and fruitfulness.
- The Branches – Jesus disciples, believers whose growth and lives depend on a communion and relationship with God, the Source of Life.
- The Fruit – the fruits of spiritual life are manifested in the acts of the believer.
- The Pruning – process through which God mercifully helps us, our spiritual life. He removes the unwanted “branches” in our lives without harming us.
- The vineyard owner – God, our heavenly Father. He is the farmer who takes care of vineyard.
Prayer Points on Fruitfulness
- John 15:8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples.
- Psalm 92:13-14 They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.
- Genesis 28:3 God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.
- Psalm 1:3 He is a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Fruitfulness is the goal for every believer, for every Christian.
Trust God for overflowing fruitfulness because only he can give you. Amen.
Also read: Who the Son sets free is free indeed. Prayer for Today
Heartfelt Prayers for Women Who Want to Get Pregnant ⋆ She Blossoms
Are you searching for a miracle prayer for getting pregnant? This prayer for women who want to have a baby will soothe your soul, heart and spirit. Praying to get pregnant can be emotional because you want to a baby so much and your body just isn’t cooperating.
You may also be searching for help on how to pray for healing in your body, or even help with your marriage. So much in your heart, so many prayers for pregnancy and healing! And so few words.
These thoughts and prayers for pregnancy will help you stay focused on God’s love, light, and will for your life.
You will find a new sense of faith and – more importantly – connection with Jesus Christ.
In the Bible, Hannah’s prayer for pregnancy was answered in 1 Samuel 1. It’s important to know why her prayer for a baby was granted by God.
I’ll share the passage of Scripture here and explain what I recently learned about Hannah’s prayer for getting pregnant and having a baby.
You’ll find the help and hope you’re looking for – especially if you’ve been trying to conceive a baby for a long time.You may want to get pregnant more than you’ve ever wanted anything in your life. If you’re desperate to have a baby, your prayers may be more about your own wants and needs than accepting God’s will for your life.
This can be a dangerous place to be because you’ll be devastated if you don’t get pregnant quickly.
And what happens if you pray to get pregnant but you don’t have a baby? This is why it’s important to put God’s loving will for your life ahead of your own yearning to get pregnant.
Prayers for Women Who Want to Get Pregnant
Below is Hannah’s prayer for pregnancy and a healthy baby boy in 1 Samuel 1. I’ll explain what I learned about praying for a baby from a recent Tim Keller sermon podcast. Then, I’ll share a Centering Prayer for Pregnancy, which I originally posted eight years ago when I was praying for a baby.
Remember that prayer isn’t about getting what you want. Praying – even to get pregnant and have a baby – is about changing your heart and mind to align with God’s will for your life. No matter important it is to have a baby, you’ll have a more joyful and peaceful life if all you want is God’s best for you.
Prayer is about spending time with God so you get to know Him better. Praying for a baby isn’t just about getting pregnant; it’s about taking your relationship with Jesus to a deeper, more personal and healthy level. Praying is about learning how to be stable, secure, and peaceful no matter what happens in your life.
Hannah’s Prayer for a Pregnancy
On one occasion, Hannah got up after they ate and drank at Shiloh. The priest Eli was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s temple. Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears.
Making a vow, she pleaded, “Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.”
While she continued praying in the Lord’s presence, Eli watched her mouth. Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine!”
“No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”Eli responded, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request you’ve made of him.” “May your servant find favor with you,” she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.
From 1 Samuel 1 – The Christian Standard Bible.
Why God granted Hannah’s prayer to get pregnant
Look at the parts that I bolded: Hannah didn’t just “give” her baby to God – she vowed to completely and totally set her son apart for a holy life. Then, Hannah became radiant, and she worshipped God — even before her prayers to get pregnant were answered!
Hannah didn’t worship God radiantly and fervently after she got pregnant. She was a woman after God’s own heart before she conceived her baby. She released her grip, she loosened her grasp, she let go of her desperate yearning to get pregnant. She prayed for a baby, but she didn’t make it the center of her life, her heart, and her worship.
