Good day to you all! We previously discussed
the need to be in prayer continually. I’d like to look at what we should pray for and how we should pray. May the Lord Jesus bless us as we look into His word for answers.
First, Jesus Himself gives us excellent instruction in the sixth chapter of The Gospel According to Matthew:
- He tells us not to use vain repetitions. Our prayers should come from the heart. Let us avoid “getting into a rut” and saying the same things over and over in our prayers to our Father.
- We should not pray to be heard of men that we might receive their praise. We need to pray to God so that He might hear our prayer and bless.
- Jesus said, “enter into thy closet” when you pray. This teaches us that we should have some private time in prayer with our Father. We should not let our only prayer be during worship services in the house of God.
Speaking of praying in God’s house, I heard someone complaining one time because a man in the worship service had prayed for several minutes. What?! I couldn’t believe it. He said we can say everything we need in a few seconds and move on. Of course, a moment ago we just looked at how our prayers shouldn’t be said “standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men” (Matthew 6:5). Those types of folks “think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7). But again, the key factor is prayer from the heart! If a prayer is from the heart then it can be either short or long.
One of the most wonderful prayers I’ve ever “heard” is long and it comes from I Kings 8:22-53. (Please take time to turn in your bible and read it; I feel you will receive a blessing from it.) Certainly God was with our dear brother Solomon as he prayed this prayer. When a prayer comes from the Spirit within us it will be just the right length, whether it lasts for two hours or two seconds! God’s house is a house of prayer, and when we go there to worship our Lord and Savior we should expect prayer to be a significant part of that worship!
And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. – Matthew 21:13
Sometimes we go through times in our lives when don’t even have the words to express ourselves to our Father in a way we’d like. I had a discussion with a dear sister in Christ several weeks ago about depression and suicide. She made the statement to me that she had experienced times in her life when she was so depressed that all she could do was lay on her bed and moan. I knew how she felt; sadly, I’ve had times in my life when I did not want to live any more. When I look back on those times, I know that I was in a state where I was truly unthankful for the blessings in my life that God had given me. I was looking at what I didn’t have instead of what I did have. However, it’s comforting to know that even at those dark times in our life our God hears even our groanings.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. – Romans 8:26
What a blessing!
Our prayers also need to go up to God with belief that he is pleased to answer them.
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. – Matthew 21:22
Is the God to which we pray not the same God who created the heavens, the earth, the seas, and all that is therein? Is He not then able to provide whatever we ask if it pleases Him to do so?
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? – Luke 11:9-13
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. – Mark 11:22-26
The verses in Luke 18:1-5 teach us persistence in prayer, as well:
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
When you don’t have an answer, keep praying! 🙂 Never give up on God!
Some times we are guilty of praying for only the “big” problems in our lives. Why not pray for the small things, too? Think about it. Have you ever dropped a load of groceries when carrying them up the steps? It’s just one of those things that happens, right? Hmm… Did you ask God for His help in getting up the steps safely, and that you wouldn’t drop anything so as not to waste what He’s blest you with, and that by not dropping anything you would have more time to complete your other tasks at hand such as studying His word? If that seems like a silly prayer to you, then please continue living your life as you have lived it before, praying only when you’re afflicted greatly. But brothers and sisters, I’m writing this blog about a God who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows the number of hairs on your head! He is concerned about the daily details of your life! And He stands ready, willing, able, and pleased to help you with the daily challenges you face, even and especially the “little problems” you face!
My precious brothers and sisters, how much better would our lives be on a daily basis if we practiced these teachings faithfully and continually? Let us meditate on this and attempt to apply these things to our lives.
May the Lord Jesus Christ richly bless you!