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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Not Praying in Fear

But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind.
James 1:6

Fear and doubt eat away at our faith.

Take that in for a moment.

Two things that definitely eat away at our faith: fear and doubt.

James, the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, wrote in his epistle centuries ago how we must believe when we pray “and not doubt at all” (James 1:6). Otherwise, as James wrote in the same verse, we’d be “blown about by the wind” like a wave upon the seas. If that’s the case, then we had better pray in faith without fear or doubt.

Prayer Has Power

We need to see the power that prayer has to make a difference in us. We can go to pray filled with anxiety of having to face our own fears, but while we are praying God can ignite the indwelling of His Spirit within us to aliven us and quicken us, even strengthen us. We have to believe that we’ve been endowed with this type of power through the Comforter, the Helper, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.

Through the power that we have through prayer, we can stay connected to God. Also, we can remain confident in God not forsaking or abandoning us. He doesn’t just hang out with us. He lives within us. That’s spiritual power!

Face Your Fears in Faith

Let your prayers empower you to endure what you fear. Let prayer time encourage you to face what drove you to your knees in the first place. Trust God to enlighten you and equip you for the spiritual battle that you might face with both fear and doubt seeking to sap you of all of your God-given power.

The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

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In Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the magical phrase “Open sesame!” opens the secret hidden cave known as the den of thieves. The phrase has been mimicked and mocked throughout literature and theatre for centuries. It has been used by magicians on stage and children at play. Though many have used that phrase, few doors have been opened due to its usage.

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

The Lord Models Opening Doors for Us

“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. . ."
- Revelation 3:8 

The work of the Lord seems magical to us. Although His power is supernatural, it only seems magical. It isn’t magical. It is miraculous.

Read chapter 3 of Revelation. Look at what God says about doors and them being opened by Him for you and for Him to enter hearts. What God does for us by opening doors for us is beyond magical. Like I said, it’s miraculous.

That God looks upon us with enough care and compassion to grant us what no man can take away from us isn’t magical. That’s part of His supernatural power that has the capacity for causing miracles to occur in our lives.

Prayer in Faith is Key to Opening Doors

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
- Matthew 17:19-21 (NIV)

Lack of faith and unbelief subside to the power of God actively working in our lives and before our eyes.

Jesus was doing two different things in this teachable moment with His own disciples.

  • He was rebuking them for their “so little faith”
  • He was revealing to them how much power He had actually given over to them if they would just have enough faith, even “faith as small as a mustard seed”

When we pray with faith, we exercise our own God-given power. When we do so, we lean all in upon the Holy Spirit to grant us the strength to accomplish great things. We are endowed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and that makes us powerful, powerful enough to overcome our own unbelief and lack of faith to begin with indeed.

Having the Holy Spirit alive within us, we can open doors through the power of faith. We can cause things to change in the lives of others as well as in our own lives. We have the power to make the seemingly impossible seem unreal as it unravels before the eyes of the unbeliever and a few believers, too.

“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains” (Colossians 4:3, NIV). Paul submitted this prayer request to the believers at Colosse, seeking further opportunities to share the message of Jesus Christ with others. StopAndPrayTV added a video element to explain such open doors. Another blogger on WordPress put it this way: “The purpose of an open door is thus to preach the gospel of Christ and to speak the mystery of Christ.” PK Adams challenges us to rethink our outlook as Christians and see that much of this world needs the Word for more conversion to the faith rather than just a generalized labeling by our spiritual stamp of approval. Let’s keep praying for more opportunities to do the work God has called us all to do by sharing the Good News.

Prayer Challenge Reflections

This September allowed for us to engage in a 30-Day Prayer Challenge again. There were quite a few lessons learned as we worked throughout the month to remain prayerful. Personally, I found myself more vigilant about staying the course for 30 days since last year’s prayer challenge found me fighting off the spiritual attack that comes with endeavoring to do more by faith.