Hannah loved God for who He is, not what He could give her.
It wasn’t that Hannah said the right things when she was praying for a baby, or that she recited a centering prayer for pregnancy that convinced God to open her womb! It was that she released her desperate grip to get pregnant. She let go of the neediness, the yearning, the clawing frenetic desire to have a baby.
Worship God for who He is when you pray for a baby
Praying to Get Pregnant
Praying for a baby can be a beautiful act of worship – if it comes from a heart that is completely submitted to God’s will for your life. When your spirit is open and accepting to whatever God has in store for you, you become free from the desperation that many women feel when they’re depressed because they can’t get pregnant.
It’s good to pray for a baby – God wants us to ask Him for the desires of our hearts! But, if you set your heart, mind and soul on having a baby, then you’re not open to God’s holy and perfect will for your life. Basing your happiness on a child is a mistake. God may still grant your prayer for a pregnancy, but your happiness will always be tied up with your kid. And that, my friend, will eventually break your heart.
“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard.
Allow God to change your heart as you keep praying for a baby. Trust Him. Learn what it means to really, truly be open to whatever He has planned for your life and family. Learn how to worship God for who He is — even if you’re not pregnant. Even if you’ve been saying prayers for a pregnancy for years.
Below is the “centering prayer for pregnancy” that I originally shared eight years ago, when I was praying for a baby. Remember that it’s one way to pray for a baby, but it’s not a miracle prayer that guarantees you’ll get pregnant.
It’s important to trust God to prepare your body for pregnancy, and it’s also important to take care of your health! God gave us doctors, research studies, and brains to help us get and stay healthy. If you’re not taking good care of your body – or if your husband isn’t taking care of his fertility and sperm health – then you are delaying your chances of getting pregnant.
If you’re praying for a baby because you’re coping with fertility issues, you might also add a prayer for healing for your and your husband’s body. Always remember that prayer isn’t about getting the pregnancy you want…it’s about finding the strength, hope, and peace to live with what God allows into your life.
You’ll find Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways to Improve Your Fertility Now and into Your 40s helpful if you’re worried about your ability to conceive a baby or if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a long time.
Health and fertility expert Aimee Raupp has helped hundreds of women optimize their fertility and get pregnant, even after age 40.In this book she shares her complete program for improving your chances of conceiving and overcoming infertility, including the most effective complementary and lifestyle approaches and the latest nutritional advice.
Her remedies help you how to get in tune with your body, eat the best fertility-enhancing foods, and avoid environmental toxins to achieve a healthy and stress-free pregnancy.
Centering Prayer for Pregnancy
Centering prayer is an ancient meditative art that involves silencing your heart and mind. Take a deep breath, and allow God’s peace, love, joy and freedom to fill your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to descend upon you, to give you the peace that passes all understanding.
Centering prayer is a way to calm your mind and still your spirit, to instill your body with a sense of peace and health, and to create a heart of acceptance towards what God wills in your life.
These four steps will guide you through a centering prayer for pregnancy. Remember that your goal isn’t just to get pregnant. It’s to get closer to God, and to align your will with His will for you and your family.
1. Choose a sacred word or phrase that symbolizes your prayer for pregnancy
The focus of centering prayer is to consent to God’s presence and action within.
Choose a word or phrase that helps you remember that you are consenting to God’s work and power in your life – whether that means getting pregnant or not getting pregnant.
For instance, your sacred word could be “Trust” or “Hope” or “God’s will be done” or “Acceptance.” Note that it’s not necessarily “praying for a baby” or “increased fertility” or “conception”! The idea is to be open to what God has in store.
2. Find a comfortable position and quiet space when you pray for a baby
Where can you pray comfortably for 20 minutes? Try not to pray in a place where you’ll fall asleep or be distracted. Close your eyes and let go of everything happening within you – all your hopes and yearnings and wishes to be pregnant. Your prayer to get pregnant is meant to soothe your mind, heart, and spirit.
