Have you ever searched frantically for lost eyeglasses or a set of keys, only to find that all the time you were hunting, the missing item was right close by? As Christians, it may be that we have experienced a parallel in our spiritual lives when it comes to living a fuller and more fruitful Christian life. We may have searched earnestly in many directions for the abundant life, only to realise later that the answer was right there all the time. Many overlook the answer because it is so basic. It is simply using the prayer of faith. Prayer is the key element of the powerful Christian life, it is especially important that we be a good example in our prayer lives.
- The term “prayer warrior” is one we often hear used among Christians. The word warrior implies “battle,” and experience proves that prevailing in prayer is certainly a battle at times. The Bible speaks much about being persistent in prayer. God honours determination in seeking His blessing. The Lord delights to answer the prayers of people who make sure the blessing they seek is the will of God, and then present their petition with purpose, enthusiasm, and perseverance. God answers prayers prayed in this way! Look up the following Scriptures and note what type of prayer was prayed in each of these examples.
1 Kings 18:22-39
- New Christians often look to mature believers as a pattern and a support for their own growing spiritual maturity. Is your prayer life such that others look to you for prayer? Many of us can remember someone we considered to be a prayer warrior. It may have been an older minister, an elderly saint who possibly never said much in a public service, or our own parents. If you were not raised in a Christian home, it may have been a godly grandparent, or an aunt or uncle. What impression did this leave with you?
- Anna, the prophetess, was one who made special effort in regard to her prayer life. We read in Luke 2:37 that she “departed not from the temple [the place of prayer], but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” No doubt there were other duties with which Anna could have occupied her time, but she chose to spend much of her time in prayer. What specific steps can you take to make sure that prayer is a top priority in your life?
- It is natural, to a degree, to be concerned with our own family, friends, and activities. However, Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Philippians 2:4). In turning our eyes to the needs of others, many times we can see how blessed we really are. If we importune before God for the needs and concerns of others and thank Him for our blessings, many times our spirits will be refreshed and our own concerns diminished. James admonishes us to “Pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (James 5:16). If we follow this admonition, what effect will it have when we feel inclined to indulge in spending an undue amount of time focused on our own concerns?
- When is a good time to pray? Paul wrote, “Praying always” (Ephesians 6:18); “Continue in prayer” (Colossians 4:2); “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians
5: 17). At a very advanced age, Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed … as he did afore- time” (Daniel 6:10). Though we cannot always be on our knees, we can be in an attitude of prayer. Where is a good place to pray? Jesus said, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet and … pray to thy Father” (Matthew 6:6). But Jesus also said, “My house shall be called the house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13). Peter and John “went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer” (Acts 3:1). We can see from this that we are to pray at home, and we are to pray at church, or wherever we may be. Besides praying often, and praying wherever we are, what are some other characteristics of a well-balanced, consistent prayer life?
- A veteran minister once said that when he went to prayer he never asked God for anything until he first thanked Him for His wonderful plan of salvation. Certainly thanksgiving is a primary aspect of effective prayer. The psalms are the primary source of praise in the Scriptures. David prayed many times to the Lord for deliverance, but many other times he gave Him praise and thanks for His blessings. See Psalms 146 through 150. Moses, Deborah, Daniel, Mary, and Zacharias were among other Biblical examples of men and women who praised God’s character and intervention on their behalf. What are some steps we could take to be sure that true and heartfelt praise is a part of our prayer life?
- A true burden for lost souls cannot come until we truly realise the hatred God has for sin, and the consequences His justice demands as a penalty for sins that are not repented of. Moses had a great burden for his people who had sinned (Exodus 32:30-32). Paul had a similar burden (Romans 9:2-3). Both would have given up their salvation if this could have saved their lost loved ones, but only Jesus’ Blood can do that. Can you look into your prayer life and find this kind of burden? What is the major hindrance to this type of prayer?
- We live in a fast-paced society, but as Christians in today’s world, we must find times of rest in the Spirit and quietness. In these times we can turn our thoughts to contemplation of God and His mighty power. We are commanded to meditate in God’s Word day and night if we are to be prosperous, successful Christians (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2). Meditation is deep reflection, giving serious thought to things that are spiritual, and is a necessary ingredient of our prayer lives. What are some good ways we can be sure to incorporate times of meditation into our worship?
Scriptures used in this session:
1 Kings 18:22-39;
Psalms 1:2; 146-150;
Matthew 6:6; 21:13;
Mark 5:1-20; 7:25-30;
Luke 2:37; 11:5-8;
1 Thessalonians 5:17;
1 Samuel 30:24;
Acts 16:25, 26, 34;
Suggested verse for memorisation:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. – James 5:16