  • Prayer isn’t light work.
    • We need to consecrate
    • We need to concentrate
  • Problems will arise one way or another and in one form or another.
    • Prepare for problems (as much as you can)
    • Pray about problems (as much as you can)
  • Your prayer time is about the connection between both God and you.
    • Release from you to God (requests/ supplications/ petitions)
    • Response to you from God (receive/ accept)

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". . . we must earnestly, sacrificially, and prayerfully strive to be empowered with that same power that came upon them."
- A.W. Tozer, Life in the Spirit

Earnest, Sacrificial, and Always Prayerful

Tozer spoke of the need for constant prayer from the teachers and members of the “redeemed Body of which Christ is the Head” in an earlier passage. He was adamant about such prayer in practice in order for “any church to be a church of Christ.” He said that such a pursuit in practice must be earnest, sacrificial, and constant with prayer.

Earnest

In layman’s terms, earnest means sincere and intense conviction. According to the Bible, for one to be considered earnest means to be ardent in pursuit of an object or goal. In other words, to be earnest is to be zealous.

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

“And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 217, KJV). The zeal of the faithful believer is consuming. His or her heart is filled with an intense level of conviction for God’s agenda. Such an individual desires to see the kingdom of God come about. This type of earnest individual is driven by a deep internal conviction to work towards the kingdom of God coming to fruition.

We need to be more earnest in our lives as we serve the Lord daily.

Sacrificial

What types of sacrifices have you made for the sake of the Lord?

He sacrificed for your salvation. He paid the penalty for our sins with His own life. As Isaiah reminded us through his prophecy recorded ages before the Messiah’s advent, His sacrifice healed us.

God desires you to make sacrifices. He has shown us the way.

God desires to see you make sacrifices in your life for His namesake.

Always Prayerful

I used to always wonder how in the world could Paul really expect anybody to “pray without ceasing” (1 Th. 5:17). It always baffled me how that three-word sentence just sat right there in the middle of this spiritual to-do list for believers. I just didn’t see how that could be a reasonable expectation for believers, especially for those who were just coming into the faith and a personal understanding of what it meant to be a Christian.

Then life happened.

Through the trials and tests of personal experience, I became more accustomed to having to remain in constant prayer. While under spiritual attack, you have to pray constantly.

“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)

It is not as difficult as I once thought. It is a simple practice.

It is not too much to ask. It is a personal commitment.

It isn’t a burdensome thing. It provides us communion with God.

It is a simple three-word command.

It provides us a personal connection with God.

“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)

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In your hands lie your destination
The book of true life you hold the key
Mystical powers to you unfold
Seek ye the half that has never been told
Get behind me satan
Get behind me satan
I’ve got chant (Chant a psalm a day)
I want to chant (Chant a psalm a day)
I’ve got chant (Chant a psalm a day)
I want to chant (Chant a psalm a day)

“Chant a Psalm” by Steel Pulse

The Prayer Book of the Bible

The Book of Psalms has been called many things. It has been considered the Hymn Book of the Bible by some. However, the Book of Psalms has also been seen as the Prayer Book of the Bible as well.

Book of Psalms Devotional

The Book of Psalms is full of prayers. It contains numerous prayers by multiple authors. David isn’t the only one who wrote psalms in the form of prayer. But authorship isn’t the only indicator of the strength of psalms as prayers.


Pray a Psalm (Chant a Psalm)

Reggae artists Steel Pulse shared “Chant a Psalm” and their album “True Democracy” in 1982. The lyrics shared here in this post show the power contained within the psalms. It wasn’t a major hit in the U.S. upon its release. It wasn’t a major hit among evangelicals either. Yet, the song still echoes the sentiments of one who finds the psalms found in the Bible to serve as motivation for staying true to developing a relationship with God through His Word.

It is through such devotion and spiritual connection to God’s Word that we as believers uphold our daily commitment to come before God with open hearts. Such a daily devotion to seeking God can serve as a catalyst for us to remain rooted in God’s Word while engaging in prayer.


As E.M. Bounds once said, “Prayer is humbling work.” We cannot get beside ourselves and lose touch with God. We need to stay connected to God through both prayer and His Word. Even the Serenity Prayer gives us a perspective of how to be humbled by our own time with God in prayer.

