“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth (Psalm 145:18).
The promise of nearness to God when we pray was echoed centuries later by James: “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8a). James also deals with the issue of praying in truth: “You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:2b-3). It is important to examine our hearts before we make requests of God. For example, if your prayer stems from selfish desires, you are not calling upon Him in truth. Before a time of intercession, ask the Father to show you anything that will keep You from drawing near, and confess it to Him. Allow His grace to show You the truth.
Loving Father, show me anything that separates me from Your truth so that You will draw near to me and hear my prayers. May Your grace wash over me so that my motives will be pure as I seek You.
–Adapted from Pray like the King: Lessons from the Prayers of Israel’s Kings by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
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Praise the Lord, your Savior and your God. Thank God for the hope that he gives to you and for the fact that he never forgets you. Confess all the desires which you have that crowd out your desire for God himself. Commit your soul to panting after God “as the deer pants for streams of water” (Ps. 42:1). Ask that you will “delight yourself in the LORD and [that he will give] you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).
Ask God to cause your friends and family to have a deep thirst for him, and to allow nothing else to quench that thirst.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.