How to Have a More Effective Prayer Life
Please visit my sermons page for hundreds of free formatted text versions of my sermons along with ready-to-go Powerpoint Presentations.
Unexplainable peace (passes all understanding)
To claim this promise…free from fear, anxiety, frustration…we have to follow this prescription God’s way, to a “T”.
3 elements here:
The definitions of all 3 will teach us much about prayer.
“Prayer”—carries the idea of adoration, devotion, and worship
[exactly the opposite of rushing into the presence of God…which is how most of our prayer lives are!]
Being still and knowing He is God/meditation/seeking peace and being still
“careful for nothing”=to be pulled apart/drawn in separate directions
when we have a giant problem/mountain to cross…we need a correct view of God/how big He is
Next to me my problem seems very big/next to God very small!
We need to be able to view our problems not in relation to my power, but God’s/not in relation to my resources, but God’s!
Some say, “I take my BIG problems to God”
But are there any big problems next to God?
Ill.—student asked teacher if there’s life on other planets/bible teacher answered that “Eve” means mother of all living, and she didn’t think so/then why go to all the trouble of making all the other planets?/what trouble?!
And He’s big enough to deal w/ my problems if I’ll let go and let God!
So start off prayer time w/ praise time, worship, adoration…being still and thinking of how great and powerful He is…thanking Him for flinging the stars into space [omnipotence]/and omnipresence: that’s He’s everywhere at all times, He’s w/ me in this problem, darkness, difficulty.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. 19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God…
Hear the victory in that verse? It’s the result of worship, adoration, and praise at the beginning of the prayer!
…also, thank Him for His omniscience=all knowing
Ps 103:14 -
For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
To be transparent, I struggle sometimes as a younger pastor w/ self-doubt, and wondering if I’m capable of this position…as the honeymoon period has ended, I’ve become a target to those not interested in following…the armchair pastors, and often it seems like it’s impossible to please people, there’s no appreciation, and going all the way to the top, I’m not developing leaders and growing people, and cannot even get people in leadership to recognize the spiritual condition we’re in and what God’s mind is on this, and I feel like I’m just not going to be able to do it all, and so I’ve been asking myself the question, should I step out of the way? Was my job just to come energize for a while and get the building settled? I never want to be in the way if my time is done!
And God has taken me by the shoulders and shook me to attention, and caused me to realize I’m just looking for the easy road…and that I should stop praying for God to make my tasks equal to my abilities, and start praying for Him to make my abilities equal to the tasks He’s put before me!
I realize this church hasn’t come this far because of me, and it won’t go into the future because of me either…but God can do it thru me and us, together!
It’s hard to get on my knees and gripe and moan to God about the cross I have to carry when I’ve started out the prayer w/ worship and adoration about how capable He is of taking care of everything I’m about to list!
We spend most of our prayer time telling God our list [which He already knows], when we should invest much of that same time thanking Him that we can bring this list to Him to deal with!
That’s the idea behind the word prayer=adoration…
Then there’s the word “supplication”=idea of earnestness and sincerity
The opposite would be half-hearted, insincere praying…praying to the people around you instead of God, or to yourself (thinking), rather than truly talking to God.
God wants us to be earnest in our requests.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Look at the earnestness in these verses…all 3 words: ask, seek, and knock indicate a higher level of earnestness than the one before…each grows in intensity, passion, earnestness.