Glory to God!
The recurring theme throughout this lesson was to recognize God as the hearer and object of our prayer, and to have a relationship with Him through our prayers and our time spent with Him. When we pray, we should pray not only with the recognition that God is listening and can answer our prayer, but also with focus on God’s will, God’s word, and God’s kingdom. Our petitions should align with the things that God wants to accomplish in this world in order for their effectiveness to be maximized from our perspective. Ultimately, we should seek to know and follow God’s perspective as we pray. This has been a very encouraging study for me. I saw how the enemy attacks you when you concentrate on praying to God. But, we have a weapon to use against him every time, God’s Word, amen. The world is changing, and we must stay focus on God and His Word through our dedicated time with Him through our prayer time as our daily quiet time. “Why pray? What is the point of prayer when God knows the future and is already in control of everything. If we cannot change God’s mind, why should we pray?” For the Christian, praying is supposed to be like breathing, easier to do than to not do. We pray for a variety of reasons. For one thing, prayer is a form of serving God and obeying Him. We pray because God commands us to pray. Prayer is exemplified for us by Christ and the early church. If Jesus thought it was worthwhile to pray, we should also. If He needed to pray to remain in the Father’s will, how much more do we need to pray?
Another reason to pray is that God intends prayer to be the means of obtaining His solutions in a number of situations. We pray in preparation for major decisions; to overcome demonic barriers; to gather workers for the spiritual harvest; to gain strength to overcome temptation; and to obtain the means of strengthening others spiritually. We come to God with our specific requests, and we have God’s promise that our prayers are not in vain, even if we do not receive specifically what we asked for. He has promised that when we ask for things that are in accordance with His will, He will give us what we ask for. Sometimes He delays His answers according to His wisdom and for our benefit. In these situations, we are to be diligent and persistent in prayer. Prayer should not be seen as our means of getting God to do our will on earth, but rather as a means of getting God’s will done on earth. God’s wisdom far exceeds our own.
For situations in which we do not know God’s will specifically, prayer is a means of discerning His will. If the Syrian woman with the demon-influenced daughter had not prayed to Christ, her daughter would not have been made whole. If the blind man outside Jericho had not called out to Christ, he would have remained blind. God has said that we often go without because we do not ask. In one sense, prayer is like sharing the gospel with people. We do not know who will respond to the message of the gospel until we share it. In the same way, we will never see the results of answered prayer unless we pray. A lack of prayer demonstrates a lack of faith and a lack of trust in God’s Word. We pray to demonstrate our faith in God, that He will do as He has promised in His Word and bless our lives abundantly more than we could ask or hope for. Prayer is our primary means of seeing God work in others’ lives. Because it is our means of “plugging into” God’s power, it is our means of defeating Satan and his army that we are powerless to overcome by ourselves. Therefore, may God find us often before His throne, for we have a high priest in heaven who can identify with all that we go through. We have His promise that the fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much. May God glorify His name in our lives as we believe in Him enough to come to Him often in prayer.
As my last statement concerning prayer. Let’s ask this question “What is prayer?”
The most basic definition of prayer is “talking to God.” Prayer is not meditation or passive reflection; it is direct address to God. It is the communication of the human soul with the Lord who created the soul. Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God.
Prayer can be audible or silent, private or public, formal or informal. All prayer must be offered in faith, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. As the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia puts it, “Christian prayer in its full New Testament meaning is prayer addressed to God as Father, in the name of Christ as Mediator, and through the enabling grace of the indwelling Spirit” (“Prayer” by J. C. Lambert). The wicked have no desire to pray, but the children of God have a natural desire to pray.
Prayer is described in the Bible as seeking God’s favor, pouring out one’s soul to the Lord, crying out to heaven, drawing near to God, and kneeling before the Father.
Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7). Worry about nothing; pray about everything.
Everything? Yes, God wants us to talk with Him about everything. How often should we pray? The biblical answer is “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We should keep a running conversation going with God all day long. Some find the ACTS formula of prayer helpful, but there is really no special formula for how to pray in the Bible. We should just do it. We can pray under any and all circumstances. Prayer develops our relationship with God and demonstrates our trust and utter dependence upon Him.
Prayer is the Christian’s way of communicating with God. We pray to praise God and thank Him and tell Him how much we love Him. We pray to enjoy His presence and tell Him what is going on in our lives. We pray to make requests and seek guidance and ask for wisdom. God loves this exchange with His children, just as we love the exchange we have with our children. Fellowship with God is the heart of prayer. Too often we lose sight of how simple prayer is really supposed to be.
When we make petitions to God, we let God know exactly where we stand and what we would like to see happen. In our prayers, we must admit that God is greater than we are and ultimately knows what is best in any given situation (Romans 11:33–36). God is good and asks us to trust Him. In prayer, we say, essentially, “Not my will, but your will be done.” The key to answered prayer is praying according to the will of God and in accordance with His Word. Prayer is not seeking our own will but seeking to align ourselves with the will of God more fully (1 John 5:14–15; James 4:3). The Bible contains many examples of prayer and plenty of exhortations to pray (see Luke 18:1; Romans 12:12; and Ephesians 6:18). God’s house is to be a house of prayer (Mark 11:17), and God’s people are to be people of prayer: “Dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love” (Jude 1:20–21).
I like to share a short testimony right now. Trust me when I say, the enemy is going to come up against you when you decide to pray, no matter what. We are taught that prayer changes things, and it do. When God gave me this study, nothing happen, but as soon as I start sharing it, may Lord, he (devil) came with force, BUT GOD! God always see us through; I have been through some bad times in this study, but God has been with me through His Presence, and my tenacity to keep praying to Him. As said earlier, in our prayers, we must admit that God is greater than we are and ultimately knows what is best in any given situation. I have learned, and still learning today. Stay in God’s Presence through prayer and meditation. I know God will see me through in situation. Let’s always “Pray Like Jesus,” AMEN.
My prayer always for you and whosoever trust in God. The Lord bless all of you, and keep all of you: The Lord make his face shine upon all of you, and be gracious unto all of you:The Lord lift up his countenance upon all of you, and give all of you peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.
See all of you in the next study
Evangelist Claudia Jordan