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The Christian Counter

     
THE ADVENTURE OF PRAYER

If the Holy Spirit is leading you to learn more about prayer, you are about to embark on a wonderful adventure.  Fellowship with God, trust, confidence, peace, and relief – these are wonderful feelings that will be yours as you learn how to pray.

God’s power can change circumstances and relationships.  It can help us face life’s daily struggles.  It can heal psychological and physical problems, meet financial needs, in fact, it can handle any kind of difficulty, dilemma or discouragement.  When we pray, God works.  If you are willing to invite God to involve himself in your daily challenges, you will experience his prevailing power wherever it is most needed.  It may come in the form of wisdom, an idea you desperately need and can’t come up with yourself, it may come in the form of courage greater than you could ever muster. It may come in the form of confidence or perseverance, uncommon staying power, maybe even outright miracles.  However it comes, God’s prevailing power is released in the lives of people who pray.

 

Prayer less people cut themselves off from God’s prevailing power, and the frequent result is the familiar feeling of being overwhelmed, overrun, beaten down, pushed around, defeated.  Prayer is the key to unlocking God’s prevailing power in your life.

 

GOD IS WILLING

 

The following is something to think about.  We are not abandoned; we are God’s adopted sons and daughters, Jesus’ brothers and sisters.  We are in God’s family, and we matter to him.  God is righteous and just, holy and tender, responsive and sympathetic.  God’s Word teaches that God loves to bestow blessings on his children. It’s his nature; it’s who he is, a giving God, a blessing God, an encouraging God, a nurturing God, an empowering God, a loving God.  The Bible teaches that we serve a God who is simply looking for opportunities to pour out his blessings on us.  Just give me a reasonable amount of cooperation, and I will pour out my blessings on you.  All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.

GOD IS ABLE

If you could ask God for one miracle in your life, knowing that he would grant your request, what would you ask him?

To heal your body?

to straighten out your finances?

to bring a loved one to Christ?

Whatever your request might be, do you regularly and diligently, every single day, bring it to God in prayer, trusting that he will intervene in your situation?

Many of us have pressing personal needs and serious problems that ravage our lives, but we don’t believe God has the power to do anything about them.  Nothing is too difficult for God to handle, but he’s waiting for us to recognize his power and ask for his help.  Perhaps if we find our prayers weak it is because our faith is weak.  We must have strong faith, faith is trusting and believing that God does have the power and can answer our prayers.  We must remember that God’s ways and thoughts are not ours.  We are to learn Lord, not my will but your will.  Malachi 3:6  “I the LORD do not change” Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”  The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth He will not grow tired or weary” Isa 40:28 You won’t be able to persevere in prayer until you know in your heart that God is able.

A PRAYER WARRIOR IS:  a person who is convinced that God is omnipotent, that God has the power to do anything, to change anyone and to intervene in any circumstances.  A person who truly believes this refuses to doubt God. 

You can pray about anything:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” Phil 4:6  “You do not have, because you do not ask God:” James 4:2

WAITING FOR YOU TO CALL

God is interested in your prayers because he is interested in you.  Whatever matters to you is a priority for his attention.  Nothing in the universe matters as much to him as what is going on in your life this day.  “Come into my presence,” says God.  “Talk to me.  Share all your concerns.  I’m keenly interested in you, because I’m your Father.  I’m able to help, because all power in heaven and earth is mine.  And I’m listening very closely, hoping to hear your voice.”

JESUS’ PRAYER PRINCIPLES

He taught his disciples how to pray.  See Matt6:5-13

  1. Pray secretly
  2. Pray sincerely
  3. Pray specifically

     We don’t have to ask for Jesus to be with us if we are members of his family as he tells us in Matt 28:20, Heb 13:5 and John 14:18. Instead, we need to pray that we will be aware of his presence.

The following is an example of one man’s prayer:  “Father,” he said, “I love being alive today.  And I love sitting down with brothers in the Hole in the Wall, eating good food and talking about kingdom business.  I know you’re at this table, and I’m glad.  I want to tell you in front of these brothers that I love you, and I’ll do anything for you that you ask me to do.”  Pour out your heart to him. “Talk to him. Say, “Lord, this is how I feel today.  I’ve been thinking about this recently, I’m worried about this. I’m depressed about that. I’m happy about this. “Talk to the Father sincerely.

