Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How to have a not so boring prayer life... Really! (Part 2)

(By Alfred Turley)
This is Part 2 in a series.

I am really passionate about prayer.  I think it's a really big deal!

I detailed a few things about prayer in the first post on this subject, but I think one of the main reasons that people find it boring and uninteresting to pray is that they don't understand a few critical things:

  • God does indeed answer prayer.
  • A lot of bad in our lives is because we aren't praying.
  • God does almost nothing apart from someone praying.

James the Apostle wrote this very famous passage as a rebuke to some followers of Christ:
What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you?  You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires. - (James 4:1-3)

Jesus also said over and over in the Gospels to ASK.  The famous passage is Matthew 7:7 which states: “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you."

There are too many passages in the Bible about prayer to pull out here, but the main point is, we are clearly told to pray.

God answers prayer
I don't know of a single follower of Christ who has started on a prayer journey that wouldn't agree with this.  Sometimes the answer is not what we want as it could be a "NO" or a "Wait" or silence.  But anyone with a prayer life knows that there are constant answers and responses when we pray.  We have seen lives changed, people healed, relationships restored, and miracles of provision and supply.  God loves us, and loves to answer our prayers.

A lot of bad in our lives is because we aren't praying
That may be a shocking statement, but we have to think about things with God like this: when He commands us to DO something, there are negative consequences when we DON'T.  God loves us so much He gives us the ability to choose to obey or disobey, and respond to Him in love and trust.  And He rewards that trust by moving on our behalf.
If I choose NOT to obey Him by coming to Him and asking, the fact of the matter is that I am missing out on grace and power in my life to overcome and address issues that could have been prevented.

God does almost nothing apart from someone praying
This may be another controversial statement, but with rare exceptions, it seems throughout history that before God does anything, He calls someone to pray and ASK first.
Why is this?
God has determined to rule through us, and in partnership with us.  This is why Jesus said that the Kingdom of God comes within us, one heart at a time.  He has chosen to work with us in relationship.  So He has ordained that we ASK, and call in His power and help for our needs and for our world!

How should I respond to this?

As I said in the first post, prayer is an incredible privilege of love and relationship!  We should rejoice that God desires to use us and allows us to be His instruments!  So PRAY and watch God move in your world!

Can I suggest:
  • Start a prayer list and a prayer journal.  Write down some things you are asking God for (remember to try and ask according to His will) and watch and see what happens! Use sticky notes and have them on the dash of your car or in your Bible.  Pray, and keep things before God!
  • Let fear and worry remind you to pray.  Don't be afraid, pray.  Worry is not intercession!  Take things to God, and: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
  • Choose to believe that you are LOVED.  Choose to believe in His nature as a good father, and that He promises to act on our behalf for our good!  Believe, and watch Him move!

Let's take up our places in the Kingdom as partners with God to bring His will to the earth!
Let's pray!


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