Prevailing in Prayer(Pt.1)

PERSONAL PRAYER

“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation”(Psalm 5:3 NIV).

“Why do you pray?” someone may ask me. My answer is “I Need To Pray!” In the end, the prayers that I pray are not as important in that they change things, but that when I pray…I am changed. Does prayer really matter? This is an important question.

For many people prayer is something the religious do. By that we mean, if someone prays it suggests that they are a “religious” person. If we mean that only religious people pray, that is not necessarily accurate. Many who consider themselves non-religious pray. Equally true is the reality that many people who consider themselves religious do Not pray.

There is something built into the average person that longs to be in touch with the divine. The spirit within men and women yearns to be in contact or communion, in some way, with that which is God. To them, God is a person, or a supernatural power outside, or a force greater than themselves. This is a typical, universal urge or inquisitive desire that (unless suppressed by others or circumstances) is natural.

Early Biblical History

In reading the early record of the scriptures, we see that the original intent of God the Creator, as revealed within Himself, is that He desired fellowship. He created man and woman to relate to Him in loving, unbroken communion. This communion was first expressed in community, a union with the heart and mind of God, thereby giving expression to God’s heart, mind and will in the earth. In other words, although we do not find the word “prayer” mentioned…it certainly is implied.

Hearing, receiving and responding to God, Who is Spirit, was both encouraged and experienced.

Again, for many people, prayer is nothing more than a One-Way street sign. Even if they did believe in prayer, for them, it would be like driving down a street one way with no expectation of meeting any vehicles coming from the opposite direction. They talk to God without any expectation that they will be heard or communicated with. And yet what makes prayer both a necessity and worthwhile is that God invites personal conversation with Him. He longs to respond to our thoughts, desires and needs.

A Priority for Personal Prayer

I would place this definition as a priority for our understanding of personal prayer: “Personal prayer is a longing and the pursuit of communicating, knowing and experiencing fellowship with God.”

The psalmist expresses it this way: “Thou will make known to me the path of life. In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

We are given insight into what the psalmist understands about prayer:

First, prayer means to come into God’s presence. Prayer positions us before God’s presence. We must understand that God is not far from anyone who has a heart to know, love and serve Him. His presence is not only all around us, but He is present to all those who call on Him in faith.

Second, prayer is meant to be a Joyful experience! This is not a drab or dull affair with God. It is not “I’m hating this, but I know I need to pray” attitude. Rather, prayer is a desire, connecting me with my heavenly Father who knows my every longing and loves to have my company. In prayer, I find that, as someone has said, “God is easy to get along with”.

Third, there are true rewards and benefits in prayer. Apart from getting to know God through prayer, the Bible is full of the promises of God for His children. But we have to make those promises our own, claiming through prayer our heavenly inheritance as a child of God. Our Lord Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you”(Matthew 7:7).

God is neither senile nor forgetful, sitting in the sky trying to remember His promises. He is full of joy and anticipation that His child will bring Him glory by asking for those things He has provided. He rejoices in giving us those things that we require, just as any parent finds satisfaction in knowing that they are able to fulfill the need and desire of their child. Let’s remember that everything that God does for us is motivated by His love.

Copyright© Walter Fletcher Jr., 2010. Permission is granted to reproduce this article free of charge, provided that it is not altered in its original form and content.  Please direct all correspondence to walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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