Open up the Book of Psalms. Read aloud one of the prayers found in the Book of Psalms with all the strength that you can muster. Stand on the sandy shores of the ocean or the rocky edges of a mountainside, taking in the majestic handiwork of God, letting the words of a prayer from Psalms cross your lips and enter into the atmosphere.

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Ask with Belief

Matthew 21:22 can be misunderstood as to say that we automatically receive whatever we desire when we ask God for it. That is not what Jesus said.

Asking is the petition made to God from our hearts. Just simply asking isn’t the answer. Asking alone doesn’t lead to us receiving blessings from God.

Belief is the key factor in prayer.

Ask and believe.

Don’t allow your prayers to go up without believing in your heart that what you’re seeking from God is of God and within His will.

God’s answers are available. His ability is awesome and mighty. He’s awaiting our unbelief to be turned into true faithfulness churned by a high degree of belief in Him.

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Let God Hear Your Prayers

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
    and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
    against those who do evil.

– 1 Peter 3:12 (NLT)

Our Prayers Have Power

Our prayers are said to have power.

We need to understand that power of prayer.

Our prayers have the power to get God’s attention.

Imagine that.

Peter was seeking to correct misunderstandings and misconceptions about prayer. He put an emphasis on quoting a key passage from Psalm 34. I actually like the way that another blogger lays this out via Psalm 34:12-14. In all honesty, we get a big boost to our look into the power of the believer provided by God in both the passage from the Book of Psalms and the epistle written by Peter.

We can get God’s attention.

Now that’s powerful.

Amazing things happen when you pray.

Norman Vincent Peale

Our prayers also have the power to elicit God’s answers.

I recently posted about praying with expectation. and what we truly are to expect from God is some kind of answer. Countless others have shared messages and posts regarding this power of prayer.

You should expect God’s answers, whether you receive them directly or indirectly. You should expect to see God putting things together on the basis of His will and His Word. You should expect God to fulfill His plan and His purpose through His answers to us.

We can tap into that power and that’s amazing.

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"I pray, expecting an answer."
- Andrew Murray

Pray with Expectation

The quote from Andrew Murray says it all in a nutshell.

We need to pray to God with expectation.

When we pray to God, we should expect an answer from God. In fact, we should anticipate an answer by God answering us according to His will. We should ask, believe and expect to receive God’s answer in accordance with both His purpose and His plan.

#PrayerPower long sleeve tee via Zazzle

Expecting is Not Directing

What we tell God is about our needs and our desires. We give God our petitions and requests. We submit our supplications to God.

We don’t direct God on what to do or where to go, not even how to perform what we ask.

That’s not our calling.

That’s not how that works.

Tell God and Trust God

Once you’ve prayed, remain open to receiving God’s answer.

Once you have prayed, ready yourself with expectation of God’s answer.

In anticipation of God’s answer, be ready to accept God’s will.

Acceptance is key when we look at our expectation of God answering us. Like I said, God has a purpose and and a plan. Your prayer might not fit with His plan or His purpose.

Yes, God has the power to do whatever he chooses to do. See Psalm 115:3. But even three Hebrew youths were cemented in their faith that they would hold fast to their devotion to God even if He did not rescue them from a fiery furnace in Babylon.

Come to the point in your faith where you can accept that. That’s God’s expectation of us.

Keep praying and keep expecting God’s answers with acceptance.

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Prayer is not without its own challenges.

Jesus used His parable as a teaching tool in this passage of Luke to show His followers that they should always pray and not lose heart. He wanted them to pray “at all times.” He wanted them to remain dedicated and devoted to a life of prayer without losing heart.

To Not Lose Heart

To “not lose heart” is more encouragement than eloquence. To “not lose heart” is a warning against praying and giving up. To “not lose heart” is about where we go once we have given our petitions and requests over to God.

What Jesus was saying when He said to “not lose heart” was that we need to pray and “not give up” (NIV). We need to pray and “not become discouraged” (HCSB). We need to pray and “not to faint” (KJV).

Powered by Prayer

Jesus was not just trying to encourage His followers. He was also trying to empower His followers.

We can pray and walk away without tapping into the power of our privilege of prayer.

How?

