Pursuing Our Destiny, Part 18–The Discipline of Prayer
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2, ESV)
Preparing this particular Freedom Fighter has created significant frustration. In researching for this article, I’ve found a lot of trite, light, and almost useless material. Even what I’ve read from writers for whom I have respect, not much that I’ve found on this spiritual practice has proved helpful. And, if it’s not helpful to me, I’m not inclined to share it with those who read FF.
So, what to do! I’m going to share some very practical verses of Scripture that speak to the issue and then make one or two closing comments.
Here is what Scripture says:
1. We are to pray with faith: And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.
(Matthew 21:22, ESV)
2. We are to pray according to God’s will: And this is the confidence that we have towards him,
that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in
whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (1 John
3. We are to pray in the Holy Spirit: But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy
faith and praying in the Holy Spirit. . . . (Jude 20, ESV)
4. We are to pray constantly: Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12, ESV)
5. We are to pray with thanksgiving: Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with
thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2)
While more references speak to the issue, I think these are enough to spark our thinking and our practice of prayer. I’m not nearly as concerned with a formula for prayer or some of the acrostics that teach us the kinds of prayer as I am with each of us just choosing to pray.
Most of us enter into conversations every day. We talk about work, family, sports, politics, etc. Prayer becomes easier when we realize it is conversation Dallas Willard makes it really simple when he writes, “Prayer is conversing, communicating with God.”
Don’t worry about the technicalities, just talk to God! Tell Him what is on your mind. Share your burdens with Him. Ask Him for direction and wisdom within the guidelines listed above. Let’s not forget, though, that this practice is a conversation. Once we’ve talked, we allow God to talk—through the Scriptures and through the Holy Spirit as we sit quietly and listen for that “still small voice.”
I want to say more about prayer next week, but for now, one simple question will suffice: Will we choose to begin a conversation with God this week? – Pastor John Strain is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger and is available for pulpit supply
Quote of the day: Our little things are all big to God’s love; our big things are all small to His power. Billy Graham
Verse to Memorize: The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. Psalm 121:5-6