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We have begun the year intending to renew our faith. The effort in June to achieve that objective is "Prayer." It would probably be helpful for us to consider what prayer is not.
Prayer is Not
Each person complete in their own mind the following sentence: "For me, prayer is ___________________. "
What prayer needs to be
In developing a godly character, prayer needs to be the following:
- I Timothy 2:1-2
And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
- Matthew 6:7
Godly mature Christians replace worry with prayer in their lives. We seek God's solutions for our troubles through prayer instead of more worry.
As human beings, we are naturally concerned about illness and trials, but the concern is different than worry. Respect treats matters seriously, relying on God to provide through prayer. Worry is choosing to fret and review the problem without giving it to God in prayer. The problem with anxiety is that it has no faith attached to it, so it is a nonspiritual action that does not affect the situation other than weakening the individual.
The perils and promises of prayer
Here are a few tips for those ready to devote more time and energy to prayer. Remember:
7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
- II Corinthians 12:7-10
Note that God gave Paul what he needed (humility) and not what he wanted (healing). God required glory through Paul's weakness rather than by his strength.
Adapted from: Prayer, 10 Steps to the New Spiritual You - BibleTalkTV
Barry G. Johnson, Sr.
An Evangelist at the Church of Christ which meets in Brookfield, IL.