4 Ways to Begin Praying With Earnestness

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If you really want to pray with earnestness here are four ways to start.

1. Pray for it. Ask God to show you His heart and ask Him to give you the same desires and burdens that He has. Then ask Him to give you the energy to pray concerning those burdens and to put His fervency and power into your prayers.

2. Be Obedient to pray whenever God calls you to pray. If we are obedient to pray when He calls us to pray He will be faithful to give us just the right amount of earnestness it takes to pray and bring the answer. Even if you don’t feel a lot of desire to pray at first, pray anyway, because your act of obedience will put the Holy Spirit to work in you. He will warm your prayers up, and the more you keep praying the more the Holy Spirit will bring burning fire to your prayers.

3. Love others fervently. The Greek word ektenos, translated as earnest, is used in Acts 12:5 to describe prayer. But the word is also used in 1 Peter 1:22 for how we are to love one another. Here Paul writes, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently [ektenoós] with a pure heart.”

So here we see that the fervent (or earnest) love we may have for someone is the same earnestness that we will have in our prayers for them. In fact, we cannot pray for someone with earnestness without loving them with the same earnestness.  Thus earnest prayer is born of earnest love. And even if we are not praying for a particular person, if we are just praying regarding something in our own life, we can still pray with earnestness; it comes out of our fervent love for God and for His will.

4. Abiding in God’s Word. When we spend time meditating on the Word and praying the Word into our life, God will show us His heart. Before long we will have the same (or a portion of the same) desires and burdens He does; and we will pray with the same earnestness that His Spirit prays for us (Rom. 8:26).

 

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A Foggy Morning – pictures

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There is something about the fog that intrigues me—especially in the morning. So when I got up this morning and saw the fog out my bedroom window, I immediately made the decision to go for a walk. And of course I took me camera. The fog lasted longer than I thought it would. A pleasant surprise.

 

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Hosea 14:5

I will be like the dew to Israel;

He will blossom like the lily,

And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon.

 

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Psalms 133:1, 3

Behold, how good and pleasant it is

For brothers to dwell together in unity!

3 It is like the dew of Hermon,

Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;

For there the LORD commanded the blessing – life forever.

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The Last Prayer of the Bible: A Prayer for Prosperity and Health

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3 John 1:2

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

 

In this last recorded biblical prayer, John is concerned about his friend Gauis’ health. Whether he was in poor health or not we don’t know, but we do know that John loved Gauis (v. 1).  Therefore, he prayed that he would prosper and be in health just as his soul was prospering.

This prayer is much like the prayer of Jabez (1 Chron. 4:10)—for God’s blessing. And I have heard some say that it’s a selfish prayer. They would say something like this: “I will not beg God for His blessing; He will bless me if it pleases Him, but I think it’s wrong to ask for it; I’ll just do the best I can in life and if God wants to bless me that’s up to Him.”

I think that attitude is wrong and even prideful. God does want to bless us and He wants us to ask for it. Where else can we go to be blessed?

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How to Pray with Earnestness — 3 Steps

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God has given us prayer, a vehicle to call upon Him, because He knows that we will always have needs. We have little needs, average size needs, and sometimes huge needs.  Sometimes our needs can wait, but sometimes our needs are urgent.  Whatever size the need is, and however urgent the need is, God will give us just the right kind of prayer with the right amount of earnestness that is necessary to bring help to each need.

Step 1. Earnest prayer begins with God giving us a burden and a desire for something—to possess something, to bring something about, or to change something. Along with that desire, He also causes us to seek Him and to seek His will concerning the thing we desire.

Sometimes He puts us in the middle of a difficult situation so that we are familiar with the burden that He gives us and so that we feel the burden as He does. But sometimes the burden seems strange to us, because we are not so involved with it, and so we have to pray through it and grab on to it so as to make it our own.  In this case, I would say that we should be constantly asking Him how to pray and how to understand the burden He is giving us.

Step 2. After God gives us a desire and a burden to pray for something, the second thing He does is He puts in us the urge and the energy to pray. And when we obediently follow the urge of His Spirit and pray with the energy of His Spirit, this is how we begin to pray with earnestness.

Step 3. But earnest prayer is not easy. It’s really a lot of work.  Earnest prayer is prayer that is worked at constantly; it is a continual determined effort (in the Spirit) to bring an answer.  Sometimes God requires our earnestness in prayer to be so intense that it is agonizing, as one whose muscles are sore and as one who is extremely tired—as a runner who has run his hardest and his body is in agony as he strives for the finish line.

From the Greek word agonizomai we get the word agony.  This word is used of how Epaphras, one of Paul’s co-workers prayed and how he himself prayed for the church (with agonizing earnest prayer, Col. 1:2-29; 4:12).  This kind of earnestness is how we should pray for ourselves in our struggle against the devil and against our flesh.  Thus our prayer against the enemy must be continual and unrelenting; and at times it will be agonizing work.  But if we keep at it, if we keep trusting God and asking Him to help us in our prayers, He will bring us the answers that we desire and that He desires for us.

