SEEKING A DISCIPLINED PRAYER LIFE4 Minutes To Read

David practiced it three times a day. Elijah demonstrated it throughout his entire life. The King’s edict couldn’t stop Daniel from doing it. Our Lord Jesus practiced it privately and openly. The very first church put it as a primary priority. Paul the apostle used it to ensure that God’s people stay pure and firm in the faith. The final words of the Bible end with it.

Prayer has been something that God has been convicting me of, drawing me deeper into, and cultivating with a new fervor like never before. I mean, sure, yeah what pastor can say he’s a pastor that doesn’t pray? You can’t read Spurgeon, Calvin, Whitfield, Muller, Lloyd-Jones, or the like without hearing of its utmost importance. But me being a pastor doesn’t drive my prayer life. Me being a Christian should drive my prayer life.

I know it’s important, but I find myself living like it’s not.

So, in my pursuit to change my current discipline and through the help of a loving and deep friend, I want to share with you some of the things that I’ve learned and have seen God do through a more devoted, and focused prayer life.

NEVER FORGET WHO YOU ARE TALKING WITH

We have mouths because we are designed to communicate. We have brains because we are designed to think and reason. Those two work in conjunction to form ideas and the expression of them. But then there is a third element: value. We value people based upon who they are and their position in relation to our own. We would talk to the president a little bit differently than we may speak with our spouse. We would speak differently with our parents than we do with our young children. We must remember Who we are speaking with.

The only way I could make this practical is for you to study the attributes of God. Understand who God is. Seek to understand what makes God, God. Things like His immutable attributes, His communicable attributes, His externality…etc. These things will overwhelm you with what you may have never known or thought of before. This will definitely change how you communicate with God and choose, perhaps a little more wisely, the words you use and the substance of your requests.

NEVER FORGET THAT IT IS A DISCIPLINE

I understand that you may already realize that but it needs to be said, regardless. Anything worthwhile is something cultivated. Likewise, prayer is something performed with expectation and discipline. Prayer must become part of who we are; more than just something we do when we are at the table together at Thanksgiving or whisper when we may be in distress. It’s not a last resort “get out of jail” free card, it is a lifestyle. Have you ever thought of why dentist and doctors call their work “practices?” That’s because that’s what they are, continued practices that always have room for improvement and new discovery.

Think of your relationships. What would your kids think if you only spoke to them when they needed correction or discipline but never to encourage them or remind them of something they did that was faithful? Does God only hear from you when you have a perceived need? Does God only hear from you when you’re in distress? Or does He hear you faithfully contending for the lost to be saved by wrestling with Him in prayer? Does He hear you prayerfully claiming the promise of a cleared conscience and dissipated anxiety through the prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving you offer up?

NEVER FORGET THAT HE DESIRES YOU TO PRAY

Sometimes I just don’t feel like it. Sometimes I don’t feel worthy. Many times, I anticipate that when I pray I know that there’s some confessions I must make, and I (sinfully) don’t want to. My pride wants to override the need I have to be forgiven and cleansed from all my unrighteousness. But whatever the urge may be, we must never neglect prayer. We neglect prayer to our own peril.

“and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:21-22 NASB

God desires that we come to Him. He desires for us to walk with Him in Spirit and in truth. He desires that we walk guiltless and blameless. But if we hold on to our sin and refuse to speak with Him, then we will become like Jonah, running from Him and refusing to obey His will and command for us.

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