Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Teach Me To Pray, pt.3

Chapter 3:

Continual, Persistent Prayer

Prayer is a way of life for true believers… prayer is like breathing. The natural thing for us to do is commune with God. Prayer should flow naturally and continually from our hearts… we should be in constant communion with God.

Think of prayer as living in continual God-consciousness, in which everything we see and experience becomes a kind of prayer, living in deep awareness of and surrender to our heavenly Father. Living in unbroken communion with Him makes life a continually ascending prayer. All your thoughts, deeds, and circumstances become an opportunity to commune with your heavenly Father.

God’s greatest desire, and our greatest need, is to be in constant fellowship with Him now, and there is no greater earthly expression or experience of that fellowship than prayer.

Persistent Perseverance:

Prayer is not easy. Just because we can talk to God anytime throughout the day certainly doesn’t mean we will. But… to “continue earnestly in prayer” (Colossians 4:2) is to courageously and persistently bring everything, especially the needs of others, before God. The matter of perseverance is taught in two parables: Luke 11:5-10 and Luke 18:2-5.

God longs to respond to His chosen children who are persistent in prayer – so just keep praying without ceasing and don’t give up. Keep knocking. Keep asking. Keep seeking.

(But remember – we can never, by our persistence, force God to do what we want against His will; but we do need to demonstrate to Him a heart of compassion and the genuineness of a concerned and caring soul)

Constant Alertness:

If we are to persevere in prayer, we must also be on the alert to situations that need our prayers. We need to keep our eyes open – to be alert to the spiritual needs of others. As we become sensitive to what is happening around us, we learn what to pray.

A Prayer Of Charles Spurgeon:

O Thou blessed God! The joy of knowing that we are Thine forever, Thine in trials of life, and Thine in the last dread of death, and then Thine in resurrection, Thine throughout eternity! We do therefore worship Thee, O God, not as a constraining nor under terror or pressure, but cheerfully and gladly, ascribing unto Thee praise, and power, and dominion, and glory, and honour, world without end. We wish we knew how to do something for Thee. We pray that we may be helped to do so ere we die; yea, that every flying hour may confess that we have brought Thy Gospel some renown; that we may so live as to extend the Redeemer’s kingdom at least in some little measure; that ours may not be a fruitless, wasted life; that no faculty of ours may lay by and rust; but to the utmost of our capacity may we be helped of the Divine Spirit to spend our whole life in real adoration.

Scripture verses mentioned:

Luke 11:5-10 - Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'
"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Luke 18:2-5 - He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'"

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