Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

Dandelions—the bane of many homeowners who strive for manicured lawns. Adults see them as an irritation. A nuisance.

But children see dandelions as a source of unlimited potential. Wishes, hopes, and dreams wrapped up in the seeds of a wild flower.

When you were a child, did you ever pluck a dandelion puff to make a wish? Carefully, of course, because you didn’t want to waste even one feathery seed. After all, the one seed that dropped prematurely might have been the one to carry your wish to heaven.

Then we grow up and face reality…or do we?

dandelion prayerHow often do we, as adults, view prayer the way children view dandelion puffs? We close our eyes tight, carefully pick the “right” words, and fling them to heaven, wishing and hoping God will say yes to our request.

Is that how prayer works?

Not according to the Bible.

Most of us have grown up with a definition of prayer that is incomplete. How many times have we defined prayer as “talking to God”? But prayer is more than just presenting our requests and wishes to God. We don’t just talk to Him, we have conversation with Him.

This means we talk…and we listen. We listen as God speaks to us through His Word. We listen as the Holy Spirit prompts us to act according to His leading.

Prayer is more than just presenting our desires to God. It’s about aligning our thoughts with His thoughts. Our heart with His heart. Our will with His will.

The ultimate goal is not to change God’s mind, but to change ours.

So as summer moves into fall, are you watching the wishes, hopes, and dreams of the summer drift away on passing autumn breezes? Does it seem as if the heavens are made of brass, causing your prayers to hit the ceiling and drop back to earth in mockery of your desires?

Biblical guidance for prayer

Unlike dandelion puffs which depend on the whims of the wind, prayer is never futile. But God does give us some guidance for effective prayer…

A – Jesus tells us to abide in Him and have His words abide in us (John 15:7).

B – Believe when we pray (Mark 11:24).

C – Come with confidence (Hebrews 4:16).

D – Don’t doubt (James 1:6).

E – Don’t use empty phrases (Matthew 6:7).

F – Focus on who God is, not on your circumstances (Isaiah 26:3).

G – Expect God to show you great things (Jeremiah 33:3).

H – Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in your prayer (Jude 1:20).

I – Intercede for others (I Timothy 2:1-2).

J – Ask in Jesus’ name—would Jesus ask for what you’re asking for? (John 14:13).

K – If possible, kneel, letting your physical position reflect your heart (Ephesians 3:14).

L – Listen for the Lord’s call (I Samuel 3:4).

M – Ask with right motives (James 4:3).

N – Know that the Lord is near to all who call on Him in truth (Psalm 145:18).

O – Before we pray, are we obeying what we already know? (I John 3:22).

P – Persevere in prayer (Luke 18:1-8).

Q – Pray without quarreling with brothers in Christ (1 Timothy 2:8).

R – Rejoice regardless of our circumstances (I Thess. 5:16).

S – Seek His presence (I Chronicles 16:11).

T – Pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7).

U – Pray in unity with other believers (Acts 1:14).

V – ?

W – Know where your help comes from (Psalm 121:1).

X – EXamine your heart (Psalm 66:18).

Y – ?

Z – ?

Which of these verses is God speaking to your heart about today?

Here’s a challenge for you…
Can you find a relevant verse for the letters V, Y, and Z?  😊

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  1. Vicki Wickert

    Thank you for a once again important reminder
    Of how God wants to hear from us, AND how we
    Can hear from Him in so many ways! Please be
    Assured one of those ways for myself (and many
    Others) is through your ministry! Thank you! The
    Letter “V” could represent a victorious spirit, which
    We can only have because of our faith in the living

  2. Ava Pennington

    Thanks, Vicki. I was looking for a verse about prayer that contained the word victory!

  3. Suzann Haberer Zoltner

    Youth and yoke! I love that it’s not a concern about being young or in your youth, It’s about your duty. 1 Timothy 4:12 and Lamentations 3:27.
    As always Ava, thank you for a beautiful reminder and a great list to investigate.
    Z? Zero chance that God is not listening! 🙂

  4. Jana Simons

    Zeal or zealous
    Revelation 3:19 ESV

    Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

  5. Cindy Zuidema

    Y could be about Yielding, through prayer, our will to God’s will. 🙂

  6. Ava Pennington

    Good points, Suzann!

  7. Ava Pennington

    Good verse that specifically relates to a letter, Jana!

  8. Ava Pennington

    Yes, Y is for yielding, Cindy..
    But the challenge is in finding a specific verse for that letter!

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