Prayer is not merely a religious activity. It is a spiritual necessity! What can be said about prayer? Plenty.

Prayer is a means of communicating with God that we may have a relationship with God. In prayer we worship and praise God. We give thanks to God through prayer. We ask of God not only for our needs but for the needs of others, in accordance to God’s will. We pray as a means of confessing our sin and expressing our faith. All of these are valid and biblical functions of prayer. Daily time spent in prayer is time well spent. The old cliché “I don’t have time to pray” really does not wash here. We all have close friends and/or a spouse that we enjoy spending time with because we love them. Do we love God? We say we do but how much time are we willing to carve out of our day to spend with Him in prayer? There are “Christians” who spend three to four hours two or three times a week watching sporting events cheering for their favorite teams and yet they “don’t have the time” to pray?

Okay, before I get too deep into this let me say that it is not my intention to condemn anyone, be judgmental or legalistic. I am merely pointing out some observations. I was once guilty myself so I can throw no stones. Certainly, I do not see anything wrong with watching a sporting event. However, the question that lingers in my mind is, “What would happen if all Christians got as excited about being in God’s presence as they do at attending or watching a sporting event?”

It is here in the Prayer section of “Daily Living” that I will share my personal experiences and the truths that I have learned in regards to prayer. Here I will explore the intricacies of prayer in a biblical sense. All too often prayer is approached as a “God, give me…” or “God fix this the way I want it fixed.” proposition. There is something curious about these requests. These types of requests are all about “me” or the person who is praying. Seldom is there any worship or praise involved before making these requests. These types of requests are about what “we” want. Well, what about what God wants? How often are God’s plans or God’s will considered? How do we feel when our prayers are not answered in what we would consider a timely manner? Is God listening? Is there truly a God?

Yes, there truly is a God and yes, He is listening. But there are a few things that we must consider when we go to the Lord in prayer. What are our motives when we go to the Lord in prayer? Is it our own edification and self centered desires that motivates us to pray? Or, is it that God is honored and glorified in our prayer? Do we exhibit a true desire that God is lifted up above all else and that His name is honored and praised? Are our prayers in accordance to God’s will? Do we pray for discernment to discover God’s will in our lives? Do we allow the Holy Spirit to assist us in our prayers or do we merely fire from the hip? Finally, are we living the life of obedience or have we turned from the faith and living constant sinful lives (knowingly) and still asking God to “give me…” or to “fix this the way I want it fixed.”?  God will not hear the prayers of the wicked or those acting wickedly.

There is much to learn about prayer and thankfully God has given us much instruction in His Holy Word, the Bible, in regards to prayer. In the following weeks we will explore these instructions and more in great detail, taking the time to break everything down into simplest terms.  Until then, consider your motives when you pray. Does God come first in your prayers or do you come first? See how many Scriptures you can identify regarding prayer and instruction about prayer.

God Bless!
In His Grip,
Lonnie Richardson

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Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

American Standard Version (ASV)
Public Domain (Why are modern Bible translations copyrighted?)

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

Living Bible (TLB)
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Passion Translation (TPT)
The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
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