Prayer 101 - The Teachings of Christ Jesus

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Prayer 101                                                                         61114
Prayer, while filled with God’s Holy Spirit facilitates direct communication, through Christ Jesus, from man to God.  I have so often thought it odd that God knows our needs before we pray (cf. Matt. 6:8) and yet I would still pray as if it were all new news to God.  Owing to growing spiritual maturity I came to realize that through prayer we bring praises and petitions to our merciful God, and can be assured that through praying in faith believing, God will hear and answer our prayers (cf. Phil. 4:6).  The NKJV Bible states in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made to God…”.  In other words…even though God knows our needs before we pray He still wants to talk with us and we still need to take the time to praise God for all our blessings!
Prayer is a sacred experience.  Too often, and I have been guilty of this also, we just rattle off some standard prayer memorized for when we are in a hurry or just before falling asleep.  What a HUGE insult to God!  What a waste of the perfect opportunity to draw close to God and communicate with Him!  It is rare today to find individuals that will humble themselves for any purpose.  We forget that God is to be held in the greatest esteem.  He is to be approached in the highest forms of reverence and reverence for the Lord must come from the heart.
 Since the time before Lord Jesus walked the face of the earth, adults and children practiced certain form and posture in prayer.  Christ Jesus set the example for us by falling to His knees when praying.  After the Lord’s Supper He went to the Mount of Olives, “And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed” (Luke 22:41, NKJV).  In the book of Exodus one reads, “So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped” (Ex. 4:31, NKJV).  Matthew 6:5 affirms, “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites (pretenders).  For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of streets, that they may be seen by men.  Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward” (NKJV).  Matthew 6:6 asserts when we pray we are to “go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (NKJV).  Closing one’s eyes during prayer symbolizes – going into your room, and shutting the door.  By closing our eyes we shut the door to earthly distractions and place our trust in God.
In my humble opinion far too many individuals believe they can pray in any way that seems right in their own eyes. People seem to pick and choose what religious tenets they wish to believe and practice.  Then what isn’t comfortable or convenient to them they reject or simply ignore and discard.  One is reminded that, “professing to be wise, they became fools… who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature [creation] rather than the Creator” (cf. Romans 1:21-25, NKJV).  There is no limit to the mercy and goodness God will show to every person who seeks Him wholeheartedly (cf. Jeremiah 29:12-13).  Yes you should still open your Bible and check that paraphrase out but allow me to quote you the two verses directly from the NKJV.  “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”  It doesn’t get any clearer than that!  Let me explain to you again though…there is a proper way to pray and you will find the information throughout your Bible as you study to increase in spiritual maturity.
Spontaneous prayers, conversations, as well as disciplined patterns of prayer are essential characteristics of maintaining any possible communication with God.  God is always with us and always wants to communicate with us.  Spontaneous prayers, conversations, throughout the day not only energize us but please God!  Praise God constantly…He deserves our praise and we need help in remaining humble throughout our day.  If it isn’t possible (feasible) to kneel, we can still close our eyes, clear our minds (as best we can), extend our hands upward, and pray to God, through Christ Jesus.  Have you got a minute to tweet, Facebook, or check your email?  You have time to praise God, your Heavenly Father that created everything and makes everything (including your heartbeat) possible!
Okay!  It all sounds good and seems doable right?  Take a minute right now and try this.  Get on your knees, close your eyes, and extend your hands upward.  For those that have never done this to pray…it is VERY strange and odd thoughts will flood your mind until you are able to come to grips with – humbling yourself and posturing yourself in complete submission to God’s will.  By humbling yourself you will discover that humility will allow grace to fill your heart and at that point – and only at that point will you find that you can truly reach God in prayer.  Always remember that perhaps the most important attitude of prayer is to sincerely accept, and remember that you are to praise and petition God…you need not say God’s will to be done – that is going to happen anyway! We may, however, pray for His mercy and grace to accept whatever His will may be.  This requires true humility and trust.  It is my understanding and belief that as we are learning or struggling to pray, “…the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us” (cf. Rom. 8:26).  Praise God!
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