Prayer is essential so here are some tips and suggestions to help you essentially pray:
So how do we pray?
Jesus taught his disciples to pray in Matthew 6. His instruction came in the middle of a sermon, called the ‘sermon on the mount’ (hardly surprising as Jesus often withdrew to a mountain to pray). His concern is that the disciples conducted themselves in a way that was pleasing to the Lord as opposed to pleasing before people (6:1, 18) and he offers three areas of concern: Giving (6:2-4), Prayer (6:5-15) and Fasting (6:16-18).
This is what he says about prayer:
So why do we today find prayer so difficult? I suspect the answer to this question will differ between the Western World and Eastern World!
The Bible is very comfortable with the idea that you can talk to God. Depending on the Bible version you look at ‘prayer’ is referenced over six hundred and fifty times!
Has your prayer life ever sounded like this?
Dear Lord and Father,
Help me now to come before your word and hear your voice. Help me – oh I forgot to lock the car! Sorry God, just got distracted. I pray that you would open my mind and heart and – I must remember to pick up some milk on the way home! Should I go out after church this week, it will be a busy week, maybe I should get home and get to bed instead! Whoops, get back to praying, Sorry God. Where was I? Something about opening my mind… oh that’s right, I pray that you will help me to obey what you want me to obey – I wonder if I will see Steve after church – oh not now, God help me to focus and I pray ….I can’t remember – well in Jesus Name Amen!
Is it just me, or are there times when you struggle to pray? Christians know they should pray, it is wonderful to have an open line to the only God of the universe, yet that doesn’t mean Christians always find it easy! Sadly, we often fail in the area of prayer, and it can lead to disillusionment and lack of discipline in this important area of the Christian life.
The earth moved! If I ever thought that prayer was weak, then all I needed to do was remember back to that day, to that prayer meeting, when the ground shook, and by the Holy Spirit, we spoke the word of God boldly!
It happened like this…
Friends, there are times in every family when sad things happen – we are living through one of those times.
Our dear sister Steph is fighting cancer, unexpectedly a brother Brian has passed away (and there has been uncertainty about how and what can be communicated) and there are others in our church family who are struggling with various physical and mental trials or who are supporting those who are struggling with those trials.
We are living through a time when our future eternal home is more in focus than our temporary present home – but it is still a sad time.
Influenced by Psalm 46, the prayer we prayed on Sunday night, is a prayer of comfort.
Please make this your prayer…
Father, many in our church family are struggling with grief, loss, illness or other suffering. When these things weigh heavily, in the midst of the struggle and the pain, help us not to turn away from you but to allow you to be strong in our weakness. Remind us, as you did the psalmist, that you God are our refuge and strength, our ever present help in trouble.
For those grieving the loss of loved ones, we pray that you would comfort them with the knowledge that our hope is in you, that you Oh Lord are our Rock, our fortress and our deliverer, the rock whom we take refuge. You are our shield and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold.
So Father, help us to keep our eyes firmly on the prize at the end of our race – the hope of heaven. We pray these things in the name of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN.
Written by Anita Mahood.
‘May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.’ – Psalm 67:3-4
Sermon ‘May All The Peoples Praise You’ (Psalm 67) by Chris Jolliffe is now available in audio and video: http://bit.ly/2khXUgX
Read the whole chapter: http://bit.ly/2iYBJga
The beginning of the year is a helpful time to do a personal stocktake!
Let me try and explain. I suspect, that most of us would find that there is some kind of ‘pattern’ to our week – get up, breakfast, personal devotion, school/uni/work/home duties/appointments…, lunch, afternoon activities, dinner, and then whatever evening things we commit too, before falling into bed – ready to do it all over again!
Of course, this ‘routine’ will vary from person to person and from day to day. The point: we often construct our days and weeks according to ‘patterns’ which, frankly, help us stay sane.