When you’re praying for a baby, be prepared for distractions, such as images, feelings, reflections, physical sensations, and unexpected thoughts…and use your sacred word to ease those distractions.
3. Use your sacred word in your pregnancy prayer
Whatever disruptive thoughts or emotions come to you, lay your sacred word over them. For example if you start to feel scared you’ll never get pregnant, repeat “Trust” or “Acceptance” until you feel calm and focused on God. If you keep frantically thinking about getting pregnant or what will happen if you don’t get pregnant, savor your sacred word: “Faith” or “God’s will be done.”
Practice saying these words and phrases at different times during the day. Worshipping God for who He is – not what He gives you – goes far beyond a set time of centering prayer for a pregnancy.
4. Rest in silence after you pray for a baby
Taking two or three minutes to transition from centering prayer to back to your everyday life. This helps set and cement your intimacy with God in your heart, mind, and soul. A huge and exciting benefit of learning how to pray for a baby is that it helps you feel peaceful, hopeful, faithful, and able to accept of whatever God allows into your life.
No prayer to get pregnant will guarantee you’ll conceive a baby, but prayer can may you spiritually, physically, and emotionally stronger to deal with whatever happens.
The purpose of pregnancy prayer is to give you peace, hope, and acceptance – whether or not you get pregnant. Knowing how to pray for a baby is important – and so is knowing when it’s time to get medical advice from fertility specialists.
Is it taking longer than a year to get pregnant? Read Find Out Why You Can’t Get Pregnant – 4 Fertility Checklists.
Help With Pregnancy Prayers
In Praying Through Your Pregnancy A Week-by-Week Guide, Jennifer Polimino Carolyn Warren share fresh spiritual insight for pregnancy.
Every chapter reveals what is happening with the baby’s development that week, starting with the very first moment of conception, when God begins the creation of either a boy or a girl.
You’ll learn how the confidence you place in God affects the healthy development of your precious growing baby, and how to reduce your own stress and anxiety by looking to the Lord. Jennifer shares excerpts from her pregnancy journal to encourage women to write their own thoughts and feelings about getting pregnant. Each chapter ends with a Mother’s Prayer and Scriptures for Meditation.
Say your prayers for a baby. Keep learning how to pray to get pregnant. Read books on healthy pregnancies, happy births, and smooth transitions to motherhood.
But stay focused on God, who created you and only wants the best for you.
No matter how long it takes to get pregnant and have a baby, be grateful for all the blessings God has already poured into your life through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
If you’re not good at saying your prayers, read 5 Ways to Talk to God When You Can’t Pray.
8 Ways to Pray For Your Love Life (Or Lack Thereof!)
A prayer for love has to be something you do no a regular basis. Love and relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives, because our relationships will either lift us up, or tear us down.
Yet praying for love tends to be something that we don’t often do. Maybe we’re afraid to go to God with our love life. Maybe we’re getting discouraged that our prayers aren’t being answered. Or maybe, just maybe, we don’t know how to pray for love.
Prayer For Love Vs. Worry About Love
It took me a while to grasp how to pray for love. Because I’ve always had a tendency to think about love, and worry about love, rather than pray about it.
I’m quick to analyze, figure out, and try to put the pieces together. But it takes me a while to turn to prayer.
I’m realizing that my tendency to over-analyze is the opposite of what God’s word tells me to do. All through Scripture Jesus is challenging us: Don’t just dwell on things, pray about them.
Prayer is the act by which we mentally hand over our problems, concerns, fears, desires, and dreams to someone who actually has the power to control.
And it makes so much sense, because if we’re going to allow these things to fill our brain, we are better off doing it in a way that has the power to impact the things that are weighing us down, rather than simply allowing them to consume us.
If you find yourself consumed by your love life – or lackthereof, here are some ways to mentally and prayerfully hand those things to the One who can actually do something about it. Here are 8 ways to pray for love.
#1: Pray that God would give you a relationship (Matthew 7:7)!