  • We pray without faith
  • We pray without any expectations
  • We pray without any genuine concern about the outcome.

Jesus said in John chapter 15 that He’s vine and we’re the branches. As the branches, we can’t bear fruit that lasts without staying connected to Him. In other words, we’re not productive without Him as our main source of power. He gives us the Helper, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, to keep us connected to Him.

Our power comes through what Jesus provides us.

Prayer.

He shares and how us how to pray.

Our power comes through who Jesus provides us.

The Holy Spirit. The Comforter. The Spirit of Truth. The Helper.

Don’t lose heart. Keep praying.

We need to “always pray” and “not lose heart” by remaining connected to the Lord through the Holy Spirit. That’s our power source.

And definitely do not lose heart along the way.

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Pray Always

When the words “at all times they ought to pray” show up, I try to imagine how much Jesus probably stressed this point. I try to picture His appearance as He started sharing the parable with an underlying intent on the concept of continual prayer. I can see its importance.

As we continue our 30-Day Prayer Challenge, focus on continuing in prayer. Focus on how Jesus stressed that prayer should be at all times. don’t give in to the temptation to go forward without. Focus on what He said. At all times as in even when we don’t necessarily feel at our best or when we just want a break from the rest of the holy and righteous folks. That’s when we need to remain in prayer the most.

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The Lord’s Prayer

Jesus modeled prayer for us. It’s in the Bible. In particular, it’s in the New Testament. In the Gospels, Jesus modeled the act of prayer in both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke. It’s what we have commonly come to know as the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:5-15; Luke 11:1-13) [Bible.org].

My Pastoral Ponderings poses some keen reflections on Luke’s passage, while Faith, Me & OCD offers some “top tips” on prayer regarding Matthew’s passage. When urging us like Charles H. Spurgeon to pray the Lord’s Prayer differently, another blogger online says so profoundly: “We can look at prayer as real power that brings God’s promises to fulfillment.” I like how Brave, Blessed, and Beautiful places an emphasis on a line by line breakdown of the Lord’s Prayer. Among all of the various types of prayer, the Lord’s Prayer stands out as a biblical hallmark for many Christians just like the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr is near and dear to many as a humbling reminder of our own need to be better than what we have shown thus far in our lives.

What we rarely talk about is how it came about, though.

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

What we know as the Lord’s Prayer is a response to a request. It’s how the Lord used a teachable moment to share with His own followers on how to pray.

The disciples of Jesus made a request. It was a simple and straightforward request. They sought the Lord’s guidance on how to pray.

Don’t look down on these people with holy hindsight before checking your Bibles. They were mainly fishermen. As the New Testament shows us in Acts, by all Jewish standards of religious education and upbringing, these men were considered “unschooled, ordinary men” according to Acts 4:13 (NIV). The New King James Version (NKJV) calls them “uneducated and untrained” in the same verse. In other words, what they truly knew about faith had come through the teachings of Jesus and by revelation after His ascension.

They wanted to know how to pray.

Jesus simply responded to their request by providing a model of prayer for them to follow.

https://amzn.to/3CSdeZO

Prayer = Learned Behavior

If you are too busy to pray then you are too busy

W.E. Sangster
https://f.convertkit.com/ckjs/ck.5.js

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    Prayer, as we see from the Bible, is learned behavior. We learn to pray. We should be taught how to pray. Yet, most of us learn prayer through the models provided by those who pray during worship or in our Sunday school or small groups.

    Prayer is a part of the relationship with the Redeemer.

    Prayer is an expectation of the believer.

    Prayer keeps us connected to Christ.

    What Jesus did was meet His disciples at the point of their need and built them up from there. He edified them, while He educated them, equipped them, and empowered them with this model of prayer.

    We’re using this model of prayer to help us get started with our 30-Day Prayer Challenge. We’re using this model prayer to guide us. We’re using it to focus us on our journey to more intense and intimate prayer time with the Lord.

    Join us on this journey as we seek the Lord’s power through prayer. Get the FREE newsletter as inspiration in your inbox for continuing on this journey day by day.

    https://tremendous-painter-8063.ck.page/8c11aff5d4

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