April 9, 2016 by Tricia Draper
Today we are going to study prayer. There are many misconceptions about prayer, including how long, what to say, and when to do it. We will answer these and more questions you may have.
First, we need to understand what prayer is. In essence, it is just talking to God. Dictionary.com has a good definition.
• a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in
supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.
Talking to God is just a Spiritual communion with Him. It also includes thanks giving and adoration, (which is praise), we confess our sins and weaknesses in prayer, and ask God for our needs.
Talking to God, or prayer, can be done anywhere, anytime. There is no right or wrong way to pray, if it simply comes from your heart. You can pray out loud, or in your Spirit. God sees your heart and He knows what you are saying, even when you don’t.
There is no set time for how long you pray or anytime of the day. God’s ears are open 24/7. He always wants to communicate with you, whether it’s in prayer with words or other ways. You may pray for a minute or for hours. God just wants to hear from your heart.
You may follow a pattern of prayer that you have learned from someone, but you don’t HAVE to, unless you feel God’s leading to do that. As long as you are talking to God from your heart, you can talk anyway you want. You may not have any idea how to pray. That is fine, too. All you have to do is open your heart, and your Spirit will flow through you.
If you have no idea what to say, then start with “Thank You!” Praising God is a wonderful form of prayer. It tells us in:
• Philippians 4:6
• Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
When you start to pray, you should focus on God first, not yourself. Thanking God and praising is always a good start. When you start with thanking Him for what He has done for you, you are taking your eyes off of your needs and illuminating what He has already done for you.
If you need an example, here is a simple formula you can follow.
1. Thank God for what He has done in your life.
2. Praise Him for who He is.
3. Confess your sins and believe He has forgiven you. He forgave you the day He died on the cross. He did that to remove all our sins. He has forgiven you, but you must acknowledge your sin and forgive yourself, too.
4. Ask Him for what you need. Actually He already knows, so you can just invite Him to move on your behalf.
5. Believe in your heart that He will do what you need, when you need it.
6. Ending your prayer in Jesus’ name releases the power that His name has.
Another example of a way to pray is by using the acronym ACTS.
Adoration- acknowledging your love for God and His love for you.
Confession- asking for forgiveness for things you have done wrong.
Thanksgiving- thanking Him for what He has done for you.
Supplication – asking to fulfill a need you or someone else has.
A third example of how to pray is by repeating the Word of God back to Him. By reminding Him of the promises He has already made to us and what He has already done, we are also including all the other examples we have just seen.
Prayer is not only asking for things, it is supposed to be communion, which means a two way conversation. When you pray, listen to what the Lord has to say in return. Don’t just throw your prayers up to God and leave, expecting Him to solve all your problems. He needs your permission to work in your life. He’s a gentleman and you need to ask Him to move. Sometimes He moves even before we realize we need Him to. He knows what we need before we need it. When you do know what you need, He wants you to ask Him for it, and then believe He will do it. It says in:
• Mark 11:24
• Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Your prayer needs to be mixed with faith. In faith your prayers can move Mountains. You must believe it will be done.
Prayer is a way of standing on God’s Word and declaring the truth. You don’t need to feel compelled to pray the way others do. You don’t need to pray big, wordy prayers, although if they come from your heart, that is fine. Some people think that you must say all the big words and loftily make a show of your prayers. The Pharisees did this in the Bible and Jesus rebuked them. They were not talking to God to commune with Him. They were only doing it to show others how good they were. Don’t be caught up in a religion that tells you how to pray and how often. God is your Abba Father, your Daddy. Just talking to Him is all He wants.
Don’t feel guilty if you fall asleep or get distracted. God knows your heart and He will be there when you start praying again. He knows your physical body is not as strong as your Spiritual one.
It is important to remember that God does not always answer your prayers on your timetable. Sometimes His answer is “No” because He sees our future and knows what we truly need. So, if you don’t get an answer right away or the one you desire, don’t despair or give up. He will ALWAYS answer our prayers if we listen and obey His will.
Prayer is taking your focus off the world and putting it on God. Putting Him first is all He wants. He loves to hear from the children He lovingly made in His image. All He wants is a relationship with us. Long or short, morning or night, no matter what you say God loves to hear from you. Pour out your heart, and He will pour out His.
Prayer for Salvation
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