A Pattern for Prayer

Jesus teaches what to focus on in our prayers and encourages us to approach God with a humble heart.

Matthew 6:5-10 “When you pray, do not be as those who pretend to be someone they are not. They love to stand and pray in the places of worship or in the streets so people can see them. For sure, I tell you, they have all the reward they are going to get. When you pray, go into a room by yourself. After you have shut the door, pray to your Father Who is in secret. Then your Father Who sees in secret will reward you. When you pray, do not say the same thing over and over again making long prayers like the people who do not know God. They think they are heard because their prayers are long. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

“Pray like this: Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

 

Are your conversations with God primarily a checklist of needs? Petitions are certainly appropriate, but prayer is also a time to focus on the Lord in love and worship. When praying to our Father in heaven, we should ponder three things that today’s passage indicates are important to Him: His name, His kingdom, and His will (Matt. 6:9-10 above).

Hallowed be Your name. While the goal is to honor and exalt God, our prayers can easily become self-centered. This can be an issue in public prayer if we try to exalt ourselves in the eyes of others. But it can also happen privately when we focus only on what we want God to

do.

Your kingdom come. Praying for God’s coming kingdom means setting our hope on Christ’s future reign while submitting to His rule over our life now.

Your will be done. No matter how much we want the Lord to answer our prayers the way we desire, every petition must be readily submitted to God’s will. It is a way of acknowledging that His way is always best.

The next time you pray, make a point of pondering the Lord’s greatness, exalting Him, and humbly submitting your will to His.

A Passage To Ponder: John 17

Have you ever heard someone pray whose passion, feeling, and fervor were so intense that their sincere petitions brought you closer to God than you’d ever felt before?

Such is the prayer of Jesus in John 17 that some writers have called this chapter “The Holy of Holies of John’s Gospel.” It’s the longest recorded prayer of Jesus in the Bible.

In John 17 we gain deeper insight into Jesus’ relationship with the Father and His thoughts and emotions in the shadow of the cross.

If there ever was a Bible-based three-point sermon, John 17 naturally provides it. Jesus prays for Himself, for the disciples and for all future disciples.

Jesus Prayed For Himself (1-5).

No less than eight times in John’s gospel Jesus speaks of “the hour.” Now the hour has come. The betrayer is coming. The disciples will soon run in fear like scalded dogs. And the cross is in sight.

Some today have incorrectly concluded that the cross thwarted God’s plan. That Jesus’ death put the Divine purpose on hold until some future time. Not so. The cross was not the suspension of God’s plan, but the consummation of it.

Jesus said, “I have finished the work,” and “I have glorified you.” Jesus’ ministry had ended. His mission was about to be fulfilled in His sacrifice for our sins.

Five times in five verses Jesus refers to His purpose in life as glorifying God. He came “to do the will of the Father.” He possessed divine glory before the world was as Deity. He glorified God in His lifework. Even His death. in the supposed shame of the cross, would result in glory. And He would return to glory.

Jesus Prayed For His Disciples (6-19).

Read more; https://thepreachersword.com/2021/11/17/a-passage-to-ponder-john-17/

The God Who Prays for Us

Brian Chilton describes the Holy Spirit’s prayer for the believer’s life and provides three characteristics of this divine prayer.

Source: The God Who Prays for Us

By: Brian G. Chilton | November 1, 2021

Romans chapter 8 is perhaps one of the best chapters in the entire Bible. The chapter begins with an exposition of God’s salvific work for our lives, including God’s past, present, and future work. The chapter ends as it describes the eternal love that God has for his children (8:31–39). Romans 8:26–27 is a lesser-known passage of Scripture that finds itself sandwiched between the recognized famed theological treatises. In this passage, Paul describes the ministry of the Holy Spirit. But he notes that the Spirit of God “intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings” (8:26).[1] What does it mean that the Spirit intercedes for us? Paul notes that the Spirit of God actually prays for us on our behalf. This indicates three things about the Spirit’s prayerful petition for our lives.

The Spirit Uplifts Us in Prayer When We Don’t Know What to Pray

If we are honest, many of us struggle with our prayer lives. At least I know that I sometimes do. However, the powerful aspect of the Spirit’s ministry is that he prays for us even when we do not know what to pray for ourselves. If we find ourselves in a state of being where we know we need to ask God for something, but we don’t even know what to ask for, the Spirit has us covered. Millard Erickson notes that “Thus believers have the assurance that when they do not know how to pray, the Holy Spirit wisely intercedes for them that the Lord’s will be done.”[2] While believers often feel defeated due to their perceived inability to pray as they should, the Spirit steps in to assist the believe in ways that he or she does not even recognize.

Read more at: https://pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com/2021/11/01/the-god-who-prays-for-us/

Praying in Jesus’ Name

John 14:13-14 13 Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so the glory of the Father may be seen in the Son. 14 Yes, if you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Do you know what it means to pray “in Jesus’ name”? This isn’t simply a phrase to be thoughtlessly tacked on to the end of our prayers. On the contrary, it’s an amazing privilege given to those who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. One way to think about it is that we’re praying something Jesus might pray. You must be His follower before you can do or say anything in His name.

