The more you get in the habit of praying, the more you will accomplish through prayer and the happier you’ll be, because you will have learned the secret of staying in constant, close communication with your loving Savior and friend. The following article by Maria Fontaine explains this principle beautifully:
The Bible has a lot to say about our thoughts, and it makes an interesting study. For example, it says we can hardly count the Lord’s thoughts toward us, and we’re supposed to hate vain thoughts but love His Word.1
One of the best ways to put our thoughts to good use is to turn them into prayers. Think of all the things you do throughout the day, all the things you think about, all the thoughts that run through your head. Now consider your thoughts. Size them up, take stock, analyze, weigh them up, and ask yourself what your thoughts are accomplishing. Where are they going? Are you transforming your thoughts into power that will bring about some good in the lives of others?
If you want to do more in prayer, consider your thoughts. Thoughts are real things. They can help or they can hinder. Are your thoughts helping to sustain a soul in need? Or are they silently turning a blind eye to the one who cries for help? Where are your thoughts running? Are they reaching out to answer a call? Are you tapping into heavenly thought power? Are you directing your thoughts to where they can do some good and really make a positive difference?
God wants us to learn to convert our thoughts into powerful prayer. Thoughts turned into prayers will materialize into God’s blessings, God’s intervention, God’s protection, power and strength, and God’s healing balm poured out on those for whom we care.
Thoughts turned into prayers will accomplish great feats, make the impossible possible, and change the course of history. On the other hand, thoughts left idle slip away into the gray mass of nowhere-land, into the cracks and crevices of complacency, where they will rot and ruin and go to waste.
Every time we think a thought, we can turn it into a mighty prayer—all the time, anywhere, even when we’re all alone. When we’re doing physical chores or routine duties, we can turn our thoughts into prayers throughout the day. We can capture our thoughts, beam them up to God, and see—and hear of—miracles coming to pass because of them.
For example, if you’re at home cooking and your thoughts turn towards your kids at school, pray that they’ll have a good day. Or if while at work you start thinking about an upcoming difficult project, turn that thought into a prayer for the Lord’s strength for the task. Or maybe you pass by an accident while driving home—pray for those who may be hurt, and for your own safety and that of your family.
All day long, no matter what else we’re doing, we’re thinking thoughts, but it’s how we filter and direct them that can make a difference. What we decide to do with our thoughts and where we direct them is what counts. For as we learn to direct our thoughts in prayer, filtering them through the sieve of God’s Word, sending them on to where they can genuinely accomplish something, we will be able to fulfill this mission of prayer.
In solitude with our thoughts, we can turn each one to a prayer and change the world. We can take the thoughts that come to us as a result of the input we see and receive all around us, and we can turn those thoughts into prayers.
Turning every thought into a prayer is a great privilege and a great gift—the privilege of tapping into heavenly thought power. Use it, and it will serve you well. It will make your life easier and bring about miracles. Thoughts can be a burden or a blessing. Turn them into good by turning them into prayer. Tap into heaven’s thought power!
I cannot tell why there should come to me
A thought of someone miles and miles away,
In swift insistence on the memory,
Unless there be a need that I should pray.
Too hurried oft are we to spare a thought
For days together for some friend away:
Perhaps God does it for us, and we ought
To read His signal as a call to pray.
Perhaps just then, my friend has fiercer fight;
Some overwhelming sorrow or decay
Of courage, darkness, some lost sense of right,
And so, in case my friend needs prayer, I pray.
Friend, do the same for me, if I, unsought,
Intrude upon you on some crowded day.
Give me a moment’s prayer in passing thought;
Be very sure I need it, therefore pray.
If I can do some good today,
If I can serve along life’s way,
If I can something helpful say,
Lord, show me how.
If I can right a human wrong,
If I can help to make one strong,
If I can cheer with smile or song,
Lord, show me how.
If I can aid one in distress,
If I can make a burden less,
If I can spread more happiness,
Lord, show me how.
Margaret, a busy executive, felt a tug on her heart every time she passed by a certain beggar. He’d been camped out just a block from her office for over a month. His name was Walter, she learned, and he was homeless. She would give him a few coins each time she saw him, but obviously he needed a whole lot more—and there were so many like him!
One night before going to bed, Margaret prayed, “Lord, I know I can’t solve the world’s problems, but show me what I can do for Walter and others in such dire circumstances to make their lives a little better.”
The next day she came across an article in the newspaper about a shelter for the inner-city homeless that was about to open. They were looking for sponsors and volunteers.
Margaret excitedly called the number given in the article. She would like to help financially, she told the organizer who answered the phone, and also to put in some hours to help get the center up and running.
Margaret had a little less in her savings account after that, and less time for herself on weekends, but she kept telling herself that it was a good investment.
The payoff came a few weeks later when Walter proudly announced that he had found a job and was moving into an apartment across town. “Margaret, you made my life bearable when I was down and out. I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done,” he told her.
She was sure then that God had answered her prayer.
The Bible is a book of prayers. Out of 667 recorded prayers, there are 454 recorded answers.