10 Things We Reveal About Ourselves Based On Our Prayers

In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. His point is to show the fallacy of trusting in one’s righteousness while looking down on others, but it’s striking to me that Jesus places the story in the context of prayer. We learn the heart condition of the two men by listening to their prayers—and we, likewise, reveal some things about ourselves by the way we pray. By the content of our prayers over the course of time, we reveal:

  1. The depth of our burden about non-believers. If we are deeply concerned about their spiritual condition, our prayer and heart’s desire will be for their salvation (Rom 10:1). In fact, we’ll usually pray for them by name.
  2. Whether we feel a need to remind God of our faithfulness. Even when we know better, we sometimes pray like the Pharisee did. We too often default into self-righteousness.
  3. The degree to which we’re genuinely broken over our sin. In this case, we too seldom pray like the tax collector did. Rarely do we beat our chest in agony and dare not look toward heaven because of our sin.
  4. Whether we recognize the greatness of God. When we do, we’ll spend significant time just praising Him for who He is.

The rest: http://chucklawless.com/2019/10/10-things-we-reveal-about-ourselves-based-on-our-prayers/

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How to Pray According to God’s Word

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

When we do not know how to pray, the Lord Himself guides us by His Word. Today, R.C. Sproul recommends that we align our prayers with Scripture by incorporating the Bible into our prayer life.

The Importance of Persistence in Prayer

https://frankking.net/2019/07/the-importance-of-persistence-in-prayer/

How to Pray in Spiritual Warfare

This article is part of the How to Pray series.

Armor Isn’t Enough

According to Paul in Ephesians 6, all of life is spiritual warfare. In that conflict, he reminds the Ephesians that—important though it is—the Christian armor is not enough. You and I also need to be in constant contact with God, and the means by which we stay in contact is by prayer (Eph. 6:18–20). Paul gives no fixed formula for prayer; rather, he tells us some things that are to characterize all our prayers: we are to pray “at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” and we are to do so “with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18).

Pray in the Spirit

Prayer in the Spirit is simply the outflow of our relationship with God, a conversation that is rooted and grounded in his word. Paul identified the word of God as the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17), so prayer in the Spirit is prayer that flows from understanding his word. As we read the word, the Spirit moves us to pray. Praying in the Spirit is thus not some strange, mystical experience but rather praising, thanking, and asking God for things that are in line with the words of Scripture, which the Spirit himself inspired.

 

read more: https://www.crossway.org/articles/how-to-pray-in-spiritual-warfare/

Praying In The Spirit

http://kuyperian.com/praying-in-the-spirit/

Praying In The Spirit

Praying In The Spirit

By Bill Smith

At this present time in whole of the created order, there is a hauntingly bright symphony being performed. The creation is groaning and travailing in the pains of childbirth like the deep, resonating, sad tones of a cello. The groans of the cello are joined in the same melodic progression by the violins of Christians’ groaning. As Christians we find ourselves in harmony with the creation, giving it further voice because we share in the same pain, waiting with the rest of creation for the redemption of our bodies. But there is a third voice; a voice deeper and more fundamental in this symphony that is controlling it and moving it toward its conclusion. It is the double bass of the Spirit, groaning out wordless music to the Father. We and the rest of creation with us have joined with him so that we are taking up his groans and he is taking up our groans in this symphony of prayer.

This is praying in the Spirit.

What the writers of Scripture exhort in shorthand in other places, Paul describes in Romans 8. From here we begin to learn what prayer is. Prayer is not some impersonal spanning of a great distance between us and God through the medium of words. Prayer is participation in the eternal divine conversation. Father, Son/Word, and Spirit have been in this communion of conversation forever. In grace our Triune God has made us members of his family and, therefore, the conversation. We are family members who share the relationship of the Son with the Father because of the Spirit uniting us to the body of Christ. As Paul says to another church, “For through [Christ Jesus] we both [i.e., Jews and Gentiles] have access in one Spirit to the Father.” (Eph 2.18) Prayer is joining the loving conversation that the Holy Trinity is having. As Christians we are not outsiders who somehow hope to gain the ear of our distant God. We are not far off but rather have been brought near in Christ Jesus. We share the same relationship with the Father that Jesus himself shares. Being in the Son is the only reason we can call God, “Father.” But being in the Son means that we do, indeed, have that privilege with Jesus. And it is the Spirit of the Son that God the Father has given us who causes us to cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Gal 4.6)

By the Spirit we are fully incorporated into this family and the family conversation. The Spirit doesn’t merely create a bald status of being a child of God. Rather, he pours the love of God out in our hearts (Rom 5.5) so that we share the love of God. That is, we love what he loves, hate what he hates, want what he wants; we share his sorrows, his joys, his anger, his jealousy, his compassion, his mercy, and his grace. As we pray in the Spirit, these shared desires are given expression. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Our wills are becoming one with his will. Our hearts are in harmony with the Father, Son, and Spirit. That’s what it means to pray in the Spirit.

