Desire in Prayer–Four Ways Desire Aids Us in Prayer

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from Prayer A to Z.

The way I see it, the way God gets a hold of us and brings us to into prayer is by first creating in us a desire for Himself and for what He wants to give us by showing us that we have a need or a lack.  Next, He, in His own way, gets a hold of us and shows us that He can fill that lack; He shows us that He is the great provider and lover.  As He desires us and draws us to Himself He continues to create in us a greater and greater desire for Him.  The more we are united with Him in love the more we desire Him and what He wants to give us; hence, the more we have a desire to pray.

As we go to prayer here are…

Four…

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God’s Remedy for Sadness Over New Administration

Since the election of the new President (Jan. 20), I’ve been feeling rather sad. And I’m wondering why. I guess I feel that righteousness in the country and in the world is not being done. Good people are being stopped and stepped on, and bad people are being praised. The media, who are supposed to just report the news are really Satan’s instruments of deception. Our new president who has taken every step to prop up sin and to put our country on a path to destruction, is being praised and worshipped as if he is the new Savior of mankind.

Meanwhile, our former President, who has done so many good things for our country—in spite of being harassed and ridiculed every minute of every day for the last four years—is now being impeached. For what? For inciting a riot, which he did not do. He was trying to bring justice to an unjust election.

So, this is why I am feeling sad. But I must break out of this mood, with prayer, and look toward heaven. I can be comforted by the good news (in 1Thess. 4:15-17) that soon …

The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Such wonderful news to think about!

Though we live in the world we must not let the world get us down. For we have been raised up with Christ and we sit with Him in the heavenly places. And He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Though we should pray for the country and the world, we must set our mind on things above where Christ is, not on all the things of this world. For our real life is hidden with Christ in God. Soon, when He comes and we see Him, we will be revealed with him in glory (Eph. 1:3; Col. 3:1-4).

Struggling with Prayer

On this day, after the forty-sixth Presidential inauguration, when the country, according to the media, finally is at peace and at rest and unified, there are some of us (me) who are not at rest and struggling. Though the world says peace and safety at last, I know differently. Though the newspapers and the TV media are smiling and showing a sigh of relief, I am tense and on guard. All is really not going well, and won’t go well. The left is planning war against us Christians. They are scheming against us. And the devil is taking advantage of our unrest. He is and will come against us to destroy us so that we will not rise again. What can be done?

I have been blogging on the Lord’s Prayer, and so, I think this is a good time to put it all together and really try to better my own prayer habits from that Lord’s-Prayer-outline. I, and we all need more and better prayer at this time. If you have been following my blog posts on this prayer, we have pointed out that there is an invocation, “Our Father in Heaven”; then six petitions. The first three have to do with prayer for the glory of God; and then the next three have to do with our own needs.

The struggle for me is how to use this prayer outline in my own prayers. If I pray according to my own feelings and inclinations, I probably won’t use the outline at all; I will just tell God how I feel. If I do that, His prayer outline becomes useless. But if I force myself to use the outline, then my prayers usually become mechanical and sometimes without much heart. So, what do I do? I have to tell you that I haven’t completely figured it out yet. But I have some ideas that I am now thinking about, that I think will allow my prayer to get better. So here are my ideas.

My goal will be to use the Lord’s Prayer outline as a guide and yet to find a way to pray with my heart in it—so that His prayer outline will also be my outline, and also that I will be praying with my own heart.

The first thing that I think will be very helpful is to write out my prayers using the Lord’s prayer as a guide, and to try to write as much as I can. I will have the goal of writing a seven-page prayer with each page under the heading of one of the Lord’s Prayer points. So, on page one I will write on “Our Father.” Then on page two I will write on “Hallowed be Thy name,” and so on. And to make it less mechanical, I will really work on getting smooth transitions from page to page. Maybe on some days, when I have more time, I will try to write two pages per outline point, making it a fourteen-page prayer. I will continue this prayer writing exercise for many days, maybe for a few months.

Next, when I feel that I have mastered the writing, I will try to pray just in my thoughts without writing it out. And each time I do it, I will try to pray with my heart and all the while asking Him to help me pray.

As I think on these ideas, I am so aware that prayer is a struggle and hard work. It is hard to pray correctly and hard to train my mind to be attentive to Him. This is so much of what prayer is—being attentive to Him. It will also be challenging to get everything to fit where it belongs; that is, where in the prayer outline do I confess sins, and where do I pray for friends, and so many other things. These are things that need to be worked out in the prayer writing; and then hopefully, when I graduate from the writing, I will have it figured out—so that in the end I will know how to pray to the Father appropriately and with praise.

In all that I have written here I am mainly talking about your private prayers. Public prayer may be similar, but not as long. I think public prayers should always be short, as not to appear prideful, and also to allow others to pray.

Definition of Prayer

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from this book.

Prayer has been defined or described in many ways.

Here are nine different descriptions of prayer, by various authors: 

1.  Prayer is asking and receiving.  According to E.M. Bounds, “Prayer is the outstretched arms of the child for the Father’s help.  Prayer is the child’s cry calling to the Father’s ear…Prayer is the seeking of God’s greatest good, which will not come if we do not pray.”

2.  Prayer is approaching God’s throne.  According to Spurgeon, “True prayer is an approach of the soul by the Spirit of God to the throne of God.”  I would say it this way: it is the approach of the Holy Spirit in our soul that drives us to the throne.

3.  Prayer is our service due Him.  According to E. M. Bounds, “Prayer is not a duty which must be performed, to ease obligation…

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Communication with God

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from this book.

