Prayer is vital to every Christian; or at least it should be. It should come with such ease as breathing; you do it and without thought. Including these three things into your prayers will change not only your prayers; but also the results of them. Because I didn’t grow up in the Church and didn’t take a class on how to pray; the Holy Spirit revealed a few things about prayer that made complete sense.
1.Start your prayer in ‘Jesus name’. I always wondered why so many started prayers with such things as ‘Oh Father…..’ because growing up Catholic the priest was called ‘father.’ Other religions also have ‘father’ in them so if there is nothing else beyond that- what or who father is being prayed to? Why open a portal to something that you definitely do not want opened? When it was revealed to start and end every prayer ‘in Jesus name’ it did and does 2 things: 1) it gets His attention to cause Him to listen, 2) it ends the prayer in the same manner to affirm it’s finished and obviously with ‘Amen’ to follow. It’s no different than having a conversation with someone and you never speak his or her name; are they listening? Perhaps but you really don’t know. Why risk it with your prayers?
2. Seek Forgiveness. The importance of this is beyond what most people know. I know I surely didn’t! When we examine scripture and it’s clear that if we don’t forgive others our sins won’t be forgiven. Well; Acts 3:19 also tells us ‘Repent and seek forgiveness, so that times of refreshing may come. (NIV) Well; if there is no repentance and seeking of forgiveness; who knows what prayers have not been answered as a result of any lingering unknown sin and unforgiveness. By clearing the table it opens the opportunity for not only your prayer to be heard but also to be answered because it begins with repentance.
3. Thank Him for His Mighty Deeds of Old. Now; by doing this; ‘after’ seeking forgiveness the heart is more pure than it would be doing it before which is why it’s placed third. 1Thes 5:18 tells us ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you’ so in every prayer giving thanks for His mighty deeds of old is awesome because there is so much to be thankful for. I keep a notebook for each year of blessings and when I enter into my daily prayer time I take it with me and read it because I can see all that He has done for me. The enemy hates it because he of course wants us to forget everything and keep us separated from the Lord. By thanking Him for His mighty deeds of old may be 5 minutes ago or parting the Red Sea; the only concern is being thankful. After all; we are approaching the God Almighty only because He allows us to.
These three vital components of prayer changed my life beyond imagine. Sure there are times when a simple ‘help’ will do although when we understand the opportunity we have to even come before the Lord to pray we can begin to understand His awesomeness. Hopefully too it will help get us to that place where praying becomes more than the 5 minutes per day Americans are known to pray. And my prayer in Jesus name is that as you embark on growing in your prayer life that the Holy Spirit reveals much that will fill your spirit, draw you closer to the Lord; and that it will be done for His name sake. In Jesus name. Amen.
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