Summary: Making prayer more personal.
Prayer: James 5:16 "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
Prayer is an important (actually vital) component of a Christian’s life. Prayer is how we communicate with God. All of our communication with God is a form of prayer.
There are several types of prayer. One of these is prayer of praise and adoration. Those times when we just acknowledge God for whom he is, his righteousness, his magnificence, his glory. Very often we may put this type of prayer in the form of a song, as in praise and worship music, or into poetry as in the Psalms. But regardless of the form, it is still a form of prayer, and an important part of our prayer life. It is in this form of prayer that we are able to express our love and appreciation to God. Many of the Psalms of David are this type of prayer and illustrate his expression of love for the Lord. For example, Psalm eight;
1. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
2. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightiest still the enemy and the avenger.
3. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5. For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8. The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Another type of prayer is a prayer of Thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
This is the time we take to thank God for whatever he has done in our life. This should be an endless list for each of us, beginning with our very life, and continuing to the cross, everything we have we can credit to God. Without him we are nothing, by him we have everything. Thanks to God should be ever on our hearts and minds as we go through our daily walk with him.
We have prayer of petition, on our own behalf. Asking for forgiveness of those times when we have gone against God’s will in our life and as a result have sinned against him. I believe that as believers, we cannot sin into condemnation, our salvation is assured, but we can put ourselves out of fellowship with God, and as a result, our prayers will not be answered, and we will feel the separation from him. When we ask for forgiveness of the sins we have done, we put ourselves back into that right relationship with him which then reconnects the avenue for the blessings he has for us.
We pray for our needs. Matthew 6:11 "Give us this day our daily bread." Means more than just food. This part of the Lord’s prayer is actually a request for God to meet all of our daily needs. We can be certain that he will do just that. The knowledge that God will supply our daily needs causes some to ask, "Why pray if we know he will provide?" I think there are a couple of reasons that he wants us to ask. The first is that if we did not, and our needs were still met, that we would begin to "take it for granted." We get to the point of assuming that he owes it to us, and not that he supplies by his mercy and grace. So if we ask in prayer for our needs to be met, it helps us remember who it is that supplies our need, and also helps to remember to thank him for meeting those needs. Additionally, I think that praying for our needs to be met helps us to focus on our needs and not so much on our wants. For example, we may need reliable transportation, and we may want a nice new Cadillac. By praying for our need to be met, and with a genuinely thankful heart for whatever that might turn out to be, we will give God the freedom to move as he will, not bound by our demands, he is better able to meet our need, and he might even do it with the Caddy. But if it turns out to be an old chevy that doesn’t look like much, we are still thankful and grateful for his meeting the need.