Since God is holy and we are sinful, the only way to approach Him is through His Son, who paid the penalty for our sins and clothed us with His righteousness. That’s why we bring our requests in Jesus’ name—He’s the only way to the Father (Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one can go to the Father except by Me. John 14:6).

When we belong to Jesus, we approach God’s throne of grace not as beggars but as beloved children and co-heirs with Christ (16 For the Holy Spirit speaks to us and tells our spirit that we are children of God. 17 If we are children of God, we will receive everything He has promised us. We will share with Christ all the things God has given to Him. But we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory. Rom. 8:16-17). Because the Son acts as our intermediary and high priest, we can draw near to God with confidence, knowing that we will receive mercy and find grace to help us in our times of need (15 Our High Priest understands how weak we are. Christ was tempted in every way we are tempted, but He did not sin. 16 Let us go with complete trust to the throne of God. We will receive His grace and have His mercy to help us whenever we need it. Heb. 4:15-16).

The next time you’re about to end a prayer “in Jesus’ name,” remember what it means. Then ask yourself if your request is something Jesus would want for you.

10 Times When Prayer is Not Enough

By Chuck Lawless on Jul 27, 2021 01:00 am

First, a caveat. If you read this blog regularly, you know my commitment to prayer. So, I am in no way arguing that prayer is somehow ineffective or unnecessary. I simply want us to think about times when we need to do more than pray:

  1. When we’re praying for someone to get saved, but we’ve made no attempt to share the gospel with that person. God is surely sovereign over salvation, but He uses us to tell the story.
  2. When we’re praying for God to bring a wayward believer to return to God, but we’re not willing to confront that believer. Again, God calls us to help restore fallen brothers and sisters (Gal 6:1).
  3. When we pray for God to provide financially for our church, but we’ve offered no stewardship training for our members. Why should God provide when we haven’t discipled?
  4. When we’re asking God to free us from a controlling sin, but we keep putting ourselves in the same wrong place . . . with the same wrong people . . . at the same wrong time. Praying for freedom without also choosing wisely is lacking something. 
  5. When we’re pleading with God to give us clarity about an issue, but we haven’t opened His Word on a regular basis in a long time. We shouldn’t expect God to answer this request when we ignore His primary means of speaking to us. 
  6. When we’re asking God to show us His will, but we already know what we’re going to do regardless. This prayer is a bit superfluous when we’ve already decided what “will” we will follow. 

Read the rest: http://chucklawless.com/2021/07/10-times-when-prayer-is-not-enough/

Persevering in Prayer

Romans 8:26-28 26 In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us where we are weak. We do not know how to pray or what we should pray for, but the Holy Spirit prays to God for us with sounds that cannot be put into words. 27 God knows the hearts of men. He knows what the Holy Spirit is thinking. The Holy Spirit prays for those who belong to Christ the way God wants Him to pray.

28 We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are chosen to be a part of His plan.

A common hindrance to our prayer life is a lack of perseverance. Many Christians feel that once they’ve prayed for something, the answer should immediately be forthcoming. But God is not a bellhop, waiting to give us what we want the moment we petition Him. Imagine if the Lord instantly provided whatever we request—we might not develop virtues like patience, trust, and dependence upon Him.

The Lord is faithful to answer our prayers, but not always in the way we expect. Yet even when the answer is no, we can be sure that what He gives is better than what we requested. Consider the apostle Paul—though he repeatedly asked for relief from his “thorn in the flesh,” he was given something more spiritually beneficial. God not only protected Paul from pride but also used the apostle’s weakness to display divine power (The things God showed me were so great. But to keep me from being too full of pride because of seeing these things, I have been given trouble in my body. It was sent from Satan to hurt me. It keeps me from being proud. I asked the Lord three times to take it away from me. He answered me, “I am all you need. I give you My grace. My power works best in weak people.” I am happy to be weak and have troubles so I can have Christ’s power in me. 10 I receive joy when I am weak. I receive joy when people talk against me and make it hard for me and try to hurt me and make trouble for me. I receive joy when all these things come to me because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Since Paul’s prayer wasn’t answered the way he’d originally hoped, you might wonder about the requests you bring to the Lord. The truth is, we don’t always know how to pray as we should, but thankfully, we have a Helper in the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us according to God’s will. If we don’t receive what we hoped, we can be sure that the Spirit knew exactly what to ask on our behalf—and that what we received as a result was best.

Three Reasons for God Not Granting Your Request

Prayer is vital in our life because prayer is the means by which we make our requests known to God. If you don’t make your requests known to God, you don’t have a basis for expecting Him to grant your request.

Of course, God is omniscient. He knows our needs before we make them known to Him. Nevertheless, in James 4:2, we are informed that one reason we have not is because we ask not. You see, God wants us to exercise our faith in Him by asking Him for what we want or need.

