Summary: Prayer is one of God’s greatest gifts to his people yet it is often reduced to blessings at meals and praying for our health and the health of our family and friends. Someone has said, “Many people pray as if God were a big aspirin pill; they come only wh

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How is your prayer Life?

How often do you pray?

Why do you pray?

Questions like these force us to examine our prayer life. If you are like most people you wish you could be better at communicating with God.

Prayer is one of God’s greatest gifts to his people yet it is often reduced to blessings at meals and praying for our health and the health of our family and friends. Someone has said, “Many people pray as if God were a big aspirin pill; they come only when they hurt.” God wants our prayers to be so much more than prayer for our food and health.

Prayer is communication.

Prayer has played a vital role in the lives of people…

Abraham Lincoln; I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.

Martin Luther King Jr; “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”

What are people praying for today?

More than any time in history, people are seeking answers to life’s struggles, problems, and challenges. Natural and man-made disasters are causing more and more stress in people, and their lives are under intense pressure. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, personal debt, job losses -- it is hard to comprehend the pressure these exert upon families struggling to make ends meet and survive.

While it seems more people are focused on prayers, their prayers reflect a desire for a materialistic lifestyle rather than communication with God. On the website “Best & Worst” the question was posed; “What are you praying for today?”

16% a new president

15% health

12% they would win the lottery

7% a new job

4% better sex

It seems we have strayed when it comes to understanding the purpose, value and power of prayer.

What is needed today is a return to the basics of prayer, now just as a river is purest at its source, so we can discover purest form of prayer by looking at the source of the one who demonstrated the purpose, value and power of prayer in his own life. As the Hebrew writer said, Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, so that we will not grow weary and lose heart.

I believe we grow weary when we do not pray as we should.

In Mark’s gospel, Jesus teaches us two important principles regarding prayer. By following these principles I believe we will avoid growing weary and losing heart in our daily walk with God.

Principle #1 is found in Mark 1:35, Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Principle #1. Jesus’ prayer life was intentional

There is a big difference between an accident and an incident. An accident is something that happens without planning or it happens because of unforeseen circumstances. A child reaches for something and accidently spills the milk. The teenager reaches over to turn down the CD player in the care and accidently goes through the traffic light. Preoccupied the stuff of life we forget to enter a ATM withdraw in our check register and we accidently overdraw our bank account. Accidents simply happen. But incidents take planning, they are calculated and are done intentionally. Too often many of us will have an accidental prayer life. A crisis “Just Happens” and we pray hoping for some kind of relief from the careless actions or unforeseen circumstances.

That does not describe the prayer life of Jesus. Jesus did not prayer by accident, no Jesus prayed intentionally. Mark goes into great detail to describe the intentional prayer life of Jesus.

Jesus set apart time to pray.

Early in the morning; while it was still dark…Jesus prayed. The Jews calculated time based on the watch of the Roman soldier at night. 6-9 was the first watch, 9-12 the second, 12-3 the third and 3-6 the fourth and final watch. It was during this final watch; Jesus would get up and pray. Why so early? Jesus awoke before daybreak because He wanted to avoid the distractions that would come from people, events and duties. Jesus understood the value of time therefore he arose early – making it a priority to spend time in prayer. Having grown up in a Jewish home Jesus was familiar with the psalms, thus he was familiar with the wisdom of Psalm 5:2-3, Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.

3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

Harry Ward Beecher – The morning is the rudder of the day. I find there are two types of people when it comes to mornings; One says, Good Morning Lord and the other says Good Lord its morning.

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