“This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5: 3-5).
It’s very obvious in Scripture that the Lord wants us to pray. There are many commands given to us concerning prayer: “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1); “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18); “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
These are just a few of many such injunctions in God’s Word concerning prayer in our lives. Why is it then, that so many Christians feel so inadequate in their prayer lives? Christians everywhere confess their prayerlessness and long to become people of prayer. Yet, the life of prayer evades so many. How can this be turned around in our lives?
I believe that one important key is to understand the reason behind God’s commands to us to pray. It can be difficult to discern the mind of God on a matter, but He has given us much in Scripture to help us understand. My friend Alvin VanderGriend has suggested that there are three reasons given for prayer in God’s Word: intimacy, enrichment and partnership. Another way of stating these is: knowing God, obeying God and partnering with God.
–Adapted from the article Partnering with God in Prayer by Dave Butts.
Father, Your Word is filled with encouragement and commands to pray…and yet, my prayer life is still so much less than it could be. Forgive me for my prayerlessness and help me to long for intimacy with You so that I might fully participate in the work of Your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Praise God that he is coming with the clouds and every eye shall see him (Rev. 1:7). Give thanks that you have a personal relationship with God and will be with him for all eternity (1 Cor. 15:51-52). Confess your clinging to a sinful deed or habit that needs to be overcome. Commit yourself to being on guard and standing firm in your faith (Eph. 6:13-18). Ask God to hold that vision of glory before you, restraining you from strong attachment to earthly possessions.
Ask that you never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16). Share that salvation today with a non-Christian.
“If I commit myself for the day to the Lord Jesus, then I may rest assured that it is his eternal, almighty power which has taken me under its protection and which will accomplish everything for me.” —Andrew Murray
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend