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THE WAY OF PRAYER

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
How is your prayer life?


Into Thy Word -

THE WAY OF PRAYER


How is your prayer life?

            Is prayer your first response in all encounters, issues and thoughts you have in your life? If not, we need to examine why not? Have you ever thought through what keeps you from spending more time with God? What holds you back in your prayer, time and commitment with our Lord Jesus Christ?

Most of us Christians do not have the prayer life as we should! My experiences as a pastor is most of my colleagues do not pray much, most less than 15 minutes a day on the average. Most of the people we minister to in our churches give up on their spiritual growth because they do not know how to pray, and it seems we are not doing a good job showing our congregations by equipping or example.

The first thing we need to do to get our prayer life going or to “refresh it” is to focus. The focus of our prayer is Christ and His work and the impact He is in you, your family and the world. This is what the Lord’s Prayer is about (Luke 11:1-4).

What is prayer? It is our communication to God. Prayer is coming to God in discussion learning and relationship building. It is the channel of communication between Christ and us. We give ourselves to Christ as He has given Himself to us. It is receiving the amazing redemptive work of our Savior, Lord and God Jesus Christ, so His power and purpose flows in us and then onto others around us. Prayer is spending time and talking with God and expressing our heart with Him and our intercession on behalf of others. It is meant to be exciting, powerful and fulfilling! Since God has given Himself, what is in the way of us to be able and be willing to respond?

How do I do this? Try to start with “baby steps” with 10 minuets a day for a month, then in the second month increase it to 15 minuets, then the third month 20 minutes and so on. Your goal is to have at least one hour of a day in prayer free from distractions and a wandering mind. If this is too much and your mind wanders, just break it up throughout the day, 1/3 in the morning, 1/3 during the midday, and 1/3 before bed.

Remember that prayer is our connection with God! We need to ask ourselves what has happened to me, in my life and how am I responding to my connection to God with prayer. What will it take for me to become more of a person who has “heartfelt prayer” at my core, what will it take for me to be a “prayer warrior” whose life goal is to make Christ first in all things? The prerequisite to effective prayer is the growth and consistency of our prayer. In conjunction, we learn more about prayer and life from our time in Him by His Word, by our continual growing prayer life. Prayer begets more prayer that begets greater spiritual formation. We may start small, 10 minutes a day, but we are to intend to build it up. The more time we invest, the more time we gain, the easier it becomes, the more meaningful is our time with Him and the deeper we become in Christ and the better use we are. Then our prayers are not just “self focused” but engage the interest of others as well. What I mean by heartfelt prayer, is a sense of passion and urgency that needs to come before this can take place. This is where prayer becomes more ‘real’ and is transferred into a “Way of Life,” a real growing connection with God not just treating Him as a vending machine of meeting our desires but growing in our spiritual maturity in Him as LORD!  

 

An Outline on the Benefits of Prayer (Matt. 6:10; 19:26; Mark 12:30; Rom. 5:1; 2 Cor. 11:1; Eph. 3:20; Phil. 4:19; 1 Thess. 5:17):

 

I.         Prayer is Reality

 

·         "To Talk with God'. No breath is ever lost-Talk on!

 

·         "To Wait on God" No time is lost-Wait on!

 

·         "To Walk with God" No strength is lost-Walk on!

 

I.         Prayer is Receptivity--Receptivity to Reality!  

 

II.       Prayer is Response—To what Christ did for me!

 

III.      Prayer is Renewal-- My heart and mind becoming His home!

 

IV.   Prayer is Revision --Changing my heart and mind to be more like Christ!

 

V.     Prayer is Relaxation –Enjoying my relationship with God!

 

VI.   Prayer is Release –Knowing that Christ is in control and He loves me!

 

VII.  Prayer is Rejoicing –Because it is not about me, it is about what Christ has done for me!

 

“Steps toward a real prayer Life”

 

Read through the summarizations below. Then take each one of the “Steps” one by one and ask, how can I incorporate each of these into my life?

 

If you did, what impact would there be?

 

·        To my personal life?

·        At my school or work?

·        At my Church?

·        In my neighborhood?

·        To others around me?

 

1.      Breathe a prayer for help as you begin life’s most important exercise.  

 

2.      Remind yourself that God is more anxious than you to set up this relationship of two-way prayer.  

 

3.      Determine that a vital prayer life is worth while--the most worth-while thing in your life.  

 

4.      Decide how much time you can give to this prayer exercise.  

 

5.      Organize the rest of the day around this prayer time. Don't let the rest of the day decide this prayer time.  

 

6.      Fix the time in the morning, if at all possible. If you fix your prayer hour at night it will be backward looking. If you fix it in the morning it will be forward-looking.  

 

7.      Prime your prayer pump by reading from the Scriptures to you. Let God speak through the Word.  

 

8.      Still the mind before and after reading the Word. In that stillness God and your deepest desires can meet.  

 

9.      If the mind wanders, do not be dismayed. Pray for the thing to which the mind wanders.  

 

10. Pray for yourself. I find myself praying less and less for things and more and more for right relationships. For if I get the right relationships then the things needed will come as a corollary. The purification of the loyalties is the essence of purification. If there is anything in your life about which you cannot pray, bring it up relentlessly and expose it to God's presence and to His suggestions.  

 

11. Pray first for yourself, and then go out into concentric circles reaching out into ever-widening spheres. You will grow with the reach of your prayers.  

 

12. Pray for people whom you dislike and who may dislike you. That will sterilize any bad thoughts that may infect you.  

 

13. After you have prayed for others, ask if there are any "orders of the day" and then listen. 

 

14. When you Pray these prayers "in Jesus' name," that means in His character, not yours!  

 

15. Believe that He hears your prayers and will give what you need, at the time needed.  

 

16. Do everything that comes to your mind that would help answer the prayers.  

 

17. Drop it into the subconscious mind, and let it there be a prayer-attitude running through both the conscious and the subconscious attitudes.  

 

18. Let prayer be the climate of the day.  

 

19. If you have to wait for anybody or for anything, such as a bus, airplane or an elevator, fill in that waiting time with prayer.

 

Go and be a person of prayer as our Lord has called you to!

 

            Prayer is not just an exercise we do, rather it is the active communication we have with God. It is the most important act for us in any manner or endeavor. It is to be who we are, a person in communication with our Sovereign God. Prayer is not about our will, rather it is a means to seek His (Matt. 6:33). Prayer does not just prepare us for ministry and service, prayer is our ministry and service. Prayer is not just a means to prepare us for the encounters and battles of life, it is the battle! Prayer is more to do with it being the greatest work that we can do, then the results we receive of it!  True prayer comes from a sincere and humble Christian, offered with a merciful spirit, one who is not interested in making a public display for the sake of pleasing others or seeking prestige. Prayer will help us see His perfection, and receive His mercy and grace to help us, and others through us, in times of need, so we can find that peace that guards our hearts and mind (Phil. 4:6-7; Heb. 4:14-16). In order for this to happen, we must be willing and able to open and surrender our heart and Will to Him. If not, we will be living on the wrong floor of life (Romans 12:14-21; James 5:13-18)!

  

Additional Questions

 

1.      How is your prayer life?

 

2.      What does your prayer life look like now?

 

3.      What should it look like?

 

4.      Is prayer your first response in all encounters and thoughts you have in your life? If not, what do you need to examine to find out “why not?”

 

5.      Have you ever thought through what keeps you from spending more time with God?

 

6.      What holds you back in prayer, time and commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ?

 

7.      What are you going to do about becoming more of a parson who is a prayer warrior?

 

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)

 

 

 © 1988, 2001, 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries (Derived from my notes of personal Discipleship from Francis A. Schaeffer and Robert B. Munger 1978-1983) www.intothyword.org 




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