Pray First and Pray Again

Happy Easter everyone.  I hope you are experiencing the joy of Resurrection Sunday in your heart.  I wrote about prayer a few weeks ago, but it came up again this week for me.  So, I want to revisit it from a new perspective.  I had several prayers answered this week concerning my ministry in a manner much greater than I had in mind.  Fortunately, God has much better plans!  A definition I found this week about prayer: “Prayer is more than talking to God; it is a conversation with God.  It involves speaking AND listening.” This is something I always knew but seeing the words on the page made it more real.  We should pray first, and then pray again!

At a men’s group this week we explored the Lord’s Prayer and examined it as a pattern for all prayer.  The components of the Lord’s Prayer can be used as a daily outline for our conversation with God.

“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name”

Begin each day with thanks, praise, and worship, acknowledging God and he is via his names, titles, and attributes.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

                Prayer recognizes that God is God, and we are not.  In prayer, we yield our desires to God.  Jesus repeated this in Mat. 26:39

“Not as I will, but as you will”

                In prayer, we ask God to change the way we see others.

“Give us this day our daily bread”

                God invites us to come to him each day for the provision of our needs.  God cares for and provides for all of our needs.

“Forgive us our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us”

                Don’t let unforgiveness grow within you.  Pray blessings over those you forgive.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

                Daily put on the armor of God.

“For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.”

                Commit yourself to live daily for his glory alone.

After our prayer time, we need to be quiet and wait on God. (This is very hard for me….)  Waiting on God refers to the state of ACTIVE stillness!  God says: “Be still and know that I am God.”  Waiting on God rests in knowing his will and settling for nothing less.  We are to wait upon God with the attitude and expectancy of the watchman waiting for the morning.

One suggestion at my men’s group was not to say Amen at the conclusion of our morning prayers, but to keep the prayer (conversation) going all day!

What do you think about this quote?

“The men/women who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees.  He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day.  If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.”  E.M. Bounds 1830-1913, American Pastor and man of prayer.

Ask first for God’s guidance and blessing in everything you do. Through prayer, ask for wisdom and for God’s will to be done.  Pray for others as well, that God’s love and blessing would be revealed to them in good times and in bad.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3: 5, 6)  

“May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6: 10)

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6: 18)

Ideas for Action: Start each day with a conversation with God.  Be prepared to continue that conversation all day with God.  On your next walk, run, or in your quiet time, intentionally pray for neighbors, other churches, schools, EMTs, police and fire personnel, and local officials. Use the Lord’s Prayer as a template/outline for your prayer.