We All Need Special Prayer Times

 

Prayer ought to be regular and daily. We need prayer every day like we need daily meals and daily sleep.  But just as a car requires an oil change and a tune up once in a while, it is essential for every Christian to also have extended, special prayer times so that he can take a longer, deeper look at God and at himself—in order to tune up his life.  Daily prayers are good and necessary to prepare us for each day and to guide us through the day.  But sometimes we get in a rut.  We do things just out of habit.  We pray the same old way.  We ask God for the same things.  We take the same amount of time to pray, at the same time of the day, in the same place.  Prayer sometimes gets to be a drag, and we wonder if we should do something different.  We even wonder if we are praying in the Spirit, or if we are just praying the same words that we always pray out of habit.

An extended prayer time will help. It will help you to see God clearer and to better know His ways and His will.  It will help you to get a better look at yourself, to see if you are going in His direction.  It will be a time to look to God for refreshment and rest.  It will also be a time to catch up on prayer.  An extended time will give you the required time to pray for all the things that you had wanted to pray for but just couldn’t seem to find the time.  Yes, it will be a time to really labor in prayer—and out of it will come refreshment.

I have found that the more I pray and really work at prayer, the more I am refreshed and at peace. That is because when we pray and trust God for everything (for every little thing) He assures us by His Spirit that He has heard our prayers and that He will take care of us.  This peace (assurance) we feel in prayer is the Holy Spirit working in us, keeping us strong and protecting our hearts from doubts and fears. (Doubts and fears are normal for us in our unredeemed flesh, but they are also from the devil; many of the fiery darts talked about in Ephesians 6:16 I think are darts of anxiety and fear, which the devil and his demons are constantly throwing at us.)

These things can be overcome by much prayer. By prayer we build up our faith.  By much prayer God comes to our aid and puts up around us a protecting shield of faith and peace.  Philippians 4:6 and 7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving , let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Okay, let’s say you agree that you need more prayer; that it would be good to have some extended, special prayer time. How do you go about it?  In the next few posts I will give you some ideas.

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Persistent Prayer Requested for America: 9 Prayer Requests

Prayer for Trump and Country

Oh, there is so many things believers need to keep praying about concerning President Trump and America. Here is a list of nine prayer requests:

1. Keep praying for Congressman Steve Scalise, that his body would continue to fight off infection, and that the Lord would give him a full recovery.

2. Pray for America’s relationship with all other countries. Pray especially for how President Trump and Secretary Tillerson communicates with country leaders, that they would show leadership with wisdom.

3. Russia: pray for how America deals with Russia, that we would be strong yet wise.

4. North Korea: pray for how America deals with North Korea; that we would know what to do. Pray also that we would know how to interact with surrounding countries, especially China.

5. Trade: Pray that we (America) would be wise in all our trade deals.

6. Health care: Pray that our leaders…

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7 Ways to Pray With Sincerity – Part 3

 

When I am honest and authentic in prayer I will open up my heart and pray as I really feel. I will hold nothing back.  When I am open and transparent in prayer I will not hide anything; I will not try to cover up my sins and make excuses.  This kind of prayer is so important if we want to grow in our relationship with God.  If we are sincere in our prayers and will open ourselves up to God, so as to hide nothing from Him, then He will open Himself up to us and be real to us.

I have put together seven ways we can practice being sincere in prayer. Here is the third installment, which is points 5 through 7.

 5. Use appropriate prayer posture. I suppose the proper prayer posture is different for each person. God has made each of us different, and therefore He moves each of us to pray in a different way: whether it is sitting, kneeling, bowing the head, or standing and lifting the arms.

If we do not pray with that particular posture that He is calling us to, I would say that we are being disobedient to the Holy Spirit, and by our disobedience we cut off the Spirit of prayer that is urging us to pray.

On the other hand, when we are obedient to express outwardly the way the Spirit is directing us inwardly, we free up the Spirit of prayer within us to pray more fervently and with more sincerity.

 6. Pray from the soul. When David prayed he prayed from his soul. Psalm 25:1 says, “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” The soul consists of our mind, our emotions, and our will.  When we pray from our soul we engage our mind in prayer as we meditate on the Word; we engage our emotions in prayer when we listen to God with our heart and try to understand Him; and we engage our will in prayer when we choose to obey Him and say to Him, “Your will be done.”

