P is for : Teach us to PRAY
This past week we had the privilege of attending teen camp with our youth group, and there was one message that really spoke to many hearts. It was given by Pastor Clark of Solid Rock Baptist Church in Berlin, NJ. Several teens gave testimony to the fact that it was the clearest teaching they had ever had on the practice of prayer. I borrowed the notes of one of my daughters in order to share the outline here, because prayer is SO important, and yet often neglected.
"Praying Hands" by Jill, courtesy of www.fotopedia.com
Jesus taught that we are called to pray. To a Christian, prayer is as necessary as breathing. Even the disciples, who lived with Jesus while He walked this earth, asked Him to teach them how to pray.
Luke 11:1 "And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray,"In order to have an effective prayer life, we must:
- Make prayer a priority! Acts 6:4 "But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."
- Make a specific time to pray. It is a very good idea to start our day with prayer first thing in the morning. Psalm 5:3 "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up."
- Have a special place that we pray. For Jesus, He had a special place for prayer at the Mount of Olives. Luke 22:39 "And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him."
- Get alone with God. In order to do this, we may need to eliminate some of the noise in our life so that we can hear God's voice. Mark 1:35 "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."
- Draw nigh to God! As you invest your life in getting closer to God, you will feel his presence more and more, as He draws closer to you as well. James 4:8a "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."
It is always a good idea to organize our prayer requests. Write them down! Keep track of them, so we can be encouraged by watching God meet needs and answer prayers.
Here is a pattern that we can follow when we pray:
- Confession. Be quick to repent when the Holy Spirit pricks your heart about something you have said, done, or thought that has broken your fellowship with God. 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
- Praise God for Who He is! Psalm 150 is a model of praise. Take a few moments to think of as many attributes of God as you can, and write them down, thanking and praising God that He is all of those things to you personally. Psalm 150:6 "Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD."
- Thank God for what He has done, both big and little things. Keep a list of things God has done to encourage you when you look back on it and remember how good God has been to you. Be in an attitude of constant thankfulness. Psalm 100:4 "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."
- Ask God for what others need. Put others first. When people ask you to pray for them, write it down so that you honestly can. 1 Samuel 12:23 "Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you"
- Ask God for what you need. Wisdom should be at the top of your list. James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
vintage telephone photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org
Get God on the line in the morning, shoulder the phone, and keep praying all day long! You will be blessed!Jeremiah 33:3 "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
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This post is linked with "Blogging Through the Alphabet" at "Ben and Me."