Lord, Teach Us to Pray
Psalm 95:2; 1 John 5:14; Samuel 12:23; Romans 12:2; Jeremiah 17:9-10
Prayer is one of the most important and most powerful spiritual tools in the Christian life. Yet if you ask most Christians about their prayer lives, you will find that most do not regularly pray and most can't give a clear definition how to pray effectively. What does it take to develop an active prayer life? I want to share some of the principles that have helped my prayer life that may be helpful to you.
We have all heard people say things like, "I have tried everything, now all I can do is pray". I recently heard someone explain a similar situation and they had not prayed because they felt they could handle the situation but now it had grown beyond their control. It reminded me of the story of a lady who was listening to Dwight L. Moody and told him, "I only pray to God about big problems and don't bother God with the little things". To which Dwight replied, "To God, every problem is little". How true that is. We struggle needlessly simply because we do not ask.
There are many, many aspects to prayer. I want to focus on five principle areas in this message: requests, thanksgiving, supplication and communion. Before I address these five principles, I want to talk about how we should approach prayer. Don't role-play with God. God is not impressed with religious terms and jargon. Be yourself and be natural. God already knows your emotions and He knows who you are. Putting up a front only hinders you and limits your benefit to your prayer time. Your goal is to get with God and to listen to God, not to complete a redundant routine.
Let's start with thanksgiving. In Psalm 95:2 and 100:2 we are told to come before God's presence with thanksgiving, singing, making a joyful noise with psalms. Twice the apostle Paul tells us to make melody in our hearts to God with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. It is so easy to only see the probl ...
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