All the parts of the soul must be engaged in prayer or prayer won’t be true. If just the mind is engaged without the emotions and the will, prayer is nothing more than an intellectual exercise, which will accomplish nothing.  If just the emotions are engaged, we have feelings for God and burdens, but we will never be confident in prayer because we have not the truth of the Word in our mind or the will to carry it out.  If we pray just with the will we will have a lot of drive and force and good intentions in our prayers, but without direction and understanding.

But if all the parts of our soul are engaged and open to God, prayer will be true and sincere. And if we are diligent to regularly practice this kind of prayer, so that  we are abiding with Him, then He will open the doors of heaven and give us all we desire (Jn. 15:7).

 7. Pray in private. When we pray in a group we allow other believers to hear the parts of our prayers that we don’t mind them listening to. But there are some things that are more private, that we want only God to hear. And so it is appropriate and necessary that we have a special time and place for individual, private prayer.

A place such as this makes it easier to be sincere, honest and open before God, where it will be easier to confess sins and to share intimate desires—where we have God’s full attention.

And God also desires these things with us. He wants our full attention, and He wants to share secret things with us.  Yes, He wants time alone with just you.  Isn’t that an awesome thought?  The God of the Universe wants one on one time with us!  A private place of pray will provide that (Prov. 2:4-5; 1 Cor. 2:6-16; Eph. 1:17-20).

 

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Prayer for the Peace Efforts of President Trump and Jerod Kushner

Prayer for Trump and Country

President Donald J. Trump spoke [on the phone] today [6/21/17] with Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia to congratulate him on his recent elevation. The President and the Crown Prince committed to close cooperation to advance our shared goals of security, stability, and prosperity across the Middle East and beyond. The two leaders discussed the priority of cutting off all support for terrorists and extremists, as well as how to resolve the ongoing dispute with Qatar. They discussed efforts to achieve a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And they discussed ways to further deepen economic cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

PRAYER

Please continue to pray for our President, that his effort in his conversation with the Prince at establishing peace and security will pay off. Pray also for Jerod Kushner as he is in Israel making peace efforts. Pray that his efforts…

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7 Ways to Pray With Sincerity – Part 2

 

Sincere prayer is without hypocrisy, or without putting on a show for others and without pretending to be something we are not (Matt. 6:5). Sincere prayer is honest, open, authentic, and transparent.  This kind of prayer is so important if we want to grow in our relationship with God. I have put together seven ways we can practice being sincere in prayer. Here is the second installment, which is the third and fourth point.

 3. Bring desires into full bloom. When God gives you desire in prayer, don’t squelch it by filling your mind with other things. Keep at the work of prayer; keep thinking about what God is showing you; keep at the conversation. Don’t look away or change the subject.  Stay in tune with Him; stay alert with Him.  When He loves you, love Him back.  If we don’t, love is lost and sincerity in prayer is lost.  True, sincere prayer always demands reciprocation.  And if there is none, then prayer becomes nothing more than unheeded speech or a one-way conversation.

If our heart is not totally for God and if we do not return the desires He has for us—that is, if our desire is divided, desiring Him a little and something else a little—then it is impossible to be sincere with God in prayer, because in fact we are not honest with Him. Our desire for other things makes us disloyal to God and a hypocrite in prayer.  And when we pray in this state, our sight and understanding of God is foggy and we can’t have real passion for Him.

If you want to have true, sincere prayer; if you want to really get to know God and have a clear vision of Him, you must keep the fire of desire burning and the beauty of desire growing. Just as a rose starts as a small bud and blooms into a beautiful flower, we must allow desire to grow into its full bloom. Only then will we be able to experience the fullness of God in prayer (Eph. 3:19).

4. Submit to God and resist the devil. The answer to wrong desires and divided desires is humility. If we find pride in ourselves and that we have given ourselves more to the world and to our pleasures then we must turn ourselves around and submit to God. If we don’t, we will never find Him or experience sincere prayer—for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Ja. 4:6).

At the same time we must also resist the devil and the lure sin. We can’t submit to what is good unless we resist what is evil.

