Martin Luther said, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. But, how can we pray prayers that will really make a difference… to us…and to those for whom we pray?
Is there a difference between gossip and prayer requests? Someone once said; “Christians don’t gossip. They just share prayer requests!” Sometimes prayer requests are really prayer requests. But too often they are gossip wrapped in prayer shawls.
One thing we find about Paul is that Paul cared about people. The primary way he showed his love was praying for them! One of Paul’s trademarks in his epistles is the assurance of his prayers on behalf of the recipients of his letters. To the Romans he said; “I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” (Romans 1:9-10) To the Ephesians he wrote, “I…do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:15-16). To his beloved Philippian church, he writes, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all.” (Philippians 1:3-4)
1st. Action Step: Develop A Personal Prayer Journal.
Separate it into parts; prayer requests; people and family with needs; people and family that need God; church; pastor; work; world etc. Then highlight the name or prayer when God answers. (If you use a different color for each prayer, you will have a book of rainbows after a while.) Then keep a separate part of your journal for scriptural prayers. When you come across scriptural prayers – like the ones we will look at today – write it down, write it out… Replace words like “you” and “your” with personal names.
2. Action Step – Pray more CONSISTENTLY.
Notice Paul says in Colossians 1:9b “we have not stopped praying for you.” (NIV) Luke 18:1 says “Men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”
3. Action Step – Determine a time and a place.
Seek to maintain a regular pattern of prayer. This may necessitate a set time and place where you can go to pray. You may have to be somewhat flexible in your scheduling, and that is okay, just know that prayer is a disciplined work. It will require your diligent, conscientious attention. If you don’t make plans to pray, you probably won’t!
4. Action Step – Pray more SCRIPTURALLY.
Take the time to search out scriptures that contain things you can make into personal prayers. What happens after you begin to do this?
- You learn scripture.
- You increase your prayer vocabulary.
- You will lose your fear of prayer.
Let’s start with this one; How many prayers can you find in this one prayer?
Colossians 1:9-14 –
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
How about Romans 1:8-16…
How about Ephesians 1:15-19…
How about 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12…
You see? You can search the scriptures and find many key words or phrases to enhance your own prayers. Eventually, the prayers will begin to flow and you will become more confident.