Tag Archives: Prayer

When Do You Usually Pray?

 

I was recently with a couple, who’s marriage and life I admire and respect highly.

We were going to get ourselves some snacks just outside church office after our work hours and just have a little catch up. Ethel, my wife was not with me at this time but I’m sure she would love to be with these two as well. They’ve been following Jesus longer than we do as a married couple and I get to have tons of positive impartations just being with them, watching them talk to each other, how they treat restaurant staff and talk about their family and kids.

The thing that struck me the most being with them at this particular time was their praying lifestyle. Going out the office the wife had a friend who got into a serious emergency. The wife wanted to do something but the husband gently led her and said, “wait, let’s just pray now.” And so we did pray, sincerely while walking to the resto.

Then while at the restaurant having our snacks, we talked about the challenge of parenting toddlers and the right way of leading them in love. The wife may have not noticed this but I did. She was talking about the power of prayer again.  She said was “Joash, you know, when I’m get into a conflict with the kids, or when they throw a tantrum or cry resisting vitamins or medications I pause and immediately pray and get back to attend to them.”

The kind of  praying lifestyle this couple showed me made me think: “Have I limited my prayer time in specific time and place and have forgotten that I could tap on it anytime of the day and see things change? Have I taken concerns that arise throughout the day into my own hands already and have forgotten I could pray and call on to my Father for help?”

As I think about these questions, I am reminded once again by those lines from a famous old  hymn:

“Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear.                                                    Just because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”

This may be simple but that moment that was a huge reminder for me about the reality of this power & privilege we have-this access that’s 24/7 that we can tap into anytime, anywhere!

How about you?

When do you usually resort to prayer lately?

8 Essentials of Effective Prayer

 

Prayer is our highest privilege!

Would you imagine how awesome it is that we can connect to The Creator of all things, enjoy access to God’s presence and have an intimate and dynamic conversation with Him?! This is possible all by His great grace to us in Christ! Here are at least the major eight essentials of effective prayer:

1. Genuine

We have to be real before God. Open up your heart with all honesty yet hold on to His unchanging nature! Trust His Heart!

39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” -Matthew 26:39

2. Current

God cares about you now! Tell God of your current concerns. Stop dwelling about the past. Face the present with faith in Him!

8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”-Exodus 17:8-9

3. Persistent

Never say “I give up.”God will not only change the circumstance He wants you changed ultimately!

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”-Luke 18:1-5

4. Earnest

Put your heart into it. Don’t just babble words, connect to God passionately!

44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.-Luke 22:44

5. Always

This is the ultimate “unli” full bar signal connection we could ever have!

Don’t just be limited praying like a monk in your room. Do it while walking, jogging, driving (of course, open your eyes!) in every season, whether summer, fall, winter, or springtime etc. etc.

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,-Eph. 6:18

6. Specific

Be clear about what you need, where you want it, when you desire it and how you want it answered.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God… 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.-Phil. 4;6;19

7. Humble

Remember that prayerlessness is the height of spiritual pride. Come to Him with all due honor yet by grace with God-confidence.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”-James 4:6

8. Time

It’s one thing to just know things about prayer, but its another thing to really get to our knees and do it!  

We really have to set time for this and so experience the power and grace that flows from this greatest privilege we have!

12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.-Romans 12:12

Guilt-Driven Vs. Grace-Driven Fasting

Guilt-Driven says… “I SHOULD because I am a pastor, a small group leader, a full-time Christian worker and everyone’s eye is on me…I SHOULD set them an example.”

Grace-Driven says…”I COULD and I WOULD because I’m a follower of Jesus and I love to keep on looking up to Him as my my Ultimate Example”


Guilt-Driven says…“It’s an annual DUTY… I must GO THROUGH this! Urgh!!! Waaahu!!! I’m from Sparta!!! I can! I can! I can! I trust my 100% juice and my drinking a lot of  water!!! Waahu!!!”

Grace-Driven says…”It’s MY DESIRE to get to KNOW and EXPERIENCE God more personally and commit all my days of my life to Him even this year 2011… And wow! In Christ alone I really can!


Guilt-Driven says…“Oh I want to go water fast this time so God could hear my prayers More CLEARLY and would possibly answer my wants!”

Grace-Driven says…”I believe God is leading me to go water fast this time so I could depend on His enabling grace more and that I would clearly hear and know Him and rightfully respond to Him


Guilt-Driven says…“I’ll go absolute fast and will not eat UNLESS HE ANSWERS the way I wanted and I want results fast!” (Hunger Strike)

Grace-Driven says…”I want to grow in my faith, trusting God in his promises more so I can obey more and be really strong and successful in life with Him” (Humble Surrender)


Guilt-Driven“I’m actually fasting SO THAT GOD WOULD LOVE ME more and I would be more worthy to come to God”

Grace-Driven says…”Thank God! In Christ alone I am completely loved, secured, and accepted that there is nothing I could do to make God love me more/less. I’m fasting SO I COULD LOVE HIM MORE, training myself to always depend on Him in all things!”

 

 

(It can be so easy to forget about the Gospel and try harder to strive in life

in our own might and strength.

Yet His presence is with us and that is what gives us strength and joy to thrive! )

Happy fasting to everyone joining the 7 Day of Prayer and Fasting! Let His Great Grace AMAZE us more and more this year 2011!