(Number 2 in the Series: 10 Habits of Christian Faithfulness)
The Bible is God’s side of a conversation He wants to have with you.
We looked at that idea in this Article.
Repeat: The Bible is God’s side of a conversation He wants to have with you.
Prayer is our side of the conversation – Me Talking with God.
Prayer without the Bible dialogue results in a one-sided petition.
Bible reading without Prayer becomes a one-sided lecture.
Prayer is intended to be a revealing of the most important joys of my life, the unapologetic opening of the deepest burdens of my soul, and the confident placing of myself into the mission of God’s design.
Some people are fortunate to have a friends with whom they are able to confidently and comfortably connect, talking about dreams, disappointments, wishes, life experiences.
No fears of being betrayed. No shame in failures and disappointments.
The Husband-Wife relationship is intended to be such.
The God-Human relationship is just such a friendship.
It doesn’t require special equipment like a cell phone.
It doesn’t require secret codes to get into His Presence.
You don’t need a priest, a pastor, or a parent to secure an audience for you.
His ears are always open to our call.
His resources are always available for our needs.
My favorite author has written eloquently about prayer. My number one book to read from on the topic is Steps To Christ, which includes a whole chapter on Prayer.
Click the link below for a free PDF download of the book.
Steps to Christ -- Ellen G. White
A Few of My Favorite Facts
“Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend.”
Tell Him what is on your heart.
“Your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, everything that perplexes your mind.”
Talk with Him about your actual life.
Your Daily needs.
“Prayer is the key in the hand of faith that unlocks Heaven’s stroehouse which is filled with boundless resources.”
Conditions For Answered Prayer
I must feel my need of help from Him.
My heart must be open to the receive His Spirit.
I must believe that He is answering my prayer. Even when I don’t see anything happening.
I must be diligent. Prayer is not about changing God; it is designed to change me.
Praying repeatedly for the same objective does not indicate a lack of faith. Nor is it about convincing God that He should respond in the way you have requested.
Can any obstacles block God from answering my prayers?
But they are obstacles totally in my control.
Clinging to – refusing to stop doing – known sin, will prevent God from answering me.
It’s not because He is trying to punish me for sinning.
The agreement between God and Satan says that God will not over-ride a human’s choice.
When I am holding onto a known sin, I am choosing Satan as my god.
Holding onto anything that I know to be against God’s instructions as found in the Bible, allows Satan to block the blessings and answers to prayer that God wants to send to me.
I must be willing to give up the sin, turn it over to God for Him to remove it from my life.
My attitude can also be like an enemy that prevents God’s Blessings from reaching me.
Doubt, fear, holding onto a grudge – Those are mighty warriors that defeat God’s plans for blessing me.
Anger, resentment, jealousy, revenge… Satan has introduced a myriad of emotions and attitudes that estrange us from God.
Replace the emotions and attitudes with the Spirit of love and forgiveness toward everyone – especially those who apparently don’t want your love or forgiveness.
Public vs Private
Private Prayer ought not to be of the same content and structure as Public Prayer.
In Private Prayer, it’s just you and God. No topic is off limits.
Public Prayers should be short.
Being long on your knees is great for your Private Prayers, but difficult for the young and the old.
In general, Public Prayer should contain three elements:
Acknowledgment and Praise to God: Invitation for God to be present and in control
Petitions that are of concern to the audience
Praise for Him being the God who hears, answers, and gets involved
Prayer “brings us up to God” and puts us in touch with the Divine repeatedly, which will change us to be more like Him.
This might help explain why we are instructed to “Pray without ceasing.”
Share with me your experiences with prayer.