God’s word challenges us to ask and bring our needs before God. Anything and everything. As long as our hearts are aligned with His, there are no limits on what we can ask. What are your deepest needs and desires when it comes to a relationship? What do you need God to do in your relationship? Let Him know.
#2: Pray that He would grant you patience and insight to wait for a good one(Isaiah 40:31).
Waiting on God is never easy, because once again, it is a reminder that we are not in control. But through the time of waiting, ask God to change you, nourish you, and fill you so that you are empowered and prepared to take the next steps when the timing is right.
#3: Pray that He would be working out anything unhealthy in your life (Jeremiah 33:8).
Some of our baggage and sin we can recognize, and some we can’t. As you seek to enhance your love life, be sure to ask God to help you recognize and heal all the things in your life that aren’t lining up with His best. Seek to get to the bottom of your sins, and ask for His healing power to be at work in your life.
#4: Pray that He would shape your heart for nourishing interactions with others (Colossians 3:12-14).
It’s important to learn how to love, rather than simply longing to be loved. When your heart is open to loving and edifying others the way it was meant to, your relationships will be enriched and empowered.
#5: Pray that He would bring healing into your past so that you are free to embrace the present (Philippians 3:13-14).
We are called to move forward, and forget what is behind. Sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck on our past and be paralyzed from living in the present. No matter what kinds of things your past may hold, ask God to be at work in your past so that you are free to live in the moment and embrace your present.
#6: Pray that He would protect your emotional world and give you wisdom of how to set healthy boundaries (Proverbs 4:23).
I talk a lot about guarding our hearts and how to practically do that, but how often do we actually pray about our hearts and emotional worlds? God longs to be a part of our emotions just as much as our spiritual life. He is a holistic God, who longs to interact with our mind, body, and soul. Give Him a chance by opening your emotional life to Him through prayer.
#7: Pray that He would open your eyes to the joy of doing sex His way (Hebrews 13:4).
It’s so easy to focus on what we can’t do before marriage, and end up harboring bitterness and resentment.
But what if we were to ask God to open our eyes to doing life His way? What if we were to plead with Him to download His heart onto ours, so that we could truly understand what is best for our lives? Rather than struggling with His plan, let’s ask Him to reveal His heart to ours, particularly in the area of sex and sexuality, so that we can be freed to trust Him without bitterness or regret. (More on this in Chapter 8 of True Love Dates)
#8: Pray that God would be the focus of your life now and forever (Psalm 37:4).
At the end of the day, no matter how we view it, there is no gift that is greater than the Giver. Whether we feel that or not, it doesn’t cease to be true. May we continue to bring this request before God, so that He can turn our hearts to Him as our greatest delight and desire, because perspective has the power to change everything.
This week, rather than focus on your problems, worries, or what you don’t yet have, focus on what you do have: a direct line to the One who controls all things, including your precious heart. It’s time to actually do some real work in the area of our love life and relationships instead of wasting our mental energy away. It’s time to pray for love.
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DEBRA FILETA is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of Choosing Marriage and True Love Dates.
She’s also the host of the hotline style Love + Relationships Podcast. Her popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, reaches millions of people with the message of healthy relationships.
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For a Fruitful Relationship with the Qur’an: Basic Prerequisites (Part 1)
By: Khurram Murad
Certain basic states and attitudes of heart and mind are a necessary prerequisite to any fruitful relationship with the Qur’an. Develop them as much as you can. Make them part of your consciousness, keep them ever alive and active. Integrate them in your actions. Let them penetrate the depth of your being.
Come to the Qur’an with a strong and deep faith that it is the word of Allah, your Creator and Lord.
Without the help of these inner resources you will not receive your full measure of the Qur’an’s blessings. They will be your indispensable companions, too, throughout your journey.
These inner resources are neither difficult nor impossible to find. Through constant awareness and reflection, through appropriate words and deeds, you can acquire and develop them.
The more you do so, the closer you will be able to come to the Qur’an; the closer you come to the Qur’an, the greater will be your harvest.
