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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

“Never stop praying.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)
Prayer is endless work.  There are all sorts of ways to look at prayer as a Christian.  One serious reality is that prayer is to be continual.  It is to be ongoing more than occasional.  Christians are to pray always and in all ways.
Pray Always
We have to stay at prayer all of the time no matter what.  We need to stay prayed up day after day, moment by moment.  We cannot simply start and stop regarding prayer.  We are to pray always.
Pray All Ways
I used to hear people start prayer with words and phrases like: “Bow your heads and close your eyes…” or “Let us pray.” Prayer does not require any type of formality or format.   There is no definitive prayer position.  You can stand or kneel, bow or lift up your head.  You can repeat your favorite verse, speak from your heart or simply commune in silence with the Lord.  Prayer is free flowing.

 

All you need to really know and do is pray continually, understanding that prayer is endless work.
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The Promise of Prayer

 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. – 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Prayer is a promising exercise.  Aside from its ability to help believers release tension and pressure as well as express themselves openly to God directly, prayer comes with a simple promise.

Prayer may not change the outcome.

The promise of prayer is that it can change our own outlook.

Prayer can change our outlook on matters both big and small.  It can actually alter our own perspective on our position within the midst of misery or the precipice of a problem.

“Prayers never die.” – E.M. Bounds

Once we pray, the promise still holds true.  The promise is all about change.

You may not God’s mind or His intention like the prayer of Hezekiah when called out to get his house in order through the prophet Isaiah.  Yet, prayer offers us power to change our walk along this journey of life.  You can make changes in your life due to your prayer life.

Here is how to tap into the ever-changing power and promise of prayer:

  • Put prayer into effect.
  • Take advantage of what God can offers you through prayer.
  • Always stay connected to God through an active and responsive prayer life.

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Let God Hear

I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word. – Psalm 119:147

In the morning and in the evening are times when God should hear from us. It isn’t reserved just for in times of trouble.

However, many people just wait until it is troubling. They wait until then to call on God. They wait until a deadline is fast approaching. They wait until they are backed up against a wall.

Let God hear from you daily. Come before His throne and lay out your heart to Him. He’ll hear you.

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“A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul.” – D.L. Moody

If you have faith, it should show somehow.

Your faith should be evident by what you do.  Otherwise, it is not faith.  It is rhetoric.

You have faith to lean and depend upon God.  You trust God when you have faith.  There should be something that you do that shows others that you trust God.  It should come out through what you do for the Lord.

“The whole being of any Christian is faith and love. Faith brings the person to God, love brings the person to people.” – Martin Luther

 

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“Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” – Acts 5:20 (ESV)

We need to step out in faith and speak “all the words of this life.” The angel of the Lord freed the apostles from the jail that held them in bondage, but he insisted that they go share the message with the people.  Their instructions told them to specifically speak in the temple.  That was where they were divinely directed.

Where has the Lord directed you?

Has the Lord directed you to share your prayers with the world? How about your praise? Think hard about it.  Let the Holy Spirit lead you to where God has for you to go with your prayers and your praise.

Perhaps, if you listen to the urging of the Lord, you will discover how much He wants you to publicize your prayers and your praise.  He can lead you to a plethora places.  He can lead you into the public space to share with others.  Let Him lead you to the parks and recreation centers, even the bus stops and train stations.  Maybe, if you get that divine inspiration, you can lead a prayer at city hall or the courthouse steps.

Let Him lead you.  Let Him use you.

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Public Prayer

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. – Matthew 6:5 (NIV)

We need to understand the tenets of public prayer.  Jesus was concerned about it.  He did not want us to become like the hypocrites.  That was part of Jesus’ concern about public prayer.

Is Tim Tebow being a hypocrite when praying on the field? How about those kids in New York who were suspended for Tebowing at school? Were they being earnest, seeking to pray without ceasing or just trying to showboat in some self-righteous display? Even some Christians condemn Tebow’s display of prayer.  Some people have even gone so far as to use this very verse to justify how Jesus would have condemned Tebow’s public prayer on the field as hypocritical.

In His famed Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shares some things that we should do and should not do.  He does not denounce public prayer.  He shuns the practice of public prayer with the intent of seeking to be seen by others rather than to impact others.  If we pray in public, it should be prayer that touches the public rather than simply show them that we are so righteous and right with God that they never could attain our superior status.  That is the epitome of what Jesus called being like the hypocrites.

We need to pray in public.  We need to organize public prayer rallies.  We need every prayer rally possible at City Hall, at the steps of Capitol Hill, and on the streets of the inner city.  We need prayer in the midst of drug-infested projects and amid out-of-touch politicians and civic leaders.  We need prayer for the streets for safety and peace.  We need prayer.

We need testimonies of answered prayers on the streets.  We need to stand before those who do not know God and share how God answered our prayers.  We need to encircle one another, encircle the community, and simply circle up and pray.  Our standing in public places and in prayer should give others hope today.

On Tebow, I don’t believe that the brother is trying to show off or prove himself to be more righteous than the next man.  I believe that, if we were truly honest, we would not simply target Tebow.  We would all see that any person in any capacity related to professional sports needs some prayer.  In fact, didn’t former NFL pro defensive lineman Rosey Grier turn into a Christian social activist and prayer warrior? We didn’t bludgeon Rosey then as much as Tebow today.  Why because he’s 6’5″ with God on his side? I don’t think so. 

Let’s get real about this.  The world is going to twist the Word of God out of convenience and seek to take Christians through the ringer when they profess their faith publicly.  We need more public prayer in the right places for the right reasons and with the right intentions.  It can make a difference.

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“Prayer is the daily work of the Christian.” – Martin Luther

We can go to the Master with all that is on our hearts.  We do not have to hold it in.  We do not have to hold on to the things that hold us hostage.  We have an advocate in the Lord Jesus Christ

Go to the Master:

  • Immediately
  • Intensely
  • Intentionally
  • Intimately

 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. – 1 John 2:1-2 (ESV)

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