 

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Paul’s Three Thessalonian Benedictions

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2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

 

In this benediction, Paul calls on the Lord Jesus Christ and our God and Father to bring comfort and to establish the Thessalonians in every good word and work. The emphasis of the prayer is not so much on the request but on the giver of the request—Jesus and the Father.  They are the ones who have loved us and have given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace.  Let this prayer be a good example for us—our emphasis, our effort, should not be so much on what we need, but rather it should be on the One who is strong to provide it.

 

2 Thessalonians 3:5

Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.

 

In this benediction, Paul’s prayer is that God would direct their hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. Perhaps more clearly, that God would help them to realize His love for them, that they would experience it and practice it and that God would give them a patient endurance like Christ’s.

 

2 Thessalonians 3:16, 18

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all…18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

 

In this last benediction, Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians is that He, the Lord of peace, would give them peace always in every way. Then he prayed, “The Lord be with you always.”  Hence, it stands to reason that if He were always with them they would always have peace in every way—for He is the Lord of peace.

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Pence Being Persecuted: Prayers for Mike Pence to Resist Evil

Studying Bible Prophecy

Mike Pence

As soon as Mike Pence was chosen as Donald Trump’s running mate, “Democrat’s knives [of persecution] came out to attack” him as being “extreme” and divisive.” Hilary Clinton’s campaign blasted him, calling him “the most extreme VP pick in a generation.”

This year, with terrorism, combined with the elections, we have seen such evil at our doorstep as we have never seen before; and all like Mike Pence, if they desire to live godly, will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12). Oh believers, we need now to pray a shield of protection for Mike Pence on such an evil day as this, that he would be bold to resist all evil and to hold on to the truth.

From this day forward, I see persecution coming more and more toward all who will stand up for righteousness. I urge all who are Christians to continue to live godly lives and don’t…

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4 Reasons Why United Prayer is the Best Kind of Prayer

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Here are four reasons why united prayer is the best kind of prayer:

1.  United prayer is God’s designed way for us to pray. God never meant prayer to be only an individual activity. Each of us who are believers are part of the body of Christ. And whether we pray individually or with a group, the Holy Spirit that unites us together as a church also unites our prayers; hence, whenever we pray we pray together in Spirit.

But if someone resists the Spirit and wants to pray by himself apart from others (that is to say, if he is resisting their fellowship and for some reason does not want to associate with them) he is not truly praying at all—because he is living in sin.

When we look closely at Jesus’ teachings on pray, whenever He said anything about prayer He always spoke of it in terms of a group. For instance, He never said “When any one of you pray, pray this way.”  No, He said, “If you ask anything in my name…If you abide in Me.”  The word “you” is in the second person plural.

Also, when Jesus gave the disciples an example of prayer (in the Lord’s Prayer, Matt. 6:9) He began the prayer with “Our Father,” not “My Father.” Therefore, He was teaching the disciples (and He is teaching us) that real prayer is united prayer, it is family prayer.

2. By united prayer we have the assurance of help in prayer. Whether we pray individually or in a group setting, if we are united by the Holy Spirit He strengthens us so that we can pray better. Romans 8:26 tells us that by ourselves (without His help) we don’t know what to pray for or how to pray; but since we have the Spirit, He “makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered.”

Christians that come together and pray in a group I think are especially helped in their prayers. One would think perhaps that it would be harder to pray in a group, but I have found that if the group members pray in the Spirit and are unified in the Spirit, prayers come easier.  This is true, I think, because this same Spirit that unites us creates in each member a power that releases us from fear, so that we are able to pray from our heart things that God puts on the heart.  Even members who are normally quiet and shy will be empowered to pray all kinds of things.  For where there is unity in the Spirit, prayers will flow out, even gush out continually from the heart of God, into our heart, revealing all kinds of wonderful, awesome things, things that perhaps we wouldn’t know unless we had come to pray in unity.

3. United prayer makes prayer more powerful. The power of united prayer is a power produced in and through all the members who come together as one. Each member makes the flame of the Spirit brighter and hotter. Each member is like adding one on the side of God in a tug of war against Satan and his hosts.  But each member not only adds power but multiplies power; because each member adds something to each other member (this something is that which comes from God through the gifts He gives to each of us for the benefit of all.  There are many gifts He has given us but the greatest is the gift of love, 1 Cor. 12 and 13).

The powerful results of united prayer will not only be seen in our prayers (for example, by the way we are able to pray openly together without fear), it will go beyond the prayer group and into the community—and even further. It no doubt will bring an increased awareness of God to many, and may even bring repentance and revival.

4. United prayer brings us closer to God. I think the best thing united prayer does for us is that, as the Spirit draws us together as a family, we discover in a very real way that He is present with us. Moreover, in each expression of prayer, as each one pours out his heart to God, God’s heart is revealed and we feel God’s Spirit embracing us and assuring us of His love. And as each one praises and thanks God, we sense God rejoicing with us and Jesus smiling at us.

 

 

 

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