Faith: The Word of God
First: Come to the Qur’an with a strong and deep faith that it is the word of Allah, your Creator and Lord.
Why should such a faith be a necessary prerequisite? No doubt such is the power and charm of the Qur’an that even if a man takes it up and starts reading it as he would an ordinary book, he will still benefit from it, should he read it with an open mind. But this book is no ordinary book; it opens with the emphatic statement: “This is the Book (of God), there is no doubt in it.” (Al-Baqarah 2:2)
Your purpose in reading and studying it is no ordinary purpose; you seek from it the guidance that will transform your whole being, bring you and keep you on the Straight Path: “Guide us on the Straight Path” (Al-Fatihah 1:5) is the cry of your heart to which the Qur’an is the response.You may admire the Qur’an, even be informed by it, but you cannot be transformed by it unless its words soak in to awaken you, to grip you, to heal and change you. This cannot happen unless you take them for what they truly are the words of God.
Without this faith you cannot come to acquire all the other inner resources you will need to reach the heart of the Qur’an and absorb its message.
Once it comes to reside in your heart, you cannot but be filled with the qualities and attitudes such as sincerity of purpose, awe and reverence, love and gratitude, trust and dependence, willingness to labor hard, conviction of its truth, surrender to its message, obedience to its commands, and vigilance against dangers which stalk to deprive you of its treasures.
Think of His majesty and glory and power, and you will feel awe and reverence and devotion for His words.
Reflect on His sustenance and mercy and compassion, and you will be filled with gratitude and love and longing for His message. Know His wisdom and knowledge and kindness, and you will become willing and eager and ready to obey His commandments.
That is why the Qur’an reminds you of this important truth again and again: in the very beginning, in the opening verses of many surahs (chapters), and frequently in between.
That is why even the Messenger, blessings and peace be on him, is instructed to proclaim his own faith: “Say: I believe in whatever God has sent down in this Book.” (Ash-Shura 42:15)
In his faith all believers must join him: “The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him by His Lord, and all believers too.” (Al-Baqarah 2:285)You must, therefore, always remain conscious that each word that you are reading, reciting, hearing, or trying to understand, has been sent for you by Allah.
Do you truly have this faith? You do not have to look far for an answer. Just examine your heart and behavior.
If you have it, then, where is the desire and longing for companionship with the Qur’an, where is the labor and hard work to understand it, where is the surrender and obedience to its message?
How do we obtain this faith, and how can it be kept alive? Although there are many ways, I will mention only one here . The most effective way is reciting the Qur’an itself. This may look as if we are moving in a circle, but this is not really the case.
For, as you read the Qur’an, you will surely recognize it as being the word of God. Your faith will then increase in intensity and depth: “Believers are only those who, whenever God is mentioned, their hearts tremble with awe; and whenever His revelations are recited to them, they increase them in faith …” (Al-Anfal 8:2)
Purity of Intention and Purpose
Second: Read the Qur’an with no purpose other than to receive guidance from your Lord, to come nearer to Him, and to seek His good pleasure.
What you get from the Qur’an depends on what you come to it for. Your niyyah (intention) is crucial. Certainly the Qur’an has come to guide you, but you may also go astray by reading it should you approach it for impure purposes and wrong motives.
Thereby He causes many to go astray, and thereby He guides many; but thereby He causes none to go astray save the iniquitous. (Al-Baqarah 2:26)
The Qur’an is the word of Allah; it therefore requires as much exclusiveness of intention and purity of purpose as does worshiping and serving Him.Do not read it merely for intellectual pursuit and pleasure; even though you must apply your intellect to the full to the task of understanding the Qur’an. So many people spend a lifetime in studying the language, style, history, geography, law and ethics of the Qur’an, and yet their lives remain untouched by its message.
The Qur’an frequently refers to people who have knowledge but do not derive benefit from it.
Nor should you come to the Qur’an with the fixed intention of finding support for your own views, notions and doctrines. For if you do, you may, then, hear an echo of your own voice in it, and not that of God.
