Renewing Your Mind: How to Pray Boldly, Humbly, and Faithfully

If you tend to pray selfish prayers, you are not alone. We all like to talk about ourselves to God–what we want, what we need, what we think he can do to help us.

See if you can relate to this scenario:

It’s five minutes before a big presentation, an important conversation, or a major event, and you find yourself praying, “Oh, god, please be with me here. This is such a big deal, and it really needs to go well. If you could just supernaturally intervene right now, I would be grateful.” Then as an afterthought, you say, “Oh, and help those who need you around the world, and be with my brother while he travels. Amen.” Does that kind of prayer resonate?

Here is the good news: God is okay with those kinds of prayers. David wrote, “In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul” (Ps. 138:3 NKJV).

God wants you to go to him with every need, no matter how large or small. He will answer you. He will calm your mind. He will give you comfort and peace. Now, if every one of your prayers sounded like the one above, that wouldn’t be good, but there is nothing wrong with praying for yourself. As you do, make sure you pray boldly, humbly and faithfully.

Pray Boldly

Too many of us are inclined to pray meek, tentative prayers. We figure that what we have to say probably isn’t important enough to bother God with; we assume he has more pressing issues at hand. But the Bible tells us over and over again that if we are followers of Jesus, we should pray boldly; expecting God to answer us.

Jesus said it this way: “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13).

Have you ever wondered why you have to ask God for the things you need? After all, if he knows everything about you, he already knows what you need. Why does he make you go through the process of asking? Just think about it: If God has you everything you wanted or needed before you even asked, how would you know that the good things in your life were coming from him?

Bold prayers garner big responses. Click To Tweet

Often, when people stop talking with God regularly, they begin to see the circumstances in their lives that are actually blessings from God as random chance or luck. Sometimes they begin to take credit for the good they are experiencing; they miss the evidence of God’s hand because they weren’t talking to him about their needs and wants on the front end. But when you ask God for something specific and then that specific thing comes to pass, you know beyond the shadow of a doubt where it came from. God will get the glory, praise, and credit he deserves.

Praying boldly is simply praying with the aforementioned confidence that God hears your prayers and wants to bless you. Bold prayers garner big responses. As Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it” (Matt. 21:21-22).

Faith and doubt cannot coexist. So pray boldly for the job you are applying for. Pray boldly for the child you want to come into your marriage. Pray boldly for healing in the health situation you are dealing with. Pray boldly that God will bless you in the areas where you need blessing. No matter the situation or what you are praying for, use bold words. God will hear them and answer you accordingly.

Pray Humbly

At first glance, you may consider it contradictory to approach God with confident boldness and with humility at the same time, but there is not a contradiction at all. Being humble before God simply means acknowledging that God is God and you are not. When you talk to him, use bold and confident words, but do so from a place of humility that shows you submit to his ultimate will.

When a child comes to a parent and asks for something that isn’t in their best interest, a loving parent says no, even if the child asks with confidence and boldness. The same is true with God. If you are praying for something that is outside his will for your life, he won’t answer in the way you expect. With humility, trust that he knows more than you do; he sees farther than you can see.

Bold, confident prayers don’t force God to do anything. They usher in his blessing when they are in line with his will for your life, but they don’t manipulate him into giving you something that is out of alignment with his ultimate goals for you. The greater purpose of talking with God through prayer is to line up your wants and needs with his will and desires–to have your thoughts renewed by aligning them with his.

Pray Faithfully

You cannot approach God with the confidence, boldness, and humility he desires if your conversations with him aren’t rooted in a foundation of faith. He has promised to hear and answer the prayers of those who have placed their trust in him, but he has not promised the same to those yet to profess their belief. Sometimes he will answer the prayer of an unbeliever for one of two reasons: (1) to bring glory to himself or (2) to help move that person toward a relationship with him–but he makes no promises to answer. There is one prayer, however, that God will always answer. That is the earnest prayer of someone choosing to put their faith in him for the first time.

– Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

The above excerpt is from p. 194-196 of The New You: A Guide to Better Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Wellness.

With your copy of The New You, you will come away with specific strategies on how to lose weight, get more sleep, lower stress, nurture better relationships, connect with God and much more! Anyone who wants to trade in the frustration of average living and less-than health for the hallmarks of the new life God promises will find The New You an effective personal guide for the journey.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyLeadership, Ministry