Monday, February 8, 2016

Devotion: The Benefit Of Prayer

Prayer is always an interesting subject because of the many aspects of it.  In its most basic form, prayer is nothing more than how we communicate with God and is one of the greatest privileges on earth for the believer.  It is also one of the most misused and most abused things in a believer’s life.  We have become a “microwave society,” where we want what we want immediately.  We do not want to wait for anything or anyone, especially God.  We try to package him up like “a cheap TV dinner” that we can microwave into an instant relationship once the timer goes off.  We are seeking the easy way out of our situations and quick fixes to all our problems.  We continually try to receive these quick fixes, expecting God to hit us with some magical wand, and instantly fix whatever problems we have.  We think that God is “a cosmic bellhop” who will do whatever we want, whenever we want, but that is not how the system works.  Most people believe that just as long as they can somehow pray, everything will be fine.  What they don’t realize is that there is a “right way” to pray and there is a “wrong way” to pray.

“Prayer” is defined as “the act or practice of praying, as to God; an earnest request; entreaty; supplication; a humble and sincere request to God or a god; an utterance to God in praise, thanksgiving, confession, etc.; any set formula for praying, as to God; in some religions, a devotional service consisting chiefly of prayers; any spiritual communion with God; something prayed for or requested, as in petition.”

People pray all the time, for many different reasons, for many different things, using many different methods.  Most of these people are not aware of the different types of prayer that God has made available and that each of these prayers are governed by their own set of spiritual laws or rules.  So, whenever we pray, there are some things that we need to know about prayer.  First of all, in order to enjoy the benefits of prayer, we need to know how to pray.  Then when we pray, we should expect to have our prayers answered.  Contrary to popular beliefs and some teachings, if God did not want to answer all of our prayers, he would not have told us to pray and more importantly, he would not have told us how to pray.  In the above definition, it mentions as part of the definition for prayer, “a set formula for praying.”  To some, this “set formula for praying” notion may sound foreign, but it was one of the disciples, who requested that Christ “teach them to pray, as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).  Jesus would go on to teach the disciples to pray using a prayer now referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer.”  While many believers frequently recite the words to this prayer, believing this to be the actual prayer Jesus intended us to use, the truth of the matter is that this was a sample prayer, giving to the disciples as an example of a suitable prayer model and in no way embodied, all of Christ’s teaching about prayer.  Christ did not intend for this particular prayer to be merely recited with empty meaninglessness or vain repetition, but instead revealed it as the model by which all of our prayers should be modeled after.  Remember, the disciple asked Christ to teach them to pray as John taught his disciples to pray.  Do you think John taught his disciples this exact prayer?

In order to have your prayers answered, you must be aware of the different types of prayer, you must know the right type of prayer to use for your situation, and you must know the procedure for using that prayer.  Because all of the prayers require the same tools, many times the spiritual laws that govern each of them are misused, misconstrued, and misapplied resulting in little to no results.  Because we lack the needed knowledge about prayer and its purpose, more prayers go unanswered than are answered.  Imagine playing a game of football while mixing in the rules for basketball.  Would the final result of the football game be similar to what you would expect had the game been played by its own rules?  Although they are both games, each game has to be played by its own set of rules and not a combination of the two.  Prayers works the same way, we cannot mix the spiritual laws or rules that govern prayer.

If you are not getting the results that you desire than you need to check on the tools you are using.  Either what you believe is wrong or the method you are using is wrong.  It could be a combination of the two.  Unanswered prayers can discourage you, cause you to lose hope, and to give up on God because it seems that he doesn’t care about or never heard your prayers.  The problem does not lie with God but with you.  As the righteousness of God, you have the right to have your prayers answered.  As a child of God, you have the right to the inheritance of the new covenant, a better covenant, built with better promises.  As the righteousness of God and as a child of God, you have the right to come boldly to the throne of God, stand there bravely in the presence of the Almighty and find grace to help you in your times of need (Hebrews 4:16).  There are benefits to prayer, but to fully enjoy them, you need to learn to pray God’s way, by his rules.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (I John 5:14-15).

We pray that our inspirational message abundantly blesses you as well greatly informs you.  We also pray that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by today’s message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings. - KW

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