It is this approach to the understanding and interpreting of the Qur’an that the Prophet (peace be on him) has condemned. “Whoever interprets the Qur’an by his personal opinion shall take his place in the Fire.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Nothing could be more unfortunate than to use the Qur’an to secure, for your own person, worldly things such as name, esteem, status, fame or money. You may get them, but you will surely be bartering away a priceless treasure for nothing, indeed even incurring eternal loss and ruin.
Indeed, the Prophet (peace be on him) said: “If anyone studies the Qur’an seeking thereby a living from people, he will rise on the Day of Resurrection with his face as a fleshless bone.” (Al-Bayhaqi)
He also said that one who learns, recites and teaches the Qur’an for worldly acclaim will be thrown into the Fire. (Muslim)
You may also derive other lesser benefits, from the words of the Qur’an, such as the healing of bodily afflictions, psychological peace, and deliverance from poverty.There is no bar to having these, but, again, they should not become the be all and end all that you seek from the Qur’an nor the goal of your intention.
For in achieving these you may lose a whole ocean that could have been yours.
Reading every single letter of the Qur’an carries with it great rewards.
Remain conscious of all the rewards, and make them an objective of your intention, for they will provide you with those strong incentives required to spend your life with the Qur’an.
But never forget that on understanding, absorbing and following the Qur’an you have been promised much larger rewards, in this-world and in the Hereafter. It is these which you must aim for.
Not only should your purpose be pure, but you should also, once you have the Qur’an with you—both the text and its living embodiment in the Sunnah—never go to any other source for guidance. For that would be running after mirages. It would mean a lack of confidence, a denigration of the Qur’an. It would amount to divided loyalties.
Nothing brings you nearer to your Lord than the moments you spend with His words. For it is only in the Qur’an that you enjoy the unique blessing of hearing His ‘voice’ addressing you. So let an intense desire to come nearer to Allah be your one overwhelming motive while reading the Qur’an.
Finally, your intention should be directed to seeking only your Lord’s pleasure by devoting your heart, mind and time to the guidance that He has sent to you. That is what you barter when you surrender yourself to Allah:
There is such as would sell his own self in order to please God. (Al-Baqarah 2:207)
Purpose and intentions are the soul of a body, the inner capability of a seed. Many seeds look a, but as they begin to grow and bear fruits, their differences become manifest. The purer and higher the motive, the greater the value and yield of your efforts.
So always ask yourself: Why am I reading the Qur’an? Tell yourself constantly why you should. This may be the best way to ensure the purity and exclusiveness of purpose and intention.
The article is excerpted from the author’s Way to the Qur’an.
Prayer and the Difference It Makes
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, listen to my cry for help.” –Psalm 39:12 (NIV)[i]
“Lord, teach us to pray.” –Luke 11:1
“After Jesus said this, He looked toward heaven and prayed.” –John 17:1
“They all joined together constantly in prayer.” –Acts 1:14
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” –Ephesians 6:18
“Pray continually.” -1 Thessalonians 5:17
Throughout the Bible, believers are called to pray. But what is prayer? What does it mean to “pray without ceasing?” And does prayer really make a difference? Before delving too deeply into the topic of prayer, it will be beneficial to first define the term, as well as the focus of our prayers—God.
Prayer and God's Nature
Let's start with the second part. In order to develop a clear idea of prayer, we must first have a clear idea of God. Biblically speaking, God is a personal being.
This is critical to prayer because it means that God is a person we can interact with, that He has a will and that we are able to relate to Him on a meaningful level. If He were impersonal, then prayer would not be meaningful.
If He were personal, but uncaring and distant, prayer wouldn't serve a purpose.Not only is God personal, He is also loving (1 John 4:8, 16; John 3:16). This is also important in relation to prayer. If God were personal, but uncaring or unkind, then prayer might do us more harm than good! But God is not only loving, He is all loving (omnibenevolent). In relation to prayer, this means that God always desires the best for us because He loves us.