One day, Jesus’ disciples came to Him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1, KJV). Now some people would argue that there is no need for anyone to teach us how to pray. Everybody knows how to pray, they say. Prayer is just talking to God. In simplest terms that is true. But there is prayer and then there is effective prayer.

During Jesus’ public ministry, He often taught about how to pray. The more conscientiously you and I apply those teachings, the more successful we will be in the area of prayer.

Three Reasons God Does Not Grant Your Request

So, have you been praying and it seems as if God is not listening? Consider these three reasons for God not granting your request.

1. It is His prerogative to respond to your request a different way. Yeah, this first reason sounds rather cold but hear me out. In the twelfth chapter of Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, he writes about this messenger of Satan that was tormenting him. He prayed to the Lord three times for deliverance (2 Corinthians 12:8).

But the Lord chose not to grant Paul’s request. Instead, He said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (verse 9, KJV).

So, God did not grant Paul’s request but chose to give Paul ample grace to get through the affliction. It is God’s prerogative to respond to our request the same way whenever He wants to.

Furthermore, sometimes when we pray to God, He knows we don’t know how to pray as we should for the matter at hand (Romans 8:26).

Continue at: https://frankking.net/2021/07/three-reasons-for-god-not-granting-your-request/

Refreshed by Prayer

by David Jeremiah

Now it came to pass in those days that [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God.
Luke 6:12

Life is marked by events, and our life is lived either in anticipation of those events (looking to the future) or in reflection upon them (looking to the past). In either situation, stress is a possibility. We may be concerned about what is coming, or we may be exhausted by what has happened.
Prayer can be a sure way of relieving stress. David poured out his heart to God as his circumstances dictated. When Jesus was faced with choosing twelve disciples to follow Him, He spent the night resting in God’s presence and in prayer (Luke 6:12-16). When those same disciples experienced the ascension of Jesus into heaven, the culmination of the forty days following Jesus’ resurrection, they gathered in a room in Jerusalem to pray (Acts 1:12-14). The previous forty days, as well as the day of the Ascension, were no doubt taxing. They found refreshment together through prayer to God.

Whenever life drains you of strength, let God be your source for refreshment (Psalm 23:1-3). Make prayer your first choice when it comes to unburdening your soul.

The hotter the time of trouble, the greater the dews of refreshing from God. 
John Trapp

A Disciple’s Full-Bodied Prayer

Humility and gratitude flow through prayer in Psalm 40, grounded in a full-bodied devotion to the Lord God. The psalmist recognizes his helplessness without God; he recalls how God not only rescued him previously, but also provided for him:

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me an heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him” (Psalm 40:1-3).

These initial verses lay the groundwork for the prayer that will follow. God has rescued a worshipper from a predicament that is described as slimy and muddy. He has secured the worshiper’s future with a secure foundation. These verses introduce a vision of intense commitment to God. The psalmist’s whole body will follow God, will praise him and sing of him, will preach about his saving power, refusing to be silent about what God has done for him. A description of “full-bodied discipleship” emerges:

  • God has set his feet on a rock and given him a firm place to stand (v 2)
  • The LORD has put a new song in his mouth (v 3)
  • God has opened his ears (v 6)
  • God has prepared a body for him (v 6)
  • God’s law is within his heart (v 8)
  • The psalmist does not seal his lips (v 9)
  • The psalmist does not hide God’s righteousness in his heart (v10)

A prayer begins in verse 5 and, as can be seen, continues to develop a description of devoted discipleship. The prayer reveals an awareness that following God transcends practice of ritual and following of rules:

“Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you died not desire – but my ears you have opened – burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, ‘Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do you will, my God; your law is within my heart. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly” (Psalm 40:5-9).

There is more at: https://callforfireseminar.wordpress.com/2021/05/28/a-disciples-full-bodied-prayer/

A Disciple’s Full-Bodied Prayer

A Disciple’s Full-Bodied Prayer

by Michael Summers

Humility and gratitude flow through prayer in Psalm 40, grounded in a full-bodied devotion to the Lord God. The psalmist recognizes his helplessness without God; he recalls how God not only rescued him previously, but also provided for him:

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me an heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him” (Psalm 40:1-3).

These initial verses lay the groundwork for the prayer that will follow. God has rescued a worshipper from a predicament that is described as slimy and muddy. He has secured the worshiper’s future with a secure foundation. These verses introduce a vision of intense commitment to God. The psalmist’s whole body will follow God, will praise him and sing of him, will preach about his saving power, refusing to be silent about what God has done for him. A description of “full-bodied discipleship” emerges:

  • God has set his feet on a rock and given him a firm place to stand (v 2)
  • The LORD has put a new song in his mouth (v 3)
  • God has opened his ears (v 6)
  • God has prepared a body for him (v 6)
  • God’s law is within his heart (v 8)
  • The psalmist does not seal his lips (v 9)
  • The psalmist does not hide God’s righteousness in his heart (v10)

Continue: https://callforfireseminar.wordpress.com/2021/05/28/a-disciples-full-bodied-prayer/