Saturday, September 19, 2009

Prayer is simple and yet, powerful

Prayer is as simple as a conversation with a loved one. Jesus taught his followers to pray to God in simple terms. He addressed God as Abba, (Mark 14:36) the Aramaic term of endearment for Father. He taught that we should avoid outward displays of false spirituality or repeated words that have no meaning. (Matthew 6:5-7)

My own prayer life is marked by an ongoing conversation with God. These days I listen more than talk. Listening with my whole being for subtle nuances that are answers to prayers. Sometimes God is so clear in His answer that I am compelled to act. At other times I find I must wait a bit longer.

Prayer is powerful. The Bible teaches us that when God was ready to destroy Israel for making and worshipping a golden calf (Ex 32:9-14), Moses intervention moved God to change His mind. Hezekiah’s prayer (2 KI 20: 1-6) led God to spare his life

This power is available to us today. Stories of answered prayer abound. I look back on my life as a string of answered prayers; prayers for healing, for provision, for intervention and more. Urban church development requires constant, specific and diligent prayer.

“You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:2-3 NIV

In the above passage the Bible lists two reasons why people do not receive everything God would give them: First, you don’t ask and second, you ask with the wrong motives.

Scripture offers two prescriptions that help to align priorities:
  1. Persistence - Luke 11:5-9
  2. Agreement - Matthew 18:19
This Sunday I will be preaching on spiritual growth through prayer and will podcast the message on this blog.

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