Pray your way to victorious living
Now that the National Day of Prayer has come, we celebrated it on May 3, 2012 and it now has gone, we as Christian believers need to keep the prayers rising upwards to the Throne of the Most High God. It’s a wonderful time when all believers can come together on a national day of togetherness, but then we have to commit ourselves to prayer, each and every day, even setting our alarm clocks perhaps an hour earlier than usual so that we can rise and pray. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. So are you ready to roll?
Good question isn’t it? Prayer is not a magic formula that pushes God into action, it is a necessity in the life of the Christian who professes submission to the Lord Christ. The Apostles asked the Lord Jesus, “Teach us to pray,” and the Lord Christ gave us a ‘formula for prayer’ which we find in the Gospel of Luke 11:1-4:
And it came to pass that as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples. And He said unto them, When ye pray, say: Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so on earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Of course, the Lord Jesus didn’t intend for anyone to use verbatim, the exact words that He said during His teaching moment with His disciples. Some however, have taken His formula or outline and have used it as a rote prayer, which He cautioned His disciples to not do, since He was teaching them to form a real and deep relationship with their God.
More currently, at least just in the last century, there was a Methodist minister named E. M. Bounds who wrote extensively on the subject of prayer, and how each Christian should employ themselves in the making and doing of a life of prayer. Some of his words concerning this subject are as follows:
Prayer is a trade to be learned. We must be apprentices and serve our time at it. Painstaking care, much thought, practice and labour are required to be a skillful tradesman in praying. Practice in this, as well as in all other trades, makes perfect.
The goal of prayer is the ear of God, a goal that can only be reached by patient and continued and continuous waiting upon Him, pouring out our heart to Him and permitting Him to speak to us. Only by so doing can we expect to know Him, and as we come to know Him better we shall spend more time in His presence and find that presence a constant and ever-increasing delight.
Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter of prayer; but a capacity for faith, the power of a thorough consecration, the ability of self-littleness, an absolute losing of one’s self in God’s glory and an ever present and insatiable yearning and seeking after all the fullness of God.
Other duties become pressing and absorbing and crowd our prayer. “Choked to death” would be the coroner’s verdict in many cases of dead praying if an inquest could be secured on this dire, spiritual calamity.
The Blood of Jesus and prayer are the ultimate weapons that Christians have in our arsenal against the principalities and powers on high that stand in opposition to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. But what exactly is prayer? Again, it is the intimate conversation that we have with our Holy Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior. But these deep and intimate conversations come at a price, namely our time and our diligence. One way to begin, is to simply make your first prayer and ask the Lord Jesus to ‘meet you’ in a designated spot each day and then begin to read the Psalms to the Lord. The Psalms are an excellent way to start and then waiting patiently to hear His voice. The Lord is faithful and if you will meet Him each and every day at your appointed time, He will be there to hear your voice as you make your supplications. Prayer is essential to the growth of each and every Christian which helps to build up your spirit. Fasting along with your prayer life will further enhance and strengthen your spirit.
2 Timothy 1:3
I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.
Other scriptures that will be a an excellent place to start your own Bible Study on the subject are: Acts 12:5; Romans 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Another help in your pursuit to found a strong prayer life is to meet with other Christians, either in your local church or if you are still looking for a church home, here is a link for various groups that meet downtown for prayer: Downtown Chicago Prayer Meetup. Get involved in prayer!