Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thirty Days of Prayer -- Day II

5 suggestions for prayer...

1) Study how and when Jesus prayed. We can learn much from what the gospels ell us about His prayers. Read also Hebrews 5:7.
2) Study the conversations that Jesus had with people while He was on this earth. Pay special attention to the requests they made to Him and how He responded. Consider that when we pray, we are appealing to God, just as these people directly appealed to Christ. We can learn much about God's heart from gospel accounts of the way that Jesus interacted with people.
3) Study the "Lord's prayer". Study what Jesus taught about prayer.
4) Cultivate righteous motivation in prayer. James 4:1-4. Also, honor and thank God in prayer. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18
5) Luke 11:1-13 The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They had probably prayed all of their lives, since they had grown up in the Jewish culture. Yet, they saw something in Jesus' prayers that they wanted to learn. Jesus answers their question, and that answer is recorded for us so that we can be instructed, too. We can also humbly admit to God that we, too, need to learn to pray, just as the first disciples did. If we remain humble and ever learning to pray, that will help us mature in our relationship to the Lord. We can ask Him to teach us to pray and to help us to pray. We can also seek help from others who can pray with us and pray for us, as well as share insights from their own study and prayer with us. Of course, just as reading marriage books and seeking wise counsel regarding your marriage is no substitute for actually having a relationship with your husband, likewise, reading books or article about prayer and listening to the counsel of others is no substitute for actually having a relationship with God. Such counsel is vital to our spiritual growth, though.

Remember, in studying prayer, we are seeking not just to acquire intellectual understanding, but to deepen our relationship with the Lord and to put what we learn about prayer into practice. It's one thing to know facts; it's another to allow God's wisdom to change our hearts and our lives.


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