“Lord, teach us to pray” – Luke 11:1
If you are unfamiliar with prayer you are missing out on the greatest source of power known to man. You nurture your physical health with much fervor but you half-heartedly care for your spiritual health. We go week after week without prayer. You don’t sing God’s praises; you let the worship team do it for you. You attend small group but never offer input.
You are a stranger to the great privilege that is offered to us. Some of the greatest blessings that people enjoy come from prayer. In earnest prayer you become one with the Lord, and humble yourself to Him.
Why pray? Doesn’t the Lord know everything already? Yes, He does. He knows everything. He has known it before we were even born. But that doesn’t relieve us of the duty of prayer. We must do the work that God has commanded.
Some may say: “But I don’t get what I pray for.” Everything has a cause. Address the cause and you’ll be all right. If you go to a doctor, he doesn’t really treat the symptoms, but looks at what produced the symptoms.
Matthew wrote, “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you”.
If your prayers are not answered you may not be right with God. If don’t have faith, if your motive is wrong, your prayers will be in vain. Many times when people pray they are selfish. They are not really embracing the word.
When you stand before God praying, you must have forgiven all who have wronged you. How can you pray if you have a mean, miserable disposition, are grouchy, or if you have had quarrel at home or with your neighbors? It’s no use to pray for a blessing when you are having a fight with your neighbors.
You go to a meeting to make plans for a church fundraiser, but instead you sit and gossip and talk about people behind their backs. The spirit of God flees from this kind of strife and discord.
Let us take a few examples from the life of Christ. In Mark we learn that he often awoke early in the morning and went to a solitary place and prayed. He began every day with prayer. You never get up without dressing. You never forget to wash your face and comb your hair. You always think of breakfast. You feed your physical body. Why do you starve your spiritual body by forgetting to pray?
Matthew tells us when Jesus had sent the multitudes away he went up into the mountain and was there alone with God. Jesus asked Him to help Him feed the multitude, and he didn’t neglect to thank Him for it. Next time you pray don’t ask God for anything. Just try to think of all the things you have to be thankful for, and tell Him about them.
Pride keeps us from proper prayer. Being proud is responsible for more failures than anything else in this world. It has spoiled many a minister, just as it has spoiled many an employee. Some people get a job and in about two weeks they think they know more about the business than their boss does. They think he is all wrong. It never occurs to them that it took some brains and some knowledge to build that business and keep it running until they got there.
Every man who has helped to light up the dark places of this world has been a praying man. It doesn’t matter whether you read your prayers out of a book or whether you just say them, so long as you mean them. A man can read his prayers and go to heaven, or he may just say his prayers and go to hell. We’ve got to face the reason and manner the prayers were delivered.
Some people pray when they get into trouble, when their backs are up against the wall, but when they start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is “Good-bye, God; See you later.” They will make promises to God in their need, but forget them in their prosperity. They will make promises when lying on their backs, thinking they are going to die, and forget those promises when they are back on their feet.
Every man and woman that God has used to turn this world Godward has been a Christian of prayer.
Martin Luther prayed all night, and morning came he called his wife and said to her, “It has come.” On that very day King Charles granted religious toleration, a thing for which Luther had prayed.
John Knox, whom Queen Mary feared, was so deep in prayer that he ran out into the street, fell on his face and cried, “O God, give me Scotland or I’ll die.” And God gave him Scotland and then, he threw England in for good measure.
Benjamin Franklin, at the age of 80, asked that the Constitutional Convention open with prayer, and George Washington therefore sealed the bargain with God. That winter in Valley Forge, Washington led his men in prayer got down on his knees to do it.
When the battle of Gettysburg was on, Abe Lincoln, was on his knees with God; he was on his knees from five o’clock in the afternoon till four o’clock in the morning, and Bishop Simpson was with him.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” – John 14:13
No man can ever be saved without Jesus Christ. There’s no way to God unless you come through Jesus Christ. It’s Jesus Christ or nothing.