Praying Specifically

            The following is the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer:  Our Father.  Never forget that if you are God’s child through Jesus Christ, you are praying to a Father who could not love you more than he already does.  Who art in heaven, is a reminder that God is sovereign, majestic and omnipotent.  Nothing is too difficult for him.  He is the mountain mover; he is bigger than any problem you could bring to him. Fix your eyes on his ability, not on your worth. Hallowed be thy name. Don’t let your prayers turn into a wish list for Santa Claus. Worship God and praise him when you come to him in prayer.  Thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Submit your will to God’s.  Put His will first in your life—in your family, money, body and relationships Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Paul wrote, “In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil 4:6) .Lay out all your concerns, whether big or small.  If you need a miracle, ask for it without shrinking back.  Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Be sure you’re not the obstacle: confess your sins, receive forgiveness and begin to grow. Live with a forgiving spirit toward others.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Pry for protection from evil and victory over temptation. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. End your prayer with more worship. Acknowledge that everything in heaven and earth is God’s.  Thank the Lord for caring about you, for making it possible for you to talk to him through prayer Amen.

Make your prayers private, sincere and specific.  Remember that God’s prevailing power is released through prayer. He is interested in you and your needs. He is able to meet any need and he has invited you to pray.

A PATTERN FOR PRAYER:  Remember the word ACTS: Adoration, confession, and thanksgiving. In addition, supplication Start with Adoration. First, adoration sets the tone for the entire prayer   It reminds us whom we are addressing, whose presence we have entered, whose attention we have gained. How often our problems and trials and needs seem so pressing that we reduce prayer to a wish list.  But when we commit ourselves to beginning all our prayers with adoration, we have to slow down and focus our attention on God.

Second, adoration reminds us of God’s identity and inclination. As we list his attributes, lifting up his character and personality, we reinforce our understanding of who he is.  Often the author says he starts his prayer by saying, “I worship you for being omnipotent.” When I say that, I’m reminded that God is able to help me, no matter how difficult my problem seems to me.  I also worship him for his omniscience. No mystery confounds God; he will not have ti scratch his head about anything I say. I worship God for his omnipresence. I know he is present with me wherever I am.  You can praise God for being faithful, righteous, just, merciful, gracious, willing to provide, attentive, unchanging.  Soon you will be saying, “I am praying to a tremendous God!”

Third, adoration purifies the one who is praying when praising God your spirit is softened and your agenda changes. As you focus on God’s greatness, you can truly say, “I am enjoying you, God; it is well with my soul.  Fourth, God is worthy of adoration. It should be hard to get past the “Our Father” in your prayer without falling back in awe at that incredible miracle, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). A God who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent and yet who loves us, watches over us, gives us good gifts—this is amazing! Our heavenly Father is worthy of our worship.  How to Adore God. What better way than to list his attributes.

CONFESSION: Confess each sin specifically. The benefits of Confession: Your conscience will be cleansed. “I’m honest with God. Next, you will be flooded with relief that God has a forgiving nature. Knowing that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Ps 103:12) You will begin to learn the meaning of peace.

TALKING TO A LOVING FATHER

He wants us simply to talk to him as a friend or father, authentically, reverently, personally, earnestly.

A PATTERN FOR PRAYER START WITH ACTS: 1. Adoration 2. Confession

 3. Thanksgiving, 4. Supplication.

Expressing thanks psalm 103 1Thess 5:18

The author of this book says he thanks God for four kinds of blessings 1. Answered prayers, spiritual blessings, relational blessings and material blessings.  Now it is time for supplications – Phil 4:6.  The author says sometimes I wonder if my requests are legitimate. So I’m honest with God. I say, “Lord, I don’t know if I have the right to ask for this.  I don’t know how I should pray about it. But I lift it to you, and you will tell me how to pray, I’ll pray your way. 

