Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail
PRAYER: What Is it? Why do it? How do I do it?
Some pray the way they heard others pray in worship growing up while others look for a prayer on the internet. A few pray the way their parents taught them to pray, and still others just kind of make it up as they go along. Over time it develops into a well-known string of words that we can call upon in case of emergency. It’s the prepackaged prayer that we’re comfortable praying when we’re called upon to lead one publicly or “bless” the food. Tragically, this can be an insight into a weak prayer life. This is what Jesus wants us to know about communicating with God— and how we can do it effectively.
Three Facts About Prayer
1.Through Jesus we must pray (I Tim. 2:5)
2. Through Jesus we learn to pray (Matt. 6:5-13)
3. Through Jesus we are able to pray (Heb. 4:16)
Three Fruitless Prayers (Matthew 6)
- Prayers to glorify ourselves— when they should be Focused On The Spiritual (v.5)
- Prayers for the gaze of others— when they should be said Fervently In Secret (v.6)
- Prayers full of gab— when there must be Forethought and Sincerity (v.7)
Five Ways To Pray Effectively (According to Jesus)
“Pray then like this…”
1. With Reverence
a. “Our Father” — His authority over ours.
b.“In Heaven” — His dwelling place is above ours.
c.“Hallowed be your Name” — His holiness needs to be apparent to us.
2. Seeking Righteousness
a. “Your Kingdom come” — So I must be righteous
b. “Your will be done” — In order for me to be righteous
c. “On earth as it is in heaven” — If heaven is to be my future, I must make righteousness a part of my present.
3. Acknowledging Our Reliance
a. “Give us this day” — Each day and each moment, a moment God allowed to exist.
b. “Daily bread” — It’s all through Him we move and exist.
4. In Repentance
a. “forgive our debts” — What do I need forgiven?
b. “As we forgive our debtors” — What do I need to forgive?
5. With Recognition
a. “Lead us not into temptation” — God knows the way around what tempts us.
b. “Deliver us from evil” — God has the power to deliver us, but we should recognize that we must follow if He is to lead.
Six Things To Offer Up, And What You’ll Get
- Give Him your praise – He’ll show you why He deserves your praise.
- Give Him your heart – He’ll heal and purify it.
- Give Him your schedule – He’ll organize it for you. He will reveal our most important priorities.
- Give Him your attention – He’ll help you focus.
- Give Him your plans – He’ll perfect them. Any plan God touches becomes holy.
- Give Him your life – He’ll give life eternal.