As we develop a relationship with God we should increasingly experience and appreciate His Character (Who He is) His Justice (makes no mistakes) His Sovereignty (totally in control) and seek His Will (Rom 12:1-2) in our lives.
We need to know His Heart for the basis of our prayers to be on target. To be really effective in our prayer life we must come God’s way. Prayer is an opportunity to bring our will and life into line with God’s plan and purpose. True prayer is not a program but a process whereby we develop a closer relationship with God. This is a spiritual battle and people who are bound by the enemy can’t win it. Only Jesus Christ can release us to enter into praying powerfully. To be bound by a system, a ritual, even a tradition and not have the freedom of the Holy Spirit in our prayer life is to miss the mark.
Richard Foster (Prayer): “We today yearn for prayer and hide from prayer. We are attracted to it and repelled by it. We believe prayer is something we should do, even something we want to do; but it seems as if a chasm stands between us and actually praying. We experience the agony of prayerlessness.” We don`t come to God in prayer because we have got it all together, or are competent to pray, we come because we need a deepening experience of God. Praying develops my relationship with God so I can enjoy communion with Him. God works through prayer. The disciples said to Jesus “Lord, teach us to pray!” (Luke 11:1-4) This was their confession that they didn’t know how to pray as they should or wanted. As they watched Jesus they saw His emphasis on prayer in all areas of His life and ministry and noted that it was different from other religious leaders.
- L. Moody: “I’d rather be able to pray than to be a great preacher; Jesus Christ never taught his disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.” When the Lord answered their request, He gave them directions on how to approach God, in fact a model prayer, which although brief, spoke volumes about prayer. John 16:23-24, 26 tells us that this wasn’t the final word. He told them that their prayers from now on were to be addressed to the Father in His name. For Jesus, prayer was His very breath, He was constantly in communion with His Father and constantly encouraged and inspired His disciples to pray.
We need to call people to pray but we cannot really do that unless our lives are marked by prayer. It is a journey!
Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline) “To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives. The closer we come to the heartbeat of God the more we see our need and the more we desire to be conformed to Christ…To ask ‘rightly’ involves transformed passions, total renewal. In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after Him: to desire the things He desires, to love the things He loves. Progressively we are taught to see things from His point of view.”
Appreciate your prayers!
Your friend and pastor, Jim