Faith comes from looking at God, not at the mountain.  Don’t spend a lot of time describing your mountain to the Lord He knows what it is.  Instead, focus your attention on the mountain mover, his glory, power and faithfulness.  Then start walking in faith.

THE MYSTERY OF UNANSWERED PRAYER the following is a little outline of why sometimes our prayers are unanswered:

  1. If the request is wrong, God says, “no.”
  2. If the timing is wrong, God says, “Slow.”
  3. If you are wrong, God says, “Grow”
  4. But if the request is right, the timing is right, and you are right, God says, Go!”

See Matt 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36, Matt 20:20-23, Mark 10:35-40 for no answer.

Before bringing a request to the Lord, we would do well to ask:  If God granted this request,

  1. Would it bring glory to him?
  2. Would it advance his kingdom?
  3. Would it help people?
  4. Would it help me to grow spiritually?

By forcing us to look closely at our requests, prayer can purify us..  If you have been praying diligently about a matter and have sensed resistance from heaven, I challenge you to review your request.  It may be the problem.  Maybe your request is a cop-out on your part, an unwillingness to face the real issue.  Maybe it is destructive in ways you do not understand.  Maybe it is self-serving, shortsighted or too small.  God may have something better in mind.

We need to remember that, despite the victory that God has achieved over Satan in the ministry and resurrection of Christ, everything is not yet submitted to God.  The enemy is still active.  His years are counted and his end is sure.   But, in the meantime, he still remains the prince of this world, and he opposes the ways of God.  He causes much suffering, and he often seems to have the upper hand.  However, God will have the final say, and he will assert his universal sovereignty in salvation and judgment at Christ’s second coming.  Because of this ultimate victory, Christians have the assurance that those prayers that remained unanswered in this life will receive spectacular vindication in eternity. 

1.  MOUNTAIN MOVING PRAYER:  If we pray with believing, faith-filled hearts. That is the kind of pray that moves mountains.  Faith comes from looking at God, not at the mountain.  Mountain moving faith will be given to us as we step out and follow the Lord’s direction.

PRAYER BUSTERS

            Two major reasons prayers go unanswered: The request may be inappropriate, and the timing may be off. A third reason there may be a problem in the life of the person who is praying. It’s more likely that malfunction in your life is blocking your prayer, even the appropriate, well-timed ones.  The most common cause of unanswered prayer is prayerlessness. James 4:2 say, “You do not have, because you do not ask God.”  Why isn’t God answering your prayer?  Because you haven’t yet prayed purposefully, fervently or expectantly. When was the last time you prayed diligently over a period of time for someone to come to know Christ? – For peace in the war-torn parts of our world? For God to bring an end to sin? For food and healing to the people who live in dire poverty? For abused animals and children? For the second coming of Jesus?  That we will be ready to meet him?  Also, unconfused sin cuts off our communication with the Father.  Isa 59:2.  Another prayer buster is unresolved relational conflict. Most of us grossly underestimate God is to building and maintaining a loving community, a family. He adopts us into his family, and he wants us to carry our relationship with him into our relationships with others.  If we do good to our brothers and sisters, it is like doing good to Jesus himself (Matt 25:31-46) Since God has forgiven us, we should forgive others (Eph 4:32, Col 3:13) Prayer buster four – selfishness James 4:3 says you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives.  Selfishness in the heart is a very common barrier between the Christian and God.  Prayer buster five uncaring attitudes. Proverbs 21:13 God is able, He is omnipotent.  If your prayers have clouds of doubt hanging over them, they won’t get anywhere.

God says, “Go!”  If the truth were known, often you and I are the only obstacles standing in the way of us receiving a desperately needed miracle.  Our requests may be right. The timing may not be a problem, But when our lives are wrong God days, “Before I grant your request, I want you to grow. Put that sin away. Change your attitude. Stop that practice, end that pattern, get off that merry-go-round, reconcile that relationship, soften up your spirit, repent, receive forgiveness, Grow—and I’ll throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Mal 3: 10 When our request is right, when the timing is right and when the person is right, God says, Go!”








































































































     
   
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