PRAYER 
When we pray do we just rattle off the Lord's prayer 
and think we are finished, or do we pray at all? 
This page is not a condemnation of anyone, its 
purpose is to give you something to think about,
whether you are a christian or not.
 
YOU ARE ALL VERY WELCOME 
  The Lord's Prayer - Relevant for today? 
Why Doesn't God Answer?           God's Plans or Ours? 
Group Prayer           Attitudes and Prayer          Armour of God
     
  
   The disciples asked "Lord teach us to pray", and Jesus gave them the Lord's Prayer as an example.  We can invite people to church and study the bible together, but we need to learn to pray together. Changes take place not when we study about prayer, not when we talk about it, but when we actually pray. We need to talk to God. Relationships can't  be built and strengthened without conversation! 
 

The  Lord's Prayer -

                    Relevant for Today?

YES!!
   Prayer is not a ritual, nor is it a formula. The Lord gave this prayer to the disciples as an example - not to be mindlessly repeated at God. It is the basis on which we can build our own prayers, particularly until we feel comfortable praying.
The attributes of this prayer are important.
We need to remember that we have been welcomed into the family - He is our father too;  but He is holy and to be revered.
This is not His kingdom, sometimes we can forget this, but I am really looking forward to the time when we are in His kingdom and when His will is done on this earth as well as in Heaven.  Living our lives as He wants us to sometimes is a "big ask" - we need to remember that we should be doing things in His strength.  His power is far reaching and all encompassing, ours is not.  If God is for us, who can be against us.......
Can we really forgive others as God forgives us, in our
own strength?  Sometimes I need help in this area (as in a 
lot of others) but our Father is happy to oblige in helping us
because unforgiveness affects our prayer life, and the devil 
feeds us some pretty convincing lies. We need protecting from him!
In today's world, acknowledging the sovereignty and lordship
of Christ is not high on the list of things people, on the whole,  do - BUT He is our King and His kingdom is coming. Because of what He did for us on the cross, He is the Lamb of God, and to Him alone belongs all glory and honour and power throughout all time. Hallelujah!

 

 

Attitudes and Prayer

   Sometimes we need to ask God to give us the right attitude to for a situation or about a person. If someone upsets us and we bite back, is this going to solve anything?  In this uncomfortable setting are we going to be able to join together for prayer - NO.  If I regard sin in my heart the Lord will not hear me...Ps66.18 
When someone hurts us the immediate reaction is to hurt back.  "Here let me help you" while you are drowning and we push them under!  God doesn't want this. He expects us to reaffirm our love for them 2Cor 2:8    [Get real Lord] 
but, you know, we do this so that God can see if we are obedient in all things 2Cor 2:9 There is another reason for this. 
Satan loves to get his foot in the door. He enjoys seeing church groups broken up by our failure to forgive and confirm our love for each other. Would you rather have a vibrant, strong, united prayer group that is open with each other, or would you rather nurse a hurt or slight until it festers and boils over bringing disharmony?  
It takes courage and strength from God to do this. We have to learn to lean on Him because if we try to do this in our own strength we may fail and give Satan the opening he was waiting for, to bring disunity. 
James 4:3-10  
Have pure motives, pure hearts, submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you. 

 

Why Doesn't God Answer?

