May 6, 2015

Read: John 14:13-14

Have you prayed today?  I will admit that there have been far too many times in my life when the honest answer to that question would be, “no.”  After attending the most recent prayer service, I committed to take a closer look at what scripture says about prayer.
 
There are numerous verses encouraging us to pray.  I’ll list a few from the New Testament, but there are many others. Matthew 7:7, 21:22, Mark 11:24, Luke 11:13, John 14:13-14, Romans 10:12, 1 John 5:14-15.  These verses not only urge us to pray, but also provide hope as God promises to listen and respond to our prayers. 
 
I was reminded while reviewing a sermon outline online that, while God most certainly promises to answer our prayers, we must also recognize there are other biblical principles that impact the effectiveness of our prayers.  We must have a firm faith in God and believe He is sufficient to provide what we ask for (Hebrews 11:6, James 1:5-7). We must search our hearts and confess any unconfessed sin in our lives (Psalms 66:18, Isaiah 59:2).  We must be living for the Lord, listening for His word, and seeking His will for our lives (Proverbs 28:9, 1 John 3:19-24, John 9:31). 
 
One of my favorite verses shared at our recent prayer service is “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)  My hope and prayer is that each individual in our church will commit to pray biblically, and with great faith, for our staff, our church, the lost, our nation, and the world.

Pray: 

Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship.  

Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.  

Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness.  

Supplication: Petition God for spiritual insight and understanding of His Word.  Ask Him to help you know what is His direction and purpose for your life.  Intercede for other believers, personal friends, those in ministry and those who are oppressed and in need. Offer prayers for your activities for this day and any special concerns you might have.