Praise the Lord Saints.
Prayer is our communication to the God we serve. Prayer should not be a chore but a joy, just as you love to talk with someone that interests you, that you love, and you want to grow in a relationship with.
Prayer is not necessarily worship but it is an essential element to our Christian life. Our relationship toward God is sustained and strengthened by our prayer, as His relationship toward us is sustained by His word through His spirit.
If we are going to spend serious time in prayer, we need to first put some things in order. We need to have our own heart searched out; any unforgiveness or resentment is to be dealt with.
Any sin we may be practicing needs to be repented of. We need to be cleansed before we enter the holy place. We come to him on the basis of the blood of Christ.
Any prideful attitude needs to be humbled by exercising our will and come to God in total dependence on his mercy and His grace. When we pray we should not just be speaking, but be still enough to listen, as the Lord through His spirit may lead us to a scripture. It may be for us, it may be for another in showing us how to pray.
We find the Holy Spirit in Rom. 8:14-15 leads us to cry out Abba. Gal 4.6: Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, (the Spirit) cry’s out, ‘Abba, Father.
He is another advocate to our relationship to God by prayer. There is no evidence in scripture that anyone prayed or worshipped the Holy Spirit unless he is included in worship with the triune God.
It is the Spirits ministry that brings one to Christ. The Holy Spirit has a different position functioning in a submissive role to Christ just as Christ was in a submissive position to the Father on Earth.
Likewise the Spirit does the same, taking a subordinate role to both Christ and the Father when He is sent to earth (Jn.16:13). His purpose is not to bring attention to himself but to the Son.
We may have a list of needs to pray on but there should be room for the Holy Spirit to show us how to pray. We are to be led by the spirit in our prayers to know the will of God, in other words we need to be flexible. In this way we may not always have the knowledge in praying for a specific request but trust in the Holy Spirits leading.
If we are speaking to God and being influenced by His spirit then our prayer will never be self-centered or on things not pertaining to his kingdom. On one hand we submit our hopes, our needs.
On the other hand, we need to examine our motives and God’s will in a given situation. The longing desire of our heart has to be what Christ would want done or the prayer does not rise to him to even be considered. If we pray as Jesus would then we should expect our prayers to be answered. A study on Jesus and the apostle’s prayers is helpful in understanding and training oneself in prayer.
Prayer is the means in which God gets His will done on earth, not the means in which man gets his will done in heaven.
James 5:17-18 tells us:
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
It wasn’t Elijah’s asking that accomplished this but it was God answering his request because it was his will; He had a purpose in it. God can take away things by our praying and affect people and nations and He can add things and bless them. He can do beyond even what we ask for as we are under a covenant of grace. He can and does miracles for his namesake.
We cannot limit God in our prayer nor can we command him or control him what to do what we would like by our request. Ps.145:18: “the Lord is near to all those who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.”
I Jn.3:22-24: And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.
Notice if we keep his commandments do what is right, we will have our prayers answered. In Isa.65:24, God says: Before they call I will answer, while they are still speaking I will hear.
He loves to respond to what we ask.
Till next week,
Elder Dr. Robert L. Harrison