What principles do we need to keep in mind to urge us to pray more? Would you only come to the LORD in times of need? Won’t you come to God often to commune with Him more than to ask only for your felt needs? It is sad to know that some people (even professing Christians!) reduce prayer to asking God for something.
Indeed, there are times it is hard to pray. But despite those troubling moments, we must pray since is it our joy to commune with God.
True joy is not in the absence of troubles in life. But despite the presence of affliction, there is joy because Christ is with us.
One of the fruits of the Spirit is patience (Galatians 5:22). Some do not linger in prayer because they do not wait. Communion with God is intended to make us more like Christ. To be like Christ is to be patient (Rev. 1:9). We tend to be impatient and we want God to act immediately.
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.Psalm 62:1
We must learn to linger in prayer and to be patient in it. To be quiet and calm in the presence of God. This helps us not only to speak to God but also to listen to Him. Let us mingle our prayers with the Word of God. By doing so, we learn to wait and to listen to His voice. Once we hear His voice through the Scriptures, we receive comfort. The voice of God is the voice of comfort.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.Psalm 40:1
If God answers our prayers instantly at all times, we won’t grow in patience. We must align our minds in the right perspective of prayer.
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.Isa 40:31 ESV
This is praying in the Spirit (Eph 6:18). You are conscious of your need of the Spirit that He must prepare your hearts in prayer. The verse says, pray in Spirit at all times. There will never come a time that we will not be dependent on the Spirit. Our prayer comes from Him.
We need the Spirit in order to pray aright. Let us then cry continually for the Holy Spirit and His influences for we know not what to pray as we ought. Let us look for his quickening influences to quicken our dead hearts and warm our frozen affections, that we may send up our hearts to God and wing our desires to heaven. ~ Thomas Boston
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.Rom 8:26 ESV
We must ask the Spirit to help us in prayer. Albert Barnes in his commentary on Romans 8:26 gave for reasons why Christians do not know what to pray:
- That they do not know what would be really best for them.
- They do not know what God might be willing to grant them.
- They are to a great extent ignorant of the character of God, the reason of his dealings, the principles of his government, and their own real needs.
- They are often in real, deep perplexity. They are encompassed with trials, exposed to temptations, feeble by disease, and subject to calamities. In these circumstances, if left alone, they would neither be able to bear their trials, nor know what to ask at the hand of God.
The Christian can no more pray without the direct enabling of the Spirit than he can create a word. Real prayer is a felt need. ~ A.W. Pink
Let not your past sins, present imperfections, and future worries hinder you in coming to the throne of grace. Satan and his demons will throw accusing thoughts even during your prayer time, but you must persevere in prayer. Come to the presence of God in the Name of Jesus. Be regular in approaching the throne of grace. Don’t give up praying in the Spirit.
“It has often been remarked that the whole church helped produce Spurgeon.” When visitors would come to Spurgeon’s church he would take them to the basement prayer-room where people were always on their knees interceding. Then Spurgeon would declare, “Here is the powerhouse of this church.”C.H. Spurgeon – Prayer Makes History
In your church, when a man of God stands to preach, be that powerhouse. A prayerless church is a powerless church. A prayerful church is a powerful church.
To God be the glory!
Note: This post is based on our pastor’s sermon during our midweek service at Bella Vista Outreach.
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