Three Foundational Principles for Prayer
Prayer is tough for me and I guess it is for you too. Sometimes, I wish there was a "How To Pray" manual available. Then I remember there is -- The Bible! In Matthew 6:5-14 Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount gives us instructions on prayer.
First, Pray in Secret
“But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” vs. 6
Second, Pray with Sincerity
“When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.” vs. 7
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And you shall seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.” Psalm 62:8, “Pour out your hearts to Him.”
“Therefore, you should pray like this…” vs. 9 Is the Model Prayer Jesus give here one of sincerity or systematically? Both! Many people pray this pray by memory and don't even change the words. It is a pattern of prayer verses an actual prayer to say every day.
When you pray with specifics, it might sound like:
“Bless the missionaries”
Let them feel your presence
Explain how and when
Another help for your prayer life is using a Prayer Journal.
Record who, when, and why.
Record God’s revelation
Record God’s answer
Record scriptural insights
Focused prayer requires a lifestyle that allows us to pray unceasingly. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Evangelicals pray less than 5 minutes a day. We rely on ourselves 23 hours and 55 minutes a day. Remember the Bible says in Zechariah 4:6- "not by might or power." Rely on the Spirit to guide you in your prayers.
Spiritual growth is more than a strategy or a ministry. We need to be talking to God about men and women as much as we talk to men and women about God; becoming more faithful in focused prayer.