Are you satisfied with your prayer life? I don’t know too many people who would answer yes to that question, because most of us know that we fall short in this discipline. Even the most mature believers recognize their need for improvement, and one of the best methods for doing that is examining scriptural prayers and using them as a model.
Several of Paul’s prayers are recorded in his epistles, and they supply wonderful insights about different ways to pray. In today’s passage, we see two foundations for prayer.
A Humble Attitude. Paul’s physical posture of bending his knees served as a reminder of his submissive position before the heavenly Father. He knew there was nothing in himself that would cause the Lord to hear and respond. He had access to the throne of God only through his relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul did not make himself the center of the conversation but focused on the Lord and the church for whom he was interceding.
A Focus on God. The foundation of Paul’s prayer life was the Trinity. The apostle understood that God the Father adopts all believers worldwide into His family for eternity; that there are glorious riches found in God the Son; and that God the Holy Spirit has limitless power. The requests Paul made for the Ephesians were based on almighty God’s matchless abilities, resources, and power.
Although we can confidently approach the Lord’s throne of grace, we must always remember that we are but humble servants, and He is our exalted God.
(Reprint | Charles Stanley | In Touch)
This much is sure: God will teach you to pray. Don’t think for a minute that he’s glaring at you from a distance with crossed arms and a scowl, waiting for you to get your prayer life together. Just the opposite!
In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with Me.”
Jesus waits on the porch. He taps…and calls. He waits for you to open the door. To pray is the hand of faith on the door handle of your heart. The happy welcome to Jesus says, Come in, O King. Come in. The kitchen is messy, but come in. I’m not much of a conversationalist, but come in.
Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer! God changes His people through such moments.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; Give thanks to Him and praise His name. — Psalm 100:4
Friends, we’re entering a season that requires our whole-hearted attention, our riveted focus. This is important. For our souls. For our hearts. For our faith. So we don’t miss out on the beauty God intends for us. Right here. Right now.
This is a clarion call to thankfulness, a charge to find joy, and strength, and hope in our daily lives, a beckoning to pour out our gratitude to God for His goodness and for His wild love for us.
As you gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays, remember, it is God who should receive our entire devotion. His love for us extends beyond imagination. His love for us is everlasting and without any strings attached.
When you pray at Thanksgiving for what you’re thankful for, put God’s love for you and the world at the top of your list.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your path straight.”—Proverbs 3:5-6
Friday is a day of the week so many look forward to because it represents the coming of the weekend and time for relaxation. Relaxation that does not involve worrying about anything. Just taking it easy is the way to go. Oh, of course the troubles and worries of the week are still there but now is not the time to think about them, or is it?
Prayer time, bible reading and worship throughout the week will give you the peace you need to handle whatever comes your way during the week. There is no need to wait until the weekend to blow off steam. Going to God in prayer and blowing off steam, and yes it’s OK to do that with God because He already knows what you’re dealing with, is permissible.
Asking for, waiting for and receiving God’s guidance on how to live your life and handle the daily pitfalls is as close as a prayer. God understands what you’re going through and wants to help if you’ll let Him.
Before you start your weekend, pray and ask God what’s the best way to live your life and handle the challenges you face. He will be happy to answer you and will invite you to worship Him daily from then on.
Give God a chance. He won’t let you down.
Who do you call upon in your time of need? Do you ask family members for help? Do you reach out to close friends for their help?
Nehemiah, a figure from the Old Testament, spent time praying on his knees. When he needed guidance, strength, provision, or protection, he responded with prayer. Because of this attitude of dependence, God was able to use Nehemiah to achieve His divine purposes.
If you want to follow Nehemiah’s example of dependent prayer, first recognize God as the sovereign Ruler of the universe (Neh. 1:5). Although He’s our loving Father and loyal Friend, we must never forget that He is also our high and exalted Creator, whose holiness is beyond our comprehension. We don’t want to casually think of Him as “the man upstairs” or come into His presence in a frivolous manner.
As one who respected God’s holiness, Nehemiah approached Him with confession, admitting not only his own sin, but his father’s and Israel’s as well (Neh. 1:6-7). We cannot hide, deny, or cherish sin and expect the Lord to hear and answer our prayers. Purity of heart and the power of God are linked. We need the Holy Spirit to help us remain sensitive to sin and be willing to deal with it immediately.
The reason Nehemiah stood so tall had nothing to do with his natural abilities; rather, it was because he had developed a relationship of dependency on the Lord through prayer. The same can be true for you. Rely on the Lord, and let Him be your strength.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.— Romans 8:26-27 NLT
As a believer, you are not left to your own resources to cope with problems. Even when you don’t know the right words to pray, the Holy Spirit prays with and for you, and God answers. With God helping you pray, you don’t need to be afraid to come before him.
Ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you “in harmony with God’s own will.” Then, when you bring your requests to God, trust that he will always do what is best.
When you wake up on Sunday morning what do you do? Do you lie in bed, drink coffee and read the paper? Or do you do nothing and just laze around for the day? Good news. Sunday mornings can be more than that.
Sunday is the beginning of a new week. It is a time which can be used to prepare for those things that will happen during the week. It’s also a day that can be used to spend time with family and reconnect with loved ones.
And, Sunday can be used as a day to worship our Lord, Jesus Christ. Going to church and listening to a sermon is part of the process for praising and worshiping God. It is more than singing songs and making contributions to the offering, however. Church is also a time to reconnect with our Lord and Savior and to bless His holy name through personal and joint prayer.
How you approach Sunday and what you do in church will make a big difference in your day and your life. By listening to God’s word and fellow shipping with others in the congregation, you expose yourself to positive and godly influences. Church becomes like an extended family with people who genuinely care about you.
So, how about today setting aside all of the world’s trappings and worries and go to church instead. If you go with the right frame of mind I guarantee you will be blessed in more ways than you thought possible.