So how do we do this? What are the actions of humility and resisting?  Pray?  Yes!  But more than pray.  Our prayers must be accompanied by some actions of humility that will purify our hearts.  I suggest long periods of prayer with fasting and reflection.  During this time, read and study the Bible much, and set your heart and mind to obey the Spirit in everything.  He will no doubt lead you to confess your sins to Him and to others you have wronged.  And when you make your confessions, make sure your heart is right.  True confession and humility must be without a trace of frivolity or hypocrisy.  James says, “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep!  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Ja. 4:8-10).

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Can there be Permanent Peace? Should We Continue To Pray For It?

Prayer for Trump and Country

These questions may have come up by some as President Trump issued the Memorial Day Proclamation—to pray for permanent peace on the earth.

Since congress first requested that the President issue this proclamation every year on Memorial Day (on May 11, 1950), this United States has been praying for permanent peace. But it doesn’t seem to be working!  There is war and terror everywhere.  And there seems to be more wars every year.  Indeed, there is no peace in sight.

Some would suggest that things will eventually get better, that peace deals will be made, and that nations will come together to make peace. And so we should pray toward that end.  We should pray that peace makers will step up to make peace deals everywhere between nations. Yes, they say, we should pray for the United Nations and the Paris Accord, and other such groups to give us peace. …

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7 Ways to Pray With Sincerity – Part 1

 

The right way to pray is with sincerity—that is, without hypocrisy, or without putting on a show for others and pretending to be something we are not (Matt. 6:5). There are other terms we can use to describe this kind of prayer, such as: honest, open, authentic, and transparent.  When I am honest and authentic in prayer I will open up my heart and pray as I really feel.  I will hold nothing back.  When I am open and transparent in prayer I will not hide anything; I will not try to cover up my sins and make excuses.  This kind of prayer is so important if we want to grow in our relationship with God.  If we are sincere in our prayers and will open ourselves up to God, so as to hide nothing from Him, then He will open Himself up to us and be real to us.

I have put together seven ways we can practice being sincere in prayer, and have broken it down into three parts. In this first part, I want to share the first two ways to pray with sincerity.

 

1. Forgive Others Regularly

If we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us (Matt. 6:5). And if He doesn’t forgive us, then there can be no true prayer; our prayers will be empty words.

If you are holding a grudge against someone, you won’t even want to pray; your unforgiveness will cut off your relationship with God faster than any other sin—because God loves the person you have not forgiven and He is grieved. Moreover, in addition to severing your relationship with God, unforgiveness sets in motion a process of putting up walls of denial, to further distance yourself from God (and others).  Therefore, when we have unforgiveness in our heart we can’t be real with anyone, especially with God.  We can’t open up in prayer with Him and be sincere.  We are bitter, tight in the stomach, fighting everything.  We are full of self-pity and always trying to defend ourselves and make excuses.  Until we give up our sin of unforgiveness we will never be able to pray with sincerity.

 

2. Appropriate God’s Forgiveness

There is no reason for any Christian to be burdened down with his own sin and guilt; for God has given us the remedy for our sin in the person and work of Jesus Christ. He has suffered and died for our sins.  His blood has paid the penalty of our sins.

If you have failed to forgive someone, and if you are carrying around sin (that is, if you have sin that you have not confessed and repented of), those sins will keep you from honest and true prayer. But if you come to God boldly and confess your sins, God will forgive you and clean up your heart (1 Jn. 1:9).  He will wipe all your sins away so that you will feel bold to keep coming to Him—to His throne—to make any requests.

So we need boldness at two different times. First, we need boldness to come to Him with our sin and ask forgiveness.  Then, after He forgives us and cleanses us, we need boldness again to pray and keep praying over other things.  And at both times God helps us to be bold to come to Him.  And when we come to Him we will obtain mercy and find all the grace we need (Heb. 4:16).

Now, as I see it, the boldness that He gives us to keep coming to Him in prayer is a boldness that we get by His grace when He forgives us and cleanses us of sin. Therefore, since we seem to be constantly sinning, if we want to keep receiving this prayer boldness, we must keep asking for His forgiveness and cleansing—as often as we sin.

The nature of this boldness is like a new freedom, a freedom to be transparent (open) before Him. With this new freedom we find that we have a new love for prayer—so that we want to talk about everything before Him: about the easy stuff and the hard stuff.  And of course the more we open up to Him in sincere prayer the more we grow in our love for Him.

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