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In my continuing study on prayer, I thought I’d share what I gleaned from a video that I happened upon. I found an excellent video on my YouTube feed with Paul Washer speaking about prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit of Christ. As best I can tell, he was speaking here at a past G3 conference (There are a few that I found but here is the link to the specific video on which I’m writing: The Importance of Prayer).
He brings out many points, but two were very helpful to me:
- There may be seasons where your prayers are longer and more fervent than others.
- Your prayer life does not have to look like the prayer life of another saint.
I feel guilty about the length of my prayers lately. I am concerned that I am not as fervent as I have been in the past. There have been some occasions in the past when I prayed longer upon first getting up in the morning. Mr Washer speaks of a season where he would pray all night and where his prayers were especially fervent. While he doesn’t give any excuse for not spending time with God in daily prayer, he says that he hasn’t had a season like that since then. The Holy Spirit guides and directs our time with Him. The Lord enabled him to pray like that before special times in his ministry. It was helpful to know that it’s okay that we don’t always pray for three hours at a time with tears flowing!
Mr. Washer also cautions against measuring our prayer life according to the standard of another man and points out that some saints may simply be more gifted in their prayer life. He gave the example that while every Christian should evangelize, not everyone evangelizes like Ray Comfort. (Ray Comfort – Living Waters ) He mentioned that there are many preachers, but not all are like Dr. Steven Lawson. ( Steven Lawson – OnePassion Ministries ) Perhaps it’s the same with prayer. We each have our own gifting from the Holy Spirit. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV)
I’m also reminded that since God is sovereign and good and merciful to His children, we can pray *for* the ability to pray longer and more fervently. We can ask that the Lord would give us more of a heart of prayer and that He would allow us to feel more of His presence as we pray. As for feeling more of His presence: I know that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7); however, we also have not because we ask not (James 4:2b), so I’ll be asking the Lord to help transform my affections and emotions!
I borrowed a book from our church library titled “LORD Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days” by Kay Arthur.
In an effort to get back into regular blog posting, I decided to post what I glean from reading through the book. Like many of Kay’s book, this one is designed for either personal or group study, with daily Scripture reading and exercises.
The book starts out by reminding us of how prayer should be one of the most important activities in the life of a Christian.The author points that out than when the early church encountered a problem, the apostles refused to be sidetracked from their priorities.
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.1
The solution for the apostles was not to ignore the problem or engage in food distribution themselves but rather to delegate tasks to other men:
Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.2
As we are told elsewhere to be praying continually 3, we can be sure that all followers of Christ are to consider prayer to be of utmost importance. The example from the book of Acts is given as an illustration of that principle, not to suggest that only church leaders should be engage in prayer!
Some key items of which I was reminded as I read the first few chapters and exercises:
- Jesus wants us to learn how to pray4
- If we pray according to His will, then we can be assured of having our requests granted5
- Be persistent! Don’t stop asking!6
I am encouraged and excited about this study. None of these principles are new to me; how wonderful it is to be reminded of these precious commands.
1 Acts 6:1
2 Acts 6:3-4 (bold emphasis added)
3 1 Thessalonians 5:17
4 Matthew 6:9a
5 1 John 5:14-15
6 Luke 11:5-8
All of the above verses can be read on this web page: Verses on Bible Gateway – NIV
You can order the book on Amazon here: Purchase on Amazon (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).