I wrote this a while back and recently read through it again. I am such work in progress when it comes to prayer.
Growing to Follow Jesus in the Way that I Pray
A few years ago I began to pray and think through my own prayer life. Like many things in my spiritual journey, I knew I had a lot of room to grow as a person of prayer. Out of that time I began to walk through the Gospels studying what Jesus said about prayer and how He prayed. My purpose was not merely to learn ABOUT what He said or did but to grow in FOLLOWING His example.
I purposefully did not deal with the details of the Lord’s Prayer. It is obviously important as we grow in our prayer life and we need to give a great deal of attention to that section of Scripture. I focused more on other comments Jesus made about prayer and moments when we see Him praying. I am sure I did not cover everything.
Here are the observations that I made. I tried to take them all at face value even if I did not understand them fully. In no way do I claim to have mastered any of them. Some make me uncomfortable. All of them stretch me to pray with greater FAITH.
As a person of prayer you are DEVOTED to the FATHER’S GLORY in everything you pray.
John 12:28, “Father, glorify Your Name.”
1) Come to God with the simplicity of a CHILD to a FATHER – Not just calling him Father but relating to Him in the reality of the Father-love of God.
Matthew 6:6-13, John 4:23-24
2) Do whatever possible to be ALONE with the Father – Understanding that the Father is waiting and wants to be alone with you.
Matthew 6:6, 14:23, Mark 1:35, 6:46, Luke 5:16, 9:18 – Jesus created opportunity to be alone with the Father.
3) PERSEVERE until the heart and will of the Father are known – Keep asking, keep knocking, keep seeking.
Matthew 7:7-8, 26:36-42
“If no answer immediately comes, we are not to sit down in resignation and suppose that it is not God’s will to give us an answer.” –Andrew Murray—
4) Believe in and ask the Father to fill you with the HOLY SPIRIT.
5) Approach the Father with ASSURANCE and FAITH – Confidently expect an answer to prayer.
Matthew 21:21-22, Mark 11:24, John15:7, 16:23-24
Prayer is never a token gesture but the source of power and connection
6) Passionately beg the Father for the SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL and for more people to be called out to spread it.
Matthew 6:10, 9:37-38
7) Never seek to draw attention to yourself when praying publicly but HUMBLE yourself before the Father –You are watchful of those who pray out of impure motives so not to become like them.
Matthew 6:5-8, 14:23, Mark 12:38-40, Luke 18:9-14 – The person of prayer does not pray to look good before man.
8) Pursue and surrender to the Father through prayer in times of SUFFERING– Prayer is the means of embracing God in the most intense, vulnerable and trying moments of life.
Matthew 26:36-42, Mark 14:32-42
9) Always remember to CONFESS your sins to the Father and FORGIVE the sins others have committed against you.
“As bread is the first need of the body, so forgiveness is for the soul.” –Andrew Murray-
10) Believe in and call on the AUTHORITY you have been given by the Father over evil and illness.
Mark 6:13, 9:20-29, Luke 21:34-36
11) Ask the Father to BLESS the people who treat you wrong.
Matthew 5:44-45, Luke 6:27-28
12) Pursue JOY in the Father answering prayers in the name of Jesus.
LORD TEACH ME TO PRAY
Maybe there is one or two of these that challenge you as well.