In the last two parts of “How Bad Do You Want To Be Transformed?” we’ve discussed reading the Word and Prayer in an effort to be transformed.
I thought we’d spend a little more time in prayer. In my next post, I’ll discuss fellowship.
As simple as prayer seems, I’ve often pondered prayer in many different ways. There are a lot of aspects to it. For example, The Lord’s prayer has a lot of components to it. Then there’s individual prayer and corporate prayer. There’s private prayer and what I call “conversational” prayer. Being the analytical type of person that I am, I used to spend much time in thought about all this. Call me crazy. 🙂
Bible Driven Prayer
I’ve always liked the idea of integrating prayer with Bible Reading. I think this is not only very practical but maximizes the reading and is ideal for transformation.
1 Samuel 12: 14 “Now if you fear and worship the Lord and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the Lord’s commands, then both you and your king will show that you recognize the Lord as your God. 15 But if you rebel against the Lord’s commands and refuse to listen to him, then his hand will be as heavy upon you as it was upon your ancestors.
Do you take this personally? I sure do.
“O Lord, help me know what it means to fear you. Help me to listen to your voice so that I might follow your commands. When I start to rebel, please pull me back. Hold me tight, Lord.”
1 “I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look with lust at a young woman.
2 For what has God above chosen for us?
What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high?
3 Isn’t it calamity for the wicked
and misfortune for those who do evil?
4 Doesn’t he see everything I do
and every step I take?
“God, some days lust is a real problem for me. I know that you see all that I do, please help me to focus more on what you desire and not what my flesh wants.”
Revelation 3: 15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
“Lord, may it never be said that I am lukewarm. Please help me to stay passionate for you and never lose my zeal. Thank you for the inspiration that you give me!”
Another great idea is praying the prayers found in the Bible. The Psalms are ideal for this. Psalm 139 for example, is a great prayer to pray, yet too long for this message.
There are plenty of verses that we can look at that are instructional regarding prayer so I thought I’d pick out a few to discuss:
1 Thessalonians 5: 17 Never stop praying.
When we go about our day I think God loves it when we consider Him in all that we do. This might result in these types of prayers:
“Lord, please keep us safe on the freeway today.”
“God, help me as I lift this heavy object.”
“God, give me the words to say as I discuss the terms of the contract today.”
“Thank you, Jesus, or working that problem out for me today!”
And for those of you living with or spending time with “difficult people”, this may be an appropriate prayer:
Luke 23: 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Of all the ways and types of prayer, I believe this is the most important to be diligent at. I think this is where our power comes from.
Jesus modeled this for us, although He was in great demand:
Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
It is in these verses that Jesus gives us basic instructions for private prayer:
Matthew 6 5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!
For me I’ve felt the urge to pray in various places and, if I’m alone, I will get on my knees. Some days, although I desire communion with Him, I don’t have anything specific to say. So I’ll just kneel there, in silence, or I’ll just praise Him. Eventually, I’ll have something to say or to discuss.
Sometimes it’s quick, like when I get out of bed and have a busy day and I need to get going. However, I like to spend an undetermined amount of time, each day, on my knees with Him. To me, this and Bible reading are the best ways for me to “remain” or “abide in Him”.
Last, but not least, I don’t want to leave out what may be the most important type of prayer, which is intercessory prayer. This can mean the difference between life and death.
Read how Samuel understood this responsibility:
1 Samuel 12: 23 “As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right.
Read how God really felt about the golden calf that Aaron created, and how he lived on:
Deuteronomy 9: 20 The Lord was so angry with Aaron that he wanted to destroy him, too. But I prayed for Aaron, and the Lord spared him.
I hope these ideas inspire you in your walk with God. Thank you for taking the time to read this most important message!
Will you join me in prayer?
“God I praise your name! Thank you for the opportunity to write about you and your wonderful ways. You’ve taught me so much and I am excited about what you are doing in me. Please help me to stay on your path. Lead me as I live my life in a way that brings glory to you. In Jesus precious name, amen”