The Apple Of God's Eye

May 2, 2010

Effective, Fervent Prayer: Deepening Our Relationship With God

denniscesone.blogspot.com

Praying is getting to know God because we communicate with Him. Christians should pray daily and as often as possible. Besides equipping ourselves with the armour of God, prayer is the essential element that keeps the armour strong. (Eph. 6:18)

The Sermon on the Mount is one of the great jewels of the Bible. Every verse has deep meaning and hows us how to pray effectively to have a life filled with the love, faith and power of God.

Tithe Your Time In Prayer

Luke 11:2-4 is what we commonly call the Lord’s prayer and shows how Jesus Christ gave His disciples lessons in effective prayer.

We should give God a tithe and offering of our time. There are 1440 minutes each day, which means 144 minutes each day to God – giving 48 minutes of prayer, meditation and study. Throw in an offering of 12 minutes, and we have 1 hour of each daily. A Christian needs 1 hour of prayer daily to win the battle against Satan, the world and himself.

Effective Prayer

Matt.6:6 – two things are needed for effective prayer:

  • Enter into our closet for privacy or a secret room where we cannot be easily seen.
  • Shut the door – we need privacy in prayer to God, in a secluded place for quality time with God. Nothing should interrupt the intimacy we have with God.

Christ chose a solitary place for talking to God. Luke 5:16 shows He withdrew Himself into the wilderness – a solitary place (Strong’s).

Further, Mark 1:35 says:

(1) that Christ went into a private place, one free from distractions

(2) and got up extra early on the day, so that nothing would disrupt the intimacy with His Father

(3) He prioritized His time.

This is sometimes hard on the flesh, but is worth it for character development. We have to have spiritual priorities, which God rewards abundantly as He sees fit (Matt. 6:6). However, vain repetition in prayer is a trap we should not fall into. Don’t speak words just to trample time or which have no meaning (verse 7).

Christ went to God with the same words three times. It’s not repetition he condemns, but vain repetition (Matt. 26:44). Prayer requires more of the heart than the tongue. If we speak saying nothing, it means nothing. We have to have content, and we have a special audience with God, therefore we have to use our time wisely.

Jam.5:16 speaks of the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man. How can we be fervent in our prayer if we are dozing off or rambling. We have to have dynamic, active, efficient, energetic and excited prayer. Well organized prayers are what is needed.

The fact that God knows that we need before we ask, is nothing that should stop our prayers, but should encourage us. This demonstrates our dependence, devotion and desire on God (Matt. 6:8). Good prayer shows that we believe in Him and have faith in Him.

“Pray you” in Matt. 6:9 is a strong exultation to pray, not an option but a command. Shows basic ingredients of what our prayers should be. We are to put the flesh on this skeleton prayer outline. We are to have an introduction, body and conclusion.

Here is a breakdown (or a flesh-out) of how we should pray:

  • Our Father (Matt. 6:9) – we are in a loving and close relationship, so we must pour out our heart in prayer. Heb.4:16 says come boldly to God
  • Who art in heaven (Matt. 6:9) – focuses our orientation spiritually, where our prayers are going and where they need to be directed. Come into contact with the power and might of God, Creator of the universe.
  • Hallowed be your name (Matt. 6:9) – give God praise, understand his attributes, nature, wisdom and power. Hallowed means to be Holy, reverend, sanctified and be set apart. Know who God is and what He stands for, glorify and reverence God. Example: Ps. 95:5 – our Creator, Gen. 35:11 – Almighty God, Exod. 15:26 – Yahweh Rapha (our Healer).
  • Thy Kingdom come (Matt. 6:10) – do we fervently desire the return of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom, as well as having true compassion on all that live, an end to poverty, sickness, sin, etc? Only God’s kingdom offers all the solutions. But we have to move God with our prayers.
  • Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven (Luke 22:42) – the prime qualifications for serving God is putting His will first in our lives. Must not have hindrance to doing His will more perfectly, but ask for help with meekness, faith, and submission.
  • Give us this day our daily bread (Matt. 6:11)shows God we believe He is our provider, depend on Him for daily physical and spiritual needs. “Us” means our own needs, as well as those of others – families, friends, poor and needy, work of God. This is a day by day issue (Luke 11:3) which requires faith and looking to God every day. Focus on needs, not desires. Also ask God to guide us in study, what to study, depth of understanding.
  • Forgive us our sins (Matt. 6:12) – as soon as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. Forgive those who have wronged us, and then  we have to be forgiven for wronging God. Mark 11:25 says forgive when you pray, so that we can be forgiven. When we argue with family and friends, or even strangers (Matt. 5:24), if we don’t resolve these differences, they will be a hindrance to us in prayer.
  • Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (Matt. 6:13)God does not lead us into evil (Jam. 1:13. He will, in fact, always make a way to escape for us (I Cor. 10:13). However, we have to request an escape from, not an exemption from, trials. One that He is providing and to have the faith to escape.
  • For thine is the kingdom, power, glory… (Matt. 6:13) – close prayer with power and give thanks for the many blessings we have been given. Show appreciation for blessings, healings, etc.
  • Through and by the authority of Jesus Christ (John 16:23). If it is God’s will, the authority of Jesus Christ stands behind our request.
  • Amen – closes our prayer to God (Matt. 6:13) and is the last word as we speak and pray to God (so be it) verifies and confirms all we say in our prayer.

Using God’s Name

The spiritually minded have to be careful not use Jesus Christ’s name repeatedly in prayer – both private and public. Christ said, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7). Remember, Jesus Christ is God (Hebrews 1:8). God the Father has given Him a name “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21). To say Jesus Christ’s name repeatedly, or to begin or end every sentence with His name is a vain, or useless, heathen practice! We must reverence God’s name even in our praying.

But there is more. Jesus Christ said, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). Prayer without obedience is the most subtle form of blasphemy. Religious people who talk about God all the time but do not obey God’s Word and His commandments are guilty of a far greater sin than the ones who admittedly live a sinful life but do not pretend to be religious. Religious hypocrisy is a violation of the Third Commandment.

God desires deep, heartfelt and repentant prayer, followed by a life of overcoming sin through the keeping of the commandments of God. This is done through the power of the Holy Spirit, which true Christians are given for obedience. That same prayer which allows us to be able to keep the law of God in the way He intended, also allows us to pray and communicate effectively with God.

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