Get your prayer life in order | Faith

by | June 10, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: June 6, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Just as we do other things on a routine basis, we need to have a routinely established prayer life. However, going through the motions of praying, just to say that you prayed, is not beneficial.
According to James 5:16 (KJV), “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” This verse of scripture tells the Christian that three things must occur before our prayers will be heard and answered. First, they must be effectual (genuine). Secondly, they must be fervent (with power, energy, and life, not cold and lukewarm). Lastly, you must be a righteous man/woman (one who is gracious, sincere, and upright in the righteousness of Christ Jesus).
The question is, then, “Do you have a prayer life”? Let me share a synopsis of my prayer life with you, hoping it will bless someone.
Every morning when I awaken, I speak to God first, telling Him, “Thank You, God, for another day”! If it had not been for the Lord, where would I be, what would I do, and how would I even be able to function from day to day? So it is no more than fitting and proper that I address Him first in the mornings, giving Him thanks. Then quickly, as my morning begins to progress, I make my supplications known to Him and give Him the praise that He most definitely deserves. When I make God aware of these needs, I always consider my family and others first.
Before I end my morning prayer, I always ask God to help me be a blessing to someone so that I can be a blessing to Him. When I arrive at work and park, I always turn to Him and say, “Thank God I made it.”
As my day moves on, there are thoughts that come across my mind and/or things that come about that sometimes need God’s grace and mercy, so I continue in prayer whenever and wherever I can, for the word says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV), “Pray without ceasing.” I thank God again after work for allowing me to make it through the day. I think of the fact that some leave home for work and never return. I pray before my meals and when facing, especially important, decisions. Then my prayer life continues through the evening and the night until I go to bed. Sometimes, as I walk around the house doing chores, etc., I continue praying.
When I stand before an audience to speak or preach, I ask God to help me deliver the message to glorify Him, not man or me. I seek God to help me decrease, so that He can increase. At the close of the message, I thank Him for guiding me through it and hope that it encouraged or inspired somebody. I seek His guidance when I write this weekly column because I cannot do it without Him.
Further, in my prayer life, I solicit the prayers of sincere warriors. We can’t be everywhere and see everything, so we need others to bear our burdens as well, as it states in Galatians 6:2 (KJV), “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Is my prayer life perfect? No, neither is yours. However, it is better to have one that needs a little work on it every now and then, than not to have one at all. There is an adage that says, “Seven days without prayer makes one weak,” (no pun intended). This is so true!
As we establish, examine, or re-examine our prayer lives, let’s think on the meaning of this anecdote, “The Five-Finger Prayer.” Read, study, enjoy, and share!
“Use Your Fingers When You Pray.”
n “Thumb (people who are close to you) Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C.S. Lewis [author] once said, a ‘sweet duty.’
n “Pointer (people who point the way) The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.
n “Tall Finger (people in authority) The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God’s guidance.”
n “Ring Finger (people who are weak) The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.
n “Little Finger (your own needs) And lastly comes our little finger; the smallest finger of all, which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, “The least shall be the greatest among you.” Your pinky should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective, and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!

(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at abrightcolumn@lowcountry.com)

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