Prayer is not only petition, it is also something more basic—it is soul to soul communication with God.  And this really must come first, before we ask God for anything.  For this is the heart of prayer.  Before we can expect Him to listen to our requests we must have made contact with His soul by our soul.

I got this idea from Jim Downing in his book Meditation, where he suggests that various passages in the Psalms (e.g. Ps. 62:5, 130:6, 25:1) “indicate that coming into contact with God involves the soul.”  And he stated that “Theologians in general agree as to the soul’s principle powers…the mind, the affections and the will.”

So I am suggesting that “coming into contact with God” with our souls is really what prayer is.  True prayer, therefore, will involves the mind, the affections (the…

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The Lord’s Prayer: The Last Three Petitions

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:11-13

In previous blog posts I first wrote on the invocation, “Our Father.”  And then I wrote on the first three petitions, which have to do with God and His glory: with His character and holiness, with His kingdom, and with His will.

Now we come to the last three petitions that have to do with our needs and desires. Though this prayer outline is quite brief, it is all inclusive: the needs of the body, the soul, and the spirit are all included. Nothing is left out. The needs of the body are termed as “our daily bread.” The needs of the soul are termed as “forgiveness.” And the needs of our spirit are termed as our deliverance from evil.

Our daily bread

This request is for our material needs: everything that is necessary for our living. And notice that this is the first petition having to do with what we need, suggesting that God cares that we be healthy in our life.

And just because He knows all our needs even before we ask, doesn’t mean that we should not ask Him. We should ask Him every morning because He desires us to speak with Him every day. And He also wants us to realize our dependence on Him; that we cannot live for one day without Him.

Forgive us

In the first section, “And forgive us our debts,” we must recognize that “us” is in reference to anyone who is in the family of God; all others are excluded. So, this prayer is only for His children. Next, know that He will give us forgiveness immediately if we ask (look at 1 John 1:9).

In the next part, “as we forgive our debtors,” notice that it says “as” we forgive our debtors, not “because” we forgive them. Hence, our forgiveness is not based on our work of forgiving others. Rather, we should see it altogether. In the family of God, He gives us the desire and the strength to forgive others; and He also forgives us. It is in the new nature of believers to forgive as God forgives.

We could see it this way: the proof that we are forgiven of God is that we forgive others. And if we have not forgiven others than this is an indication that God has not forgiven us—that we are not His children.

Deliverance from evil

The first part, “And lead us not into temptation,” is asking God not to allow us into any situation where we are liable to be tempted by Satan or the flesh. It is the same as in 1 Corinthians 10:13, where we can ask God to give us a way of escape from temptation. The second part, “deliver us from evil,” is asking God to show us that way of escape and then give us the power to get out of there—or He may just remove the power of evil from us, just as He tamed the lion in front of Daniel (you know the story).

Now here are three reasons why we should pray this third petition:

1. So that our fellowship with him may not be broken.

2. So that we will have a right relationship with Him.

3. So that we can get to know Him.

Confidence in Prayer

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from Prayer A to Z.

When we think about confidence, even when we say the word “confidence,” it makes us feel good doesn’t it?  It gives us a lift, gives us energy, strength and courage.  And I suppose that is because the word is so much associated with positive energy.  And whether we believe it or not, that energy comes from God.  It is a special gift that He has given to all people—the energy, the drive to believe and have hope in themselves and in the gifts that they possess.  Yes, we are all created in His image; and since God Himself has self-confidence—believing and having hope in Himself—all people down deep within themselves have this same self-confidence too.  It is inherent in the way He has created us.

But listen to this: God gives a special confidence (a more powerful and more…

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Burden in Prayer

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from this book.

Prayer is all about carrying burdens, not only the burdens of people but the burdens of God.  He calls us to be burden bearers with Him for people, for the sake of His kingdom.

 THE BURDEN OF GOD

Throughout the Bible we see the great love and compassion of God toward all people.  Psalms 86:15 tells us, “He is full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”

Jesus was and is full of compassion toward us too.  While He was on this earth He was always going about from city to city preaching and teaching God’s good news; and He was healing all who were sick and diseased.  And when He saw the multitudes He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:35-36).  And now…

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How to Become a Christian

Prayer A to Z

004 (2)

This article is an excerpt from my book, Prayer A to Z.

There is really only one prayer that a non-Christian can pray with the assurance that God will hear him.  It is the prayer for mercy—from a humble heart that sincerely has decided to go God’s way.   Any other prayers that are uttered by a non-Christian are an abomination to God and are not heard.  Why?  Well, it is not because God is not good.  He is good (Read Matthew 5:43-45).   It is because He can not grant any other request of the unsaved, because they naturally do not do what is right or seek after God (Romans 3:10-11).  Isaiah 64:6 tells us that the unsaved are unclean and all their righteousness are like filthy rags to God.  Therefore, God will not listen to their prayers because all their requests are made with selfish, ungodly motives.

Listen to what…

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UNANSWERED Prayers

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from this book.

Here are three possible reasons why your prayers aren’t answered–from my e-book Prayer A to Z.

1.  You really aren’t abiding in Jesus and His Word as you think you are.  A good test of whether you are abiding or not is whether you bear fruit.  Jesus said, “He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit (Jn. 15:5).  Fruit is that evidence that you are a Christian—a true Christian that abides in Christ and grows to be like Him.

Are you becoming like Christ?  Do you love others as He did?  Do you reach out to others and share the love of God with them?  Do you have the faith that Jesus had?  When you pray do you expect God to answer you?  If you can’t say yes to any of these questions I suggest that…

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