     In today's age we work, pull, struggle and plan until we're exhausted but you know what - we've forgotten to plug into the power source! What is the power source - PRAYER! The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.....James 5:16 What is the key word in this scripture - righteousness.  It is the prayer of the righteous man that God hears.  In  Psalm 66:18 it says If I regard iniquity in my own heart, the Lord will not hear me. 
 Do you think sometimes God missed the boat when you pray?  Listen to what the prophet Isaiah has to say in  
Chpt 59:1-2.......Listen now!  The Lord isn't too weak to save you. And He isn't getting deaf! He can hear you when you call! But the trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God. Because of sin He has turned His face away from you and will not listen anymore..........Living Bible.    If we are living with sin in our lives, and keeping it there, God doesn't hear us. Perhaps we are harbouring a "big" sin - one that we feel is too big/awful for God to forgive.   GOD'S SEEN IT ALL BEFORE!    He's pretty shockproof. Sin is sin whether it's big or little, just one or many, but God honours true repentance. He looks passed the words and into our hearts. 
    Maybe we've never prayed the prayer of repentance and in faith asked Christ to be Lord of our lives.  In John 16:7-9 Jesus told the disciples that when He went He would send them a Helper, and this helper when he came, would convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment.  Sin whether it is the sin of not believing in Christ as your personal saviour or something else, these sins will keep God from hearing our intercessory prayer. If our prayer life seems to be unfruitful perhaps we should get on our knees and ask the Holy Spirit to convict us of any unconfessed sin in our lives.  In 1John 1:9 it's written that if we confess our sins {the bible doesn't differentiate between sizes here} He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.    Even "little" sins muddy the water. Sin is sin! 
It could just be a wrong word spoken or a bad attitude.  What about pride - wow look what I've done! Maybe your motives are divided - look at everything I do and it's all for the Lord, but underneath our egos are being fulfilled; there's just that wee desire to build up our worth in the eyes of our contemporaries.  
Do you have one life at home and one at church?  God is omnipresent - He sees everything and He doesn't like pretense.  We don't need spiritual pedestals to get closer to God. He wants us to be open and honest with Him. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil....1Peter 3:12     Before we can effectively intercede for others our lives must be right with Christ. If there's nothing else I've learnt it's that it's God's job to worry over Joe Bloggs but it's MY job to get my life right with Christ. If God doesn't seem to be listening, perhaps it's time you should try listening and let God  change your life! 
  

God's plans or ours?

 When we come to pray do we plan what we are going to say first and then pray it?    What about our lives, do we plan what we want to do and then pray?   
Do any of us consider praying first and planning later God, expects us to be orderly. He expects us to manage our time, to discipline ourselves, to prepare well-prepared programmes but if we learn to pray first and plan afterwards what effect would this have on our homes, our churches, our bible studies or whatever we are doing for Christ?   
Maybe we are planning in one direction and God's will is in another direction -He might tell us to "turn around, My will for you is this way and NOT that way." We might be going in the right direction but because of our limited vision we may only be going at a snail's pace, where God can see the whole picture and we must learn to trust His vision instead of relying on our own ability.     
If, before we start anything we ask the Lord "what do you want me to do, where do you want me to go and how do you want me to do it," then our omnipotent God can pour our His power upon us.  Instead of fulfilling tiny plans through our human strength, we could accomplish mighty things in God's name, with the outpouring of His  grace.  
 

Group Prayer

Let's go the the Book of Acts 1:9,12-14 "And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight...Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. And when they had entered they went up to the upper room, where they were staying; that is Peter, and John and James and Andrew and Phillip and Thomas and Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers." 
 I think that it is exciting to see that women had been included  in the Early church. This is the final reference to Mary, Jesus' mother, and here she is on her face before God, praying with the others in this room. In the synagogues  the sexes were separated, but here they were, together praying in one accord. 
Group prayer is different from personal prayer. We need to come before Father God in one mind - praying about one subject at a time with one person praying out loud while the others in the group are praying silently on the SAME subject. 
This is praying in one accord although we don't need to pray just one prayer per topic! 
Do your thoughts wander while someone is praying a long prayer? [Be Honest]   Are you thinking up ideas, or planning what you will pray? If you are you are detracting from the strength of the prayer. [scary thought huh] The number of prayers ascending Heaven are multiplied by the number of those who are silently praying. How much more power there is in prayer when the participants are praying in one accord. 

How many of us feel uncomfortable talking to God in the presence of others........more than a few of us I'm sure. 
But that's ok, prayer should be spontaneous not an obligation.  A heartfelt prayer a sentence long is far more acceptable to God than  vain repetitions. Matt 6:7-8 
In Luke 9:47 it says that Jesus... perceived the thoughts of their hearts." Do you think God is happy with lip service? 
He knows our needs before we ask, we only have to lay our needs before Him. If the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much James 5:16, then what about when a group of you get together....there is so much that could be accomplished. 
Silent periods in prayer are a blessing so don't panic and rush in with something. God needs us to listen. Prayer is a two-way conversation with God. Don't you get frustrated when you can't get a word in in a conversation? We need to be still before God now and then so He can communicate with us. 

  

Armour of God

Every day we should put on the armour of God,  
Eph 6:10-18, so that we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  We need to gird our loins with truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, wear shoes of the preparation of the gospel. We need to take up the shield of faith, put on the helmet of salvation and strap on the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With these weapons and prayer mighty things can be accomplished for the glory of God. 
 
I hope this has inspired some thought and action.
I would love to hear your comments on these pages,
please leave me a message. Thank you and God Bless
each of you that reads this.
   
  
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