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Summary: This series is on how to pray. Many peopl pray but very few people have fellowship witjh God. We will explore this week how to know the difference and how to energize your prayer life.

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The next two series will be on “How to Pray” and “What Is Heaven Like”. This morning as I was doing some research one of my e mails was about “How Long Does The Average Pastor Pray” by Sermon Central.com Here are some of the statistics

http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/toni-ridgaway-infographic-what-do-pastors-really-pray-for-1011.asp?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate

Before Jesus died on the cross people prayed to God. The Priests made sacrifices for the people to atone for their sins. Some of the offerings made were

Burnt Offering Voluntary act of worship; Atonement for unintentional sin

Grain Offering Voluntary act of worship; Recognition of God’s goodness and provisions

Fellowship Offering Voluntary act of worship; Fellowship and thanksgiving – it included a communal meal

Sin Offering Mandatory atonement for specific unintentional sin, confession of sin, forgiveness of sin,cleansing from defilement

Guilt Offering Mandatory atonement for unintentional sin requiring restitution, cleansing from defilement, make restitution pay 20% fine.

As you can see from the above references you could spend your entire day going back and forth to atone for your sins. There was always something to atone for because people were always sinning. Except for the grain offering animals without blemish (the best of what you had) was used as a sacrifice. There had to have been so much blood flowing form the altar that in itself would have been tough to watch. But blood is life and someone or some thing had to pay the price for sin.

Since the beginning of time a sacrifice always had to be paid for your and my sin. That is why God is all about equal scales. So for over 4,000 years this was the practice for the forgiveness of sins. It was all works related.

In the above passage about pastors I used this chart because pastors should have the most time to pray. I say should as that is their life’s work. But how about us? Isn’t our life’s work to glorify God? Shouldn’t we spend as much time as a pastor in prayer? If we are serious about getting to know God then yes. Now let me be very clear about one thing. The above chart talks about time in prayer it does not talk about fellowship with God. We can easily get down on our knees to pray and the next thing we find ourselves thinking about is the sale going on at Wal Mart. It takes a lot of trials, discipline and practice to get prayer right. When I say right I mean to pray for a period longer than 2 minutes and to stay focused on God.

God can change your heart and move the heavens in 2 seconds of payer for you when you just say “HELP”!!!!! You see God knows your heart. When you cry out to Him in a humble voice and heart He will act and move mountains for you. What God does not like is a flowery prayer that tries to impress those around you. We do not pray to impress man but to get close to God. We also pray to get to know God. So in this first lesson I want to show you that everyone struggles with prayer so don’t get down on yourself. But I would get a journal. It can be a .50 cents school binder or a $ 20 dollar journal. The point is we need to write down the date, time and place. Then we need to pray and what God reveals to us we need to write down.

In the days following we will get into how to do this. But for today know that prayer is different with everyone. But there is only One to who you pray to. When Jesus died on the cross and the curtain in the temple was torn we now have access to God the father through Jesus the son. I will explain more about this later on also. Just know that when you pray to Jesus you are also praying to God. The Trinity, God the father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit which helps you pray are One. A pastor, priest and minister are great to talk to about things you may be going through but they CANNOT forgive your sins. Only Jesus can when you come to Him with a repentant heart.

No matter what you are going through today God knows. What we will be going through tomorrow God already knows. The quicker you can get into the discipline of prayer the quicker your life will start to have peace instead of chaos.

For our homework today find a quiet place and ask God to help you pray. Then let God take over. Things will start happening in your life that you do not expect. God desires to draw you near to Him. But we have a free will. God desires that we come to Him because we want to not because we have to. That is the true act of worship. Why don’t you start today?

Tomorrow we will be talking about how we set up roadblocks to prayer and how we can overcome them.

Have a great day.

Brad

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