“A group of seminary students gathered in the chapel one day as the dean challenged them to NOT pray for a large church because of the stress, problems and worries that go with it. The next year one of the students who graduated returned to give his testimony. He said, “I did ask God for a big church; however, I also asked God for a pretty wife. My prayer was ALMOST answered. Instead of getting a big church and a pretty wife, I got a pretty church and a big wife!” (Pastoral Care Inc.).
All jokes aside, be careful how you pray, for prayer is a very serious matter. Do you know how to make your requests known to God? In other words, do you know how to pray? Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV) affirms, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” When you make your requests known to the Lord, properly address Him, humbly and earnestly petition Him, and express gratitude. Be specific in your prayers. Further, always thank God in advance for what He is going to do. Another point about prayer: the Scripture does not say how long or short your prayers should be, but it does prescribe frequent prayer; I Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV) says, “Pray without ceasing.” A hint to the wise: when praying in public, remember to pray, not perform for earthly praise. Matthew 6:5 (ESV) affirms this point, “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” If you are struggling with how to pray, study The Lord’s Prayer, for it is the model prayer. Further, there are many different types of prayer, but here are seven of the most prevalent ones. There is a Scripture for each one that demonstrates that type of prayer: Prayer of Worship (Revelation 4:11), Prayer of Thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4), Prayer of Faith (James 5:13-16), Prayer of Intercession (Daniel 9:1-27), Corporate (Group) Prayer (Acts 12:5-18), Prayer of Consecration (Matthew 26:26-27), and Prayer of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-27). Prayer helps to strengthen your relationship with God. Just reach out to Him, and he will walk with you on your prayer journey. I leave you with the words of the late Samuel Chadwick, a Wesleyan Methodist minister, about prayer: “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” Always abound in the faith, and never leave home without Him!
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