Is It In Your Heart To Pray?
Prayer is both a great blessing and a great responsibility for the child of God. It is in the heart of God’s people to pray. “...Therefore Your servant has found it in his heart to pray this prayer to You.” (2 Samuel 7:27) Children of God pray for His strength, wisdom, protection and His presence. God desires the urgent, persistent and expectant prayers of His children. Is it in your heart to pray?
Christians pray urgently. “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and he will answer from within and say, 'Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you'? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:5-9) Today prayer has lost its urgency; praying and fasting is out and playing and feasting is in. The urgency of prayer is seen as Paul writes, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication...” (Ephesians 6:18)
Christians pray persistently. “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Christians should continue to ask, seek and knock. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Christians who really pray persistently will be blessed.
Christians pray expectantly. Prayer should be prayed in faith. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8) When you pray expect an answer and be ready to thank God for that answer.
Only the child of God can pray “Our Father in heaven...” (Matthew 6:9) Do you want to be able to pray -- then be a humble Christian? To begin your Christian life hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27) After being washed in the blood of Jesus at baptism be among those who pray urgent, persistent and expectant prayers.
THE PRAYER LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN
Why do Christians pray? Prayer is acceptable only when it comes from the heart. “...Therefore Your servant has found it in his heart to pray this prayer to You.” (2 Samuel 7:27) There is a common need shared by most Christians -- more prayer! Even one praying person can make a tremendous difference. “...The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:16-18) Have you ever asked -- why do Christians pray?
Christians pray because they are obedient to God. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.” (1 Timothy 2:1) God commands prayer. Those who walk in His way will “pray without ceasing.”
Christians pray because they have faith. Abraham was a great example of strong faith. (Romans 4:20) Strong faith leads to strong prayer. Weak faith produces weak prayers. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)
Christians pray because they are compassionate. Concern for others causes Christians to pray for laborers in the harvest. “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’” (Matthew 9:36-38) Compassion and prayer are yoked together.
Christians pray because they are humble. Humility always goes before acceptable prayer. “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) Pride is sickening to God. “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord...” (Proverbs 16:5)
Christians pray because they are steadfast. The steadfast pray and those who truly pray remain steadfast. It would be impossible to find a single person who is steadfast to God who does not pray urgent, persistent and expectant prayers. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)
Christians pray because they need forgiveness. Christians recognize their imperfections and plead for God’s forgiveness. Christians must share the attitude of David, “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2)
Christians pray because they are grateful. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 92:1) Christians will never take their blessings for granted. Gratitude to God will be expressed often.
All should recognize the value of prayer as it contributes to our relationship with God. The faithful pray! But, only those who are faithful can expect God to be pleased with their prayers. “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” (Proverbs 28:9) To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 17:17), believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of sins (Acts 2:38), confess Jesus (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (I Peter 3:21). Once you become a Christian -- pray!
- - - - Charles Box