5 Onramps to Joyful Prayer

If you had to describe your prayer life in one word, what would you choose? Fulfilling? Effective? Joyful?

Or do words like irregular, inconsistent, or blah ring truer?

I’ve been there. And up until fairly recently, I haven’t been concerned, thinking it was normal, and thus OK. What I soon realized is that being content with a lackluster prayer life exposes an anemic view of God. It makes God seem optional instead of supreme and distant instead of approachable by faith in Christ. He is worthy of so much more than my excuses and laziness.

A more joyful prayer life may be closer than you realize, even if you have no idea how to get there. God wants us to enjoy Him in prayer, and sometimes all it takes is a small onramp of truth to take us to the highway of joyful prayer and deeper communion with God.

Onramp #1: Meditate on God as our Father.

In the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer, our Lord invites us to address our prayers to, “Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9; emphasis added). Seeing God primarily as Father keeps us from seeing him as a harsh judge, an impersonal higher being, or a wish-granting magic genie.[1]

Our all-powerful and loving Father loves us as His children and seeks our best. He has the power and desire to guide our lives, answer our prayers, and work out His purposes in us. Our relational link with our Heavenly Father is unbreakable and His love for us unending.

Knowing implications of our sonship gives us confidence in prayer to our Father, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31b–32).

When you struggle in prayer, take heart that Your Father knows. Take heart that even when you do not feel love toward God, you can draw near through the awareness of His love for you.[2] All it takes is the mention of the word ‘Father’ to enter into a world of delight.

The next is at: http://www.kevinhalloran.net/5-onramps-to-joyful-prayer/

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Hallowed Be Thy Name – The Lord’s Prayer Part 2

http://thecripplegate.com/hallowed-be-pt-2/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheCripplegate+%28The+Cripplegate%29

Our Father – The Lord’s Prayer Part 1

It is mortifying to admit, but I don’t know my wife’s mobile phone number. Siri does, so I don’t really need to, right?

The implications of this ineptitude are a tad unsettling. For instance, if my smartphone died and left me stranded in some hairy predicament, even with the fortuitous arrival of a good Samaritan offering me unlimited use of his phone, there is still no one whose number I could recall. The solution is simple: invest a few moments in memorizing at least one contact number as a lifeline.

I take some solace in my suspicion that I am probably one of many who has similarly been lulled into electronic over-dependence by the mesmerizing convenience of voice-activated communication.

I also suspect that many Christians are equally nescient about how to communicate effectively with God in prayer. We all pray. Hopefully, we do it all the time. In that sense, we feel as though we have God’s line loaded on our speed dial. But could you explain to a new believer the correct way to pray? Could you account for the way you pray, the way you address God, or the types of requests you make? Are your prayers automatic, or could you talk someone through your method of praying?

Last Monday we saw that there is a wrong way to pray. Today we begin our short series on the correct way to pray, the way Jesus presented to his disciples.

Matthew 6:9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…”

5 implications of calling God our Father

Go to: http://thecripplegate.com/our-father-the-lords-prayer-part-1/

5 Onramps to Joyful Prayer

Or do words like irregular, inconsistent, or blah ring truer?

I’ve been there. And up until fairly recently, I haven’t been concerned, thinking it was normal, and thus OK. What I soon realized is that being content with a lackluster prayer life exposes an anemic view of God. It makes God seem optional instead of supreme and distant instead of approachable by faith in Christ. He is worthy of so much more than my excuses and laziness.

A more joyful prayer life may be closer than you realize, even if you have no idea how to get there. God wants us to enjoy Him in prayer, and sometimes all it takes is a small onramp of truth to take us to the highway of joyful prayer and deeper communion with God.

Onramp #1: Meditate on God as our Father.

Read the rest: http://preview.mailerlite.com/l5c0b3/830384669886256991/k5w5/

Great Verses of the Bible: Hebrews 4:16

C. S. Lewis from his book, “God in the Dock, offers this interesting bit of dialogue regarding prayer.

“Praying for particular things,” said I, “always seems to me like advising God how to run the world. Wouldn’t it be wiser to assume that He knows best?”

“On the same principle,” said he, “I suppose you never ask a man next to you to pass the salt, because God knows best whether you ought to have salt or not. And I suppose you never take an umbrella, because God knows best whether you ought to be wet or dry.”

“That’s quite different,” I protested.

Keep reading at: https://thepreachersword.com/2018/02/21/great-verses-of-the-bible-hebrews-416/

10 Apostolic Prayers For The People Of God

The Apostle Paul showed his love for people in many ways. His letters are full of teaching, correction, and even commands. But perhaps we too easily miss one of the threads running throughout his ministry, namely, how often he encouraged people with the specific prayers he regularly offered on their behalf.

D.A. Carson draws out several themes of Paul’s prayers in his excellent, A Call to Spiritual Reformation, Priorities from Paul and His Prayers. In it, Carson challenges readers to seek “to find out exactly what it is he asks God for on their [the people he prays for] behalf, and compare the results with what we normally ask for.”

1. Paul thanked God for each one of his people.

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you …” (Romans 1:8-10)

“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus …” (1 Corinthians 1:4)

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers …” (Ephesians 1:16)

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy …” (Philippians 1:3-4)

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you …” (Colossians 1:3)

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers …” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3a)

“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right …” (2 Thessalonians 1:3)

“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.” (2 Timothy 1:3)

“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers …” (Philemon 1:4)

2. Paul prayed for wisdom and knowledge.

“… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him …” (Ephesians 1:17)

“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding …” (Colossians 1:9)

3. Paul prayed for hope.

Read more at: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/10-apostolic-prayers-for-the-people-of-god

Pray Shorter Prayers

by David Mathis, Executive Editor, desiringGod.org

For most of my life, two of the Bible’s most important verses on prayer have been lost on me. I must have been distracted by the more famous verses on prayer that immediately followed.

How many of us know “The Lord’s Prayer” by heart, in the King James Version of Matthew 6:9–13, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name . . . ”? But before Jesus models prayer for us, he teaches us to pray in the two previous verses. And two thousand years of accumulated tradition and repetition may have clouded Christ’s expressed principles at work in his now-famous example prayer.

Ironically, at least for me, what Jesus says immediately before was long drowned out by the same mindless repetition he so clearly disavows in the preamble:

“When you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:7–8)

Against Our Gentile Instincts

As fallen humans, we can understand why Jesus would need to steer us away from heaping up empty phrases. We are prone to this. Apart from God’s special revelation to us, this is our Gentile-instinct in seeking to petition the divine. Like the prophets of Baal at Carmel, we expect that calling on the deity “from morning until noon” and limping around the altar (1 Kings 18:26), even cutting ourselves in our own ways (1 Kings 18:28), might win us an ear in heaven. And apart from God’s special work in us, we’re liable to turn the Lord’s Prayer itself into the very thing Jesus warns against in the same breath.

One aspect, among others, that’s so amazing about Jesus’s model prayer in Matthew 6:9–13 (and Luke 11:2–4) is its simplicity and terseness. Jesus manifestly does not “heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do.” He does not pretend to be heard for his many words.

Read more: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/pray-shorter-prayers?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedpress.me&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dg-articles