What can I do for God? Part 1

by S. Bruckeridge

 

Pray

 

What is it?

There are different things that we can do in prayer and they should normally be in the following order.

·                     Praise: Thank God for His greatness (many of the prayers in the Bible start this way, e.g., 1 Kings. 8. 23; Isa. 37.16)

·                     Repentance: confess known sin and shortcomings (Psalm. 66.18)

·                     Appreciation: give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy (1 Thessalonians. 5.18) and for answered prayer

·                     Yielding: the genuine surrender of our own will, including how and when God will answer

·                     Everybody else: pray for others - the lost, those in authority, those that are sick or persecuted, fellow-saints (1 Timothy. 2. 1-4; Philemon. 1. 4; Hebrews 13. 3)

·                     Requests for ourselves: these should be in accordance with His will (John 16. 23, 24; Colossians. 3.17)

 

Why do it?

·                     It is a direct divine command, Luke 11. 9

·                     The Lord Jesus is our great example (e.g., John chapter 17)

·                     Great spiritual characters have been characterized by prayer

·                     We should want to spend time speaking with our greatest friend

·                     Prayer is an expression of faith, and thereby honours God

·                     Because even when words are difficult, the Lord understands, Romans 8. 26

 

 

How to do it?

·                     Privately: Find somewhere quiet, away from distractions. Matthew chapter 6 verse 6 includes being away from our computer, mobile phone, etc!

·                     Regularly: At ‘routine’ times, set aside in a disciplined way for that purpose (e.g., Daniel) such as morning/evening, mealtimes

·                     Always: use ‘free moments’ to pray about whatever you are doing (1 Thessalonians. 5. 17)

·                     Yourself: use your own words not those in books, or what you think others would expect you to say

·                     Earnestly: Jas. 5.17

·                     Repeatedly: persistent without empty repetition, Luke 11. 9  

 

Practical advice

·                     A notebook can list things to pray about and record how God answered

·                     Stay awake! Kneeling is good for reverence or standing if necessary, Matt. 26. 41

·                     Praying out loud may help you when praying but if doing this be aware that Matthew chapter 6 verse 6 teaches that you are praying to your Father in secret and that this matter is to be behind closed doors and between you and God

·                     The Lord reads our heart – sincerity and purity matter more than oratory, Luke 18. 9-14