Some people pray just to be heard; others pray so that God hears them. What’s the difference? The mother of a certain pastor had a habit of getting alone to talk with God. Every morning she went in the pantry and sat on a little stool. After locking the door from the inside, she would cry out to God for hours at a time. When she finished, she could rest assured that her prayer had been heard.

When you’re alone with God, there’s no pretending. You say what you mean and mean what you say. You’re humble, but direct and to-the-point because you know God knows your heart. These are the prayers God pays attention to. These are the prayers that get through the roof and get answered.

Many of us have been taught from a young age to pray before we eat and before we go to bed. These are good things to do. But let me ask you a personal question: are your prayers real? Is prayer something you do to impress others? Do you pray because you sincerely want to talk with God, or is it simply a habit? It doesn’t matter where you are or who is with you. It doesn’t matter when you pray. It really doesn’t even matter what you say. The important thing is that you pray from your heart. Then your prayer will reach God’s heart. This prayer goes the distance.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder

Click here to see one of our helpful resources on prayer.