Posts Tagged ‘Prayer


So You Can Pray

As followers of Jesus, we need to remember that Jesus will return someday and it could be soon. Peter told his readers that the end was coming. Since Jesus was coming back, they needed to be sober minded and alert. Peter wrote:

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. – 1 Peter 4:7 (NIV)

We have to be aware and alert of what is going on around us so that we can pray. We cannot be given over to drunkenness or substances that will dull our senses. We need to have sober minds. We need to be alert to the schemes and activities of the enemy. He is still seeking to destroy the church. We need to be watchful and faithful in prayer. Prayer offered in faith can move mountains. Don’t ever give up on prayer! If you’re not praying, start! If you are praying, keep praying. God hears and answers our prayers according to His will. Be sober minded so you can understand and discern His will better. After you have prayed, pray some more because after all, the end is near.

According To His Will

Do you believe that God hears your prayers and will answer them? Do you trust that your Heavenly Father is listening when you call out to Him? John writes:

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. – 1 John 5:14-15 (NIV)

The key to seeing God answer our prayers is to pray according to His will. Sometimes we wonder why God isn’t answering our prayers. He IS answering them. Sometimes the answer is, “No” or “Wait.” When we pray selfish prayers, the answer may be, “No.” When we pray according to our will, the answer is, “No” if our will is not aligned with the will of God. “No” does not mean that God does not love you. It means that you need to shift your priorities and your expectations. Pray that God will answer your prayers according to His will and know that the God who loves you and who will always do what is best will answer your prayers.

It’s Not So Complicated

What if being a Christian isn’t as hard as we make it? What if it is less complicated than we think it is? Listen to what John says:

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. – 1 John 3:21-23 (NIV)

John boils it all down to faith and love. That’s it! Believe in Jesus and love one another. If we do these things, then we can approach God in confidence knowing that He has forgiven us and welcomes us into His presence. Not only that, but He will answer the prayers we pray according to His perfect will. Faith and love, my friends, are all you really need. Don’t let anyone complicate being a follower of Jesus more than is necessary. Believe in Jesus and love people and you’ll be on the right track.

God Hears Our Prayers

You don’t have to be a spiritual superhero for God to hear your prayers. You need a simple faith in Him and His power and you need to pray according to His will. James gives this example from the Old Testament:

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. – James 5:17-18 (NIV)

Elijah was an Old Testament prophet who was concerned about how the king of Israel, Ahab, had turned God’s people away from the Lord in order to worship the false god, Baal. So Elijah prayed that there would be a drought in the land and there was for over three years. Elijah was an ordinary man who believed in the power of God and he prayed for God’s will to be done. James is telling us that the Lord can and will do amazing things if we simply believe in Him and His mighty power and if we humble ourselves before the Lord. Pray in humility and faith and watch God do the impossible.

Prayers And Confession

Good Thursday morning to you! We need to pray faith-filled prayers. Too often we doubt the Lord when it comes to our prayers. James says:

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:15-16 (NIV)

We also need to confess our sins to one another in order to hold each other accountable. I think that we’re afraid of confession because we’re afraid of judgment and condemnation. If we’ll love each other as we love ourselves, we won’t judge each other. Instead, we will encourage each other and help each other overcome sins and struggles in order to live lives of righteousness. Our prayers will be more effective and we’ll see God’s power unleashed in our lives to an even greater degree.

The Role Of Elders

James says that if we are in trouble, we should pray. He also said that if we are happy, we should praise the Lord. Then, he says that if we are sick, we should reach out to the elders of the church for prayer.

Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. – James 5:14 (NIV)

This is a practice that has fallen by the wayside. It raises several questions in my mind. Are the elders in our churches too busy? Do they feel inadequate? Do we just forget to call them? When should we call them? For a common cold or for something like cancer? I think that the principle in mind here is that the elders in our churches should be available and aware. They need to care for the sheep in their flocks and be involved in their lives. It’s a very tough job and people need to be understanding when it comes to the elders in their church. Elders also need to be ready and willing to pray for their flock when called upon to do so.

Praying And Singing

As we go travel along our journey of faith, we are going to have both times of trouble and times of joy and happiness. James tells us what to do in either situation. He writes:
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. – James 5:13 (NIV)
How often do we fail to pray to God when we are in trouble? How often do we fail to sing songs of praise to our Heavenly Father when things are going well? We must not forget God! When we’re in trouble, we think that we have to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and do it ourselves. Or when things are going well, we’re quick to pat ourselves on the back thinking we’ve done something great to deserve such blessings. This should not be the case. We need to pray to God when life is hard and we need to praise God when things are going well. He is the One who can get us through the difficult days and He is the One who blesses us with joy and happiness. May your day be free from trouble and full of happy moments. Blessings to you!

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