God is also all powerful (omnipotent), meaning that no prayer is beyond His ability to answer, “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). If God were less than all powerful, then we would have no assurance that He could answer or even hear our prayers.
The fact that God is all-knowing (omniscient) is also significant to the concept of prayer. If God were limited, then He would not know all that is happening in His creation.
If this were the case, He might overlook our prayers because they might be beyond His knowledge. Fortunately, the Bible is clear that God knows everything (see, for instance, Psalm 139:2-4; 147: 4-5; Isaiah 46:10).
In relation to God's omniscience, Jesus said, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
God is also wise and holy. He knows what is best for us, as well as what will lead us to holiness rather than sin. He is also immanent, meaning that God is active in His creation in a personal way, not only directing greater matters of history, but also involved in the life of everyone. This means that no prayer is too great for Him, but also that no prayer is too small for Him.
While we cannot explore all of God's attributes here, one final one to note, of utmost importance to prayer is God's sovereignty. God is supremely in charge of everything that happens in His universe.
Nothing takes Him by surprise and nothing happens in our lives without the knowledge of God, even though we may not always understand His actions: “'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD.'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
In hearing and responding to our prayers, then, we are assured that God will do so on the basis of His many attributes. His personal nature, love, power, knowledge, wisdom, holiness, immanence and sovereignty all play a role in how we relate to God in prayer and how He relates to us.
What Prayer Is Not
Now that we have a clearer understanding of God's nature, it may be tempting to delve right into a definition of prayer. But first let's take a brief look at what prayer is not (this is by no means an exhaustive list):
- Prayer is not magic. We cannot summon God as though He were a genie, waiting to grant our wishes without regard for our circumstances or the consequences.
- Prayer does not make demands. While we can make requests of God in prayer, we dare not make demands. God is the Creator of the universe and does not take orders from us.
- Prayer is for our benefit, not God's. We need a relationship with God, available to us through Jesus Christ and engaged primarily through prayer, because we were made to function best when we are in a proper relationship with our Creator.
- Prayer is not a guarantee against suffering. “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33); “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12-13).
- Prayer is not an opportunity for us to show off. “And when you pray, do not be the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men” (Matthew 6:5).
What is Prayer?
So what is prayer? Prayer is a relationship, wherein we humbly communicate, worship, and sincerely seek God's face, knowing that He hears us, loves us and will respond, though not always in a manner we may expect or desire. Prayer can encompass confession, praise, adoration, supplication, intercession and more.
In addition, our attitude in prayer is important. We must not be haughty, but humble (Ephesians 4:2; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6, etc.).
Seen in this light, to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) means, in one sense, that we must always strive to have a prayerful attitude.
Our prayers must come often and regularly, not from legalistic duty, but from a humble heart, realizing our dependence on God in every aspect of our lives.
The rest of the articles in this series will further explore prayer, as follows:
- “Prayer Has Its Reasons” addresses questions about why we pray.
- “The Availability of Prayer” explains how prayer is always available to us and, as such, is a wonderful spiritual resource we should turn to regularly, not just in times of crisis.
- “Learning from the Prayer Life of Jesus” explores the many prayers of Jesus, emphasizing the Lord's Prayer, as well as some of Christ's habits of prayer and how we can learn from his example.
- “Probing the Problems of Prayer” looks at some challenges and difficulties in relation to prayer, addressing questions such as, “Should we pray for our enemies?” and “If God is sovereign, why do we need to pray?”
As we journey together in understanding the nature and purpose of prayer, it is my prayer that God will bless these words and instill a joyful and fruitful prayer life in your life and mine. Prayer can make a profound difference in our world. But it is up to us to offer our prayers humbly and regularly.
Robert Velarde is author of Conversations with C.S. Lewis (InterVarsity Press), The Heart of Narnia (NavPress), and primary author of The Power of Family Prayer (National Day of Prayer Task Force). He studied philosophy of religion and apologetics at Denver Seminary and is pursuing graduate studies in philosophy at Southern Evangelical Seminary.[i] Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the New International Version of the Bible.