Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teach Me To Pray, pt.8

Chapter 8:

Motivations To Prayer

How devoted are you to prayer? Do you pray as often and for as many things as you ought? If you are like most of us, you will answer with a definite “no.” Every Christian ought to ask, “Is something lacking in my spiritual life? Am I really motivated to pray if I don’t pray as I should?” Scriptures give us plenty of motivations to overcome our lack of prayer. For example: Psalm 37:4; Luke 11:9-10; 1 John 5:14-15
More motivations are:

  1. A Desire For The Lord’s Glory – Our desire for the Lord’s glory should be the first and foremost motivation for prayer. When we pray for God to be exalted, that His plan and promises be fulfilled, we are not praying for self; we are praying for Him, because we desire that the Lord be glorified.
  2. A Desire For Fellowship With God – Another motivation to prayer stems from a genuine longing to be in the presence of God. That longing often begins when our heart feels lonely, estranged, or cut off from the Lord and therefore cries out for fellowship with Him. (ie: Psalm 42:1-2; Psalm 63:1-2; Psalm 84:1-2)
  3. A Desire For Needs To Be Met – Christians should also be motivated to pray because they desire the Father to answer the concerns of their hearts with power and blessing. We need to pray for our needs every day, even if it’s simply to thank God for so mercifully supplying them when we don’t deserve anything.
  4. A Desire For Wisdom – (James 1:5) If you believe that you don’t need divine wisdom as you live in a sinful world, you’re really deceived. When Jesus taught us to pray, He said, “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). That is a prayer for spiritual discernment, or spiritual wisdom.
  5. A Desire For Deliverance From Trouble – Periods of great difficulty tend to prompt us to unceasing prayer as we realize there is no human way of deliverance from our dilemma.
  6. A Desire For Relief From Fear And Worry – All believers can identify with the desire for relief from fear. If you’re in distress and experiencing fear, worry, anxiety, and depression, what should you do? Go to the Lord in persistent, continual prayer and you will experience His peace and find the right answers to all your questions and problems. (Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 4:1)
  7. A Desire To Offer Thanks For Past Blessing – If we have a thankful heart and remember all that the Lord, in His goodness, has done for us in the past, that ought to motivate us to pray and at least offer God a simple thanks. (ie: Psalm 44:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)
  8. A Desire To Be Free From The Guilt Of Sin – Along with Psalm 51, Psalm 32 is a classic psalm that addresses the penitent believer’s desire to be freed from sin’s guilt. The desires that motivated David ought to prompt us to incessant, penitential confession so that we also remain free from the guilt of unconfessed sin, and have the joy of salvation.
  9. A Desire For The Salvation Of the Lost – When you’re compassionately concerned about lost people, you will be moved to pray for their salvation. (ie: 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Romans 10:1; 2 Peter 3:9). If we don’t pray unceasingly for the lost, then something is lacking concerning our compassion for them and we need to ask God to give us a new desire to pray for the unsaved.
  10. A Desire For The Spiritual Growth Of Other Believers – Paul was a model in praying for others’ spiritual growth (Ephesians 1:15-19; Ephesians 3:14-21; Colossians 1:9-12). We often take for granted that fellow Christians will increase in their knowledge of the Lord. But He wants us to make that increase an object of regular prayer.

The Key To Prayer Motivation

If we are not following the mandate to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), something is wrong with our desire to pray, something is missing at the motivational level. …The only sure way to prompt and sustain a quality prayer life is to maintain a regular and disciplined study of the Word of God. The more you find God’s person, character, and majesty revealed on the pages of Scripture, the more you’ll want to fellowship with Him through prayer. And the more you study the Bible and discover how God wants to provide everything to meet all the needs of His children, the more you’ll be prompted to pray to that end. Etc.
The apostle Paul admonished us to “pray without ceasing,” and that should be our way of life. Start today!

A Prayer Of Charles Spurgeon:

Draw us nearer, Lord, draw us into the inner Sanctuary; draw us within the place which once was hidden by the veil which Christ has rent; bring us right up to the throne of grace, and there beholding the glory of God above the Mercy Seat may we have communion with the Most High. Today help Thy people to put on Christ. May we live as those who are alive from the dead, for He is the quickening Spirit; and may we feel Him to be so. If any part of us is still dead, Lord, quicken it. May the life which has taken possession of our heart take possession of our head; may the brain be active in holy thought; may our entire being, indeed, respond to the life of Christ, and may we live in newness of life. We would fain fall down on our faces and worship the Son of God today. It is such a wonder that He should have loved us; and He has done such wonderful things for us and in us that we may still call Him God’s unspeakable gift. He is unspeakably precious to our souls.

Scripture verses mentioned:

Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Luke 11:9-10 - 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.

1 John 5:14-15 - This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Psalm 42:1-2 - As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

Psalm 63:1-2 - O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.

Psalm 84:1-2 - How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

James 1:5 - If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Matthew 6:13 - And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 4:1 - Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 44:1-4 - We have heard with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our fathers; you crushed the peoples and made our fathers flourish. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 - We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 - I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Romans 10:1 - Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.

2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Ephesians 1:15-19 - For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength.

Ephesians 3:14-21 - For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Colossians 1:9-12 - For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 - pray continually

1 comment:

Kev said...

Thank you for this review and summary. I found it through a google search, and am glad I took the time to read through it. God bless, brother.