Luke 6.12 Now it came to pass in those days that He (Jesus) went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (NKJV)
There are four basic elements of prayer:
- Adoration (Titus 1.16; Psa 99.5) – worshiping God, recognizing His supremacy, acknowledging who He is, humbling ourselves before the reality of Him
- Confession (Psa 69.5, 1John 1.8-9) – recognizing, admitting and asking forgiveness for the sin in our lives
- Thanksgiving (1Thess 5.16; Psa 26:7) – showing gratitude for God’s blessing and the simple realization that we have received all that we have (1Cor 4.7)
- Supplication (1John 3.22; James 4.3-4) – expressing our needs, asking and believing God will grant our requests
As our understanding in these four areas increase, our prayer life will cease being a burdensome duty (1John 5.3) and become an exciting (Phil 1.3), powerful (James 5.16), fulfilling (Acts 10.31) part of our existence that is as natural, enjoyable and satisfying as eating, drinking or breathing.
That sounds great in a devotional or sermon,
but prayer is hard; its a chore and everyone knows it.”
I agree. For the vast majority of Christians that is all it may ever be. But it doesn’t have to be! For ANYONE willing to make the necessary sacrifice (Rom 12.1-2) and persevere concerning prayer, you can transform prayer from a chore to an exciting way of life.
There are analogies that give us encouragement this is realistic and attainable. In general, everyone knows:
- If you’re out of shape physically, you will go through a phase of real and painful struggle to get back into shape before enjoying the benefits and making it a way of life (everyone knows this is possible).
- If you’re overweight, you will struggle through a very difficult time of changing eating habits, disciplining your appetites and losing weight before you will enjoy a transformed body and good health (everyone knows this is possible).
- If your finances are in shambles, you will have to endure the painful and dreary process of digging your way out of debt before enjoying the liberating blessing of being debt free and “owing no man” (everyone knows this is possible).
- When you pursue a career or profession, you must go through a long period of hard work and study, becoming educated or experienced, before enjoying the benefits of it (everyone knows this is possible).
If it’s possible concerning physical things, it’s just as logically possible concerning spiritual things. While it is easy for us to accept this concerning “real” life, somehow we think prayer is different and thus, prayer becomes “real” for very few.
- If you’re prayer life is out of shape, weak and flabby, you’re going to get some sore prayer muscles on the road to getting it back in shape
- If you’re prayer life is fat and lazy, there is going to be some pain, discomfort and discipline needed to get it back into shape and good health
- If you’re prayer life is in debt up to its eyeballs because you’ve traded it for high interest plastic spirituality, you will need to spend some time paying the debt back spiritually
- If you want a degree in prayer, to be an expert in prayer or have career in prayer… you will need to pay your spiritual dues and dedicate time to the Great Professor, the real Expert, the heavenly Trainer.
We commonly acknowledge that everything worthwhile and valuable in our life requires consistency, hard work, discipline, sacrifice and time. For some ridiculous reason we want a powerful, satisfying prayer life (that is infinitely more valuable than any physical pursuit we are willing to pay dearly for) to be effortless and convenient.
We want powerful prayer available for three no-hassle
credit payments on high interest spiritual plastic
(overnight shipping available for an extra charge)
It’s a scam. Don’t fall for it.
Tomorrow we will look at the first of four areas of prayer: Adoration… knowing God, understanding who God is, and recognizing Him.
Lord help us, just for today, to determine to exercise our prayer muscles. We’ll ask again tomorrow for help for another day. It’s going to hurt, and I will be really sore for a while, but I trust Lord that eventually You will bring me to a place of being spiritually powerful in my prayer life, that it may become a fulfilling, exciting way of life. Let my sole reason for this desire be to bring You glory, recognizing that is it possible through Your strength alone. Amen.
Contemplation: Do you have a consistent daily lifestyle of prayer? If yes, congratulations, your a rarity. Do you believe there are shortcuts, tricks or special skills needed to have a consistent prayer life? Do you think its too simplistic that the answer to a good prayer life is to….. pray?
Application: Praying is the only way to pray. Boring and simple answer… but the truth. If you want to have a prayer life, pray. If it’s important enough to you, you will. You get, and do, what you really want deep down.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?
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