by Meg@bluffparkbaptist.org | Thursday, September 14, 2017
We’ve begun a 5-week study on prayer based on the movie “The War Room”. If you missed the first session there is still time to join in. We will have the second session on September 17 at 5:00 PM. I hope that when this is finished we, as individuals and as a church, will have a renewed emphasis on prayer. Of the negative changes within the New Testament church over the last generation, I believe the failure to pursue a strong, personal prayer life has weakened the effectiveness of the church more than we imagine.
Jesus often withdrew to pray and even gave us a pretty good model for our prayers. The apostle Paul spoke many times of praying and we know from his writings that his decisions were made after much prayer. How, then, can we feel good about relegating our prayer life to saying grace at the table and brief prayers at bedtime? I know that praying publically can be a little awkward to folks sometimes, but praying privately should be a constant theme in our life. We often say that God answers prayers. If we honestly believe that to be true we would be praying constantly….wouldn’t we?
Too often, we use prayer as simply a time to ask God for things; to ask Him for the things we want or want to happen. Allow me to suggest, based on the model prayer that Jesus gave us, what will be an effective time of prayer: First, worship. Worship shouldn’t be limited to Sunday gathering or public singing. Spend some time worshipping the most holy God who allows you before His throne of grace. Next, repentance. Ask God to reveal to you anything that you have done or are doing that is contrary to his purpose for your life and is in disobedience to His commands. Listen to His response and truly repent of the sin in your life. That will truly open up the channel of communication when you are “right with God”. Then, seek His will. Remember that we must bend our will to His and the only way we can is to know what His will is. Ask Him for direction; for wisdom. Then, and only then, petition Him. Ask Him for the things He places on your heart. Lastly, thanksgiving. Before He answers a single prayer, thank Him in faith for His good and perfect answers.