Monday, March 30, 2009

How then should we pray?

In order to have a truly satisfying prayer life, I believe it is necessary to put into practice 1 Cor. 14:15, “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also.” “With the spirit,” yielding to His leading in pouring out to God my praises, my requests and my thanks. And “with the understanding also,” with a clear grasp of what the Bible says about God’s will and His provisions for my prayer life.

And for those of us living in this age of grace, God has never promised that He would give us everything that we asked. Instead we read that “we do not know how to pray as we should,” but “the Spirit also helps our weakness;” and “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (Rom. 8:26)." God has promised to “work all things together for good (Rom. 8:28)" in our lives; however, He hasn’t revealed how He is going to do that. He has promised it, and we must take Him at His word, believing that He is working everything---even the “tragedies” of our lives---together for our ultimate good. We don’t often see this, but as Paul wrote, “We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7)."

The way I see it, since we don’t know how God is going to work everything out for His glory, we don’t know exactly how we should pray. So how could God ever promise us that He will answer all our prayers when He tells us plainly that we don’t even know what to pray for?

We must remember that prayer is not merely a means of “getting things from God” but a means of fellowship with Him. And it seems to me that it is not God’s will to take away all our problems, but it is God’s will to give us all the grace (2 Cor. 9:8) and strength we need to live through the circumstances and problems of our lives (Heb. 4:16), and even rejoice in them.

So then how should we pray today?

We should pray “always,” “in everything,” and “without ceasing!”

"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thes. 5:16-18)."

Cast all our worries on Him.

"…casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Pet. 5:7)."

Because we know that He is working out all things for our ultimate good.

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28)."

And we are also instructed to pray instead of worrying.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Phil 4:6-8)."

Here is more than ample proof that God has not turned a deaf ear to the cries of His children in this age of grace. He urges us to pour out our whole hearts to Him. “Tell Me everything,” He says, “and then don’t worry about anything, because I will work out everything for good.”

He has even told us what to replace our worries with---"...dwell on these things." Now really, how cool is that?!!

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