Summary: Prayer is the very life's breath for the true Christian.
Lord teach us to Pray
In verse nine Jesus said, “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.”
Prayer is talking with God and taking the time to listen, He may speak in an audible voice, or through His word. Listening to the Word of God is how we grow as Christians. J.C. Ryle a pastor described prayer as “the very life’s breath for true Christianity.”
The believer is only as strong as their prayer life; it is our direct communication to God. Our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ will not grow unless we learn the art of praying.
The Apostle Paul said to Timothy, “I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men.” Many times prayers are unanswered because we pray in general terms rather than being specific.
Perhaps the most important verse in scripture, when it comes to praying is, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need.” Hebrews chapter four and verse sixteen.
Prayer is not to change God’s will or His mind; it is for us to be conformed to His will. Our prayers should be for God to change us. By knowing the Word of God, which is the will of God helps us when we are praying for his will to be done.
The Bible points out that many prayers are wasted because we do not follow the conditions that God sets forth in His Word. In the book of James chapter four and verse three, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Jesus told his disciples, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do. That the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
In order to pray effectively, we need to listen to what God has to say about it. There are four things I want to offer that will help us when we pray. They are ADORATION, CONFESSION, THANKSGIVING AND SUPPLICATION.
Our ADORATION pleases God. Heartfelt praise to God is equivalent of an Old Testament sacrifice. In other words, it is a significant act of worship! One of the many reasons that God saves people is that they will praise, and adore, and worship Him. So when we go before Him in prayer we show forth our adoration.
Psalms twenty-two and verse twenty-two, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.” To adore God is simply praising Him for who He is and what He has done. This is a good way to begin your time spent in prayer.
The key to adoring God is getting to know Him, the more you learn about God and what he has done for you; the more natural it becomes to praise Him. The way we get to know God is through the reading of His Word. Adoration naturally leads to confession.
CONFESSION is when we acknowledge our sins. It is what God wants us to do instead of making excuses or blame shifting.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Confession involves understanding the seriousness of sin with sensitivity toward our own sinful nature and a complete surrender to the righteousness of Christ. When we acknowledge our sins before God, we then experience God’s forgiveness and it helps us to be filled with the attitude of thanksgiving.
THANKSGIVING we have so much for which to be thankful, knowing that God has forgiven us of all our sins. God has shown His great compassion toward mankind, and God’s has provided for our needs and even many of our desires.
As you meditate before the Lord it would be good to read from the book of Psalms chapter 103. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgives all thy iniquities; who heals all thy diseases; who redeemed thy life from destruction, who crowns thee with loving kindness and tender mercies; who satisfices thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”