When we look around us and see that things are not right, that God’s will is not done on earth as it is in heaven, that the creation is in pain, our hearts groan. But we discover that these groans are not just our own, but they are also the groans of God himself being expressed by the Spirit in us and on our behalf to the Father. When we groan in this way, we are finding ourselves caught up in this symphony that is ultimately being conducted and played by our Triune God. When we find ourselves there, we have found the place of prayer.

Because these groans are not our own but participation with the Holy Trinity, we have the assurance that our groans are not pointless pain. Rather, we groan in hope. The God who groans with us is the same God who is working all things together for good (Rom 8.28). Yes, the creation is subjected to frustration, but it is subjected in hope (Rom 8.20). God has secured this hope through the death and resurrection of his Son and by the giving of his Spirit who is making a new creation. Our groaning prayers will not go unanswered. The haunting music that fills our souls with the rest of creation at present will modulate into the joyful music of dancing in the end.

Praying in the Spirit

~ Kevin Halloran, Anchored in Christ blog

“…Praying at all times in the spirit.” (Ephesians 6:18)

If the spiritual battle is against spiritual enemies, we need help from God’s Spirit. Ephesians 6:10 says, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (emphasis mine). The power comes from God and not from ourselves.

What then is prayer in the Spirit? The Bible doesn’t give us an exact definition. I used to think that it was something complicated like a spiritual rubrics cube—if I can only get my spiritual life and prayers to be a certain way, then I’ll pray in the Spirit with special power. Now I think that prayer in the Spirit is actually a lot simpler.

I like the definition of theologian J.I. Packer:

“Prayer in the Spirit is prayer from the heart, springing from awareness of God, of self, of others, of needs, and of Christ. Whether it comes forth verbalized, as in the prayers and praises recorded in Scripture, or unverbalized… is immaterial…He (or she) whose heart seeks God through Christ prays in the Spirit.”

If we agree with Packer’s definition, we don’t need to worry so much if we’re praying in the Spirit or not, as if a special indicator light would flash when we finally connect with the Spirit of God in prayer. We only need to pray, trust that God hears us, and alight our hearts with His purposes in Christ. Sometimes we will sense the Spirit’s help and presence, other times no. What’s most important is that we dedicate ourselves to God in prayer.

I have two applications for this point, the first is especially relevant for those who desire to be prayer warriors.

1. We need to bring our swords into battle. Our sword, of course, is what Ephesians 6:17 says: the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. If you want to pray in the Spirit, you need to use the sword of the Spirit in prayer.

Know your Bible and pray the Bible. More specifically, pray the prayers of the Bible. Paul, the writer of Ephesians, is a great mentor in prayer. I recommend that you study and pray the two spirit-inspired prayers Paul included in Ephesians: Ephesians 1:15–23 and 3:14-21. Paul basically prayed for the Ephesians to have a deeper understanding and experience of the Gospel—something we all need in increasing measure. Also, study the Psalms and how they communicate with God about the good the bad and the ugly of life.

2. Give time to prayer. Many of us want to pray in the Spirit but we don’t take enough time in prayer to do it.

Sometimes in the mornings, I pray for a little bit and then I realize that my mind has been somewhere else most of the time in prayer. Other times our small group might spend so much time talking that we don’t take time to cry out to the Lord together in prayer.

Many times when we start to pray, we aren’t praying in the Spirit. More time would allow us to focus ourselves and in faith respond to the Word of God in prayer, and as we do that the Spirit will help us more and more.

The Puritans used to say we need to prayuntil we pray—meaning that we can stop praying before the Spirit begins to help us.

We need time to start the motor of prayer to connect with God and pray in His Spirit. When the motor is running, we will see that God will help us with His Spirit to pray for things that we never would have prayed for without His help. This isn’t some mechanical formula to say ‘just spend 15 minutes in prayer and then the Spirit will come’—no, it doesn’t work like that. But we do need to work hard in prayer and take time seeking the face of our God.

If you believe in Christ, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you and is always ready to help you to pray.

Will you pray accordingly?