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prayhands02I received the following question:

One of my joys in the past year has been attending a women’s Bible study class, led for 46 years by a godly woman.  We have been studying the Book of Jeremiah, a prophet who remained steadfast for forty years in the face of rejection and persecution.  Israel was in decline–much like I believe America is now.  This week she gave us a few guidelines for praying for leaders.  Pray, of course, for strength and wisdom for godly leaders.  Ja. 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
 
But there is a place for imprecatory prayer for evildoers/ evil leaders.  She used as an example David’s prayer against Ahithophel who had defected to Absalom in 2 Samuel 15:31.  Here are her suggestions: Read the rest of this entry »

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rotaryphone02I received the following questions:

Do you know much about prayer?  I know some, but I still have problems with what to pray about.  What does/should prayer look like?  I am kind of stuck with the “A.C.T.S.” version of prayer.  But, I’m not sure if it is the best way to pray.  A=Praising God, C=Confessing sin, T=Thanksgiving, S=Supplication.

When, I pray, whether or not I use that structure, I get easily distracted within my thoughts and lose my focus. I think that if I really wanted to pray to God that I would be “vigilant” and persistent. Then I also feel like I don’t deserve to pray to God or that God does not hear my prayer.

I know not to necessarily expect an answer for my prayer, but rather the peace of God to guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.  But, I am a very anxious person who worries a lot. And, when I pray, I still worry about stuff.

I think that prayer should look like talking to God. That is really and truly what we are doing when we pray. Many get all caught up in making prayer into a religious act. They look for some “formula” that will bring forth the “power of prayer.” I do not believe that prayer is powerful, I believe that God is powerful. It is an amazing thing that we, as sinful and fallen human beings, can talk to Him. Yet He loves us, and hears us. Read the rest of this entry »

jesus-praying02Here are a few brief thoughts about the Lord’s prayer.

Our Father

Some seem to make a big deal about giving equal time in prayer to the Father, Son, and Spirit. As if one would be jealous of the others if we didn’t give them equal time in prayer. The Lord always addressed His prayers to the Father. I don’t think this is a good thing to spend a lot of time worrying about.

in heaven,

God is in an exalted place, higher than us. He has a better perspective on everything than we do! Read the rest of this entry »

I have noticed an interesting trend among believers of the day. It seems that some of us in our prayers have taken up the habit of praying about Satan and his angels, even to the point of actually addressing Satan in our prayers! Just this week I heard someone do this, interrupting his prayer to say, “And, Satan, we want you to know that you have no place here,” and he went on to lecture Satan about our freedom in Christ as believers and so forth. This seems to me a strange trend to say the least. To interrupt our prayers to talk to Satan? Does this seem rather strange to anyone else? Why should Satan be interested in what we are praying? Do we really suppose that we will teach him anything by lecturing him about it?

Another interesting and related trend is the attempt to cast demons out of the room, something that has also become a staple in the prayers of some. They loudly tell all demons and fallen angels to leave this place “in the name of Jesus.” But I wonder, does this really make sense either? I have to go back to my idea of conversational prayer…when we are praying, we are really talking with God. We are not doing a religious act, we are not following a special formula for success, and we are not casting a magic spell! Rather, we are talking to the One Who loves us and Who gave Himself for us! Read the rest of this entry »

prayingA few years back I was eating lunch at the student union with the resident leader on campus of the cult known as CARP. He and I were having an interesting discussion about some of our differing beliefs, as you can well imagine. I was explaining to him that I believed in salvation by grace through faith in Christ, and not by any sort of works or ordinances. As I was talking, I could see that something was bothering him, so much so that he did not appear to be listening to what I was saying. When I stopped speaking he paused for a moment, then blurted out, “Does that mean you don’t believe in prayer?”

That gave me a pause, I can tell you. I quickly replied, “No, no, I do believe in prayer.” I was surprised that he would make such a connection. When I said that I do not believe in performing ordinances, I certainly was not including prayer among them. After all, prayer is not an ordinance, but is just talking to God, right? Read the rest of this entry »