Today’s thoughts continue on prayer. You might say true prayer is divided into two categories or four parts: We speak…God listens; God speaks…We listen. Training to listen for God’s voice takes time and brings rewarding results, the answer. Throughout the day, be in a prayerful state, that of trust, love, and reverence, knowing that God will and is bringing an answer.
When God speaks (which so many times is in that small still voice), we must be willing to be obedient to that voice, and then we will see results. An example of this was when Jesus asked the question of Saul in the New Testament, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Jesus did not ask again, but told Saul to go into the city and await further instructions. Saul’s obedience brought about a radical change in his career and life under the name of Paul.
Jesus has promised that if you knock on God’s door in prayer, it will be opened. Be patient and willing to do what He says. Again, let me say that prayer is made up of both speaking and listening.
Let’s take a look at you might consider as 4 forms of prayer. Prayer is to always come from the heart given in faith, believing. Prayer can be found in one or more of these forms.
These four forms spell out “ACTS”:
1) Prayers of ADORATION (praise)
2) Prayers of CONFESSION (calls for sorrow; asking for forgiveness through repentance for what you might have done, challenge you to do better, and relieve your conscience of the guilt you may feel for lapses in your life, lifting the weight of sorrow replacing it by the lightness of God’s mercy).
3) Prayers of THANKSGIVING, (offering God thanks, surrendering to God in worship for the good things he has done, showing gratitude out of your heart for being a loved member of God’s creation).
4) Prayers of SUPPLICATION (is made up of two things, petitioning on your own behalf or intercession on the behalf of others –an opportunity of asking God for what you want).
When we see bad things happening to good people, we have a tendency to question God. Could it be what you see as 6 God’s way of opening you to a deeper relationship with God? We must always remember that God is the source of all hope as stated in: Psalms 42:11, Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! (NLT).
Another version (NRSV) says it is way, why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. God is your hope, your strength, and in Him you must trust! Be persistent in your praying no matter how long it takes. It’s not necessarily how long you pray but how persistently you pray. Prayer from the depths of your heart is the prayer that never gives up. Prayer is conversation with God; get to know His love and tell him about your life; then expect an answer; listen for God, He will speak. A very important aspect in seeing your answer to prayer is to look for God in every experience.
As a spirit-filled believer, you are guided by his Spirit, so it is very important to be aware of the Spirit guiding you and follow His leading, whatever that may be. It may come from words of a trusted friend, a scripture passage you are reading, or simply from a feeling that grows from deep within your heart. This is where the Holy Spirit will speak through you to your Heavenly Father when you do not know how to express your thoughts. God gives “peace that surpasses all understanding”.
God is a God of love, and He answers your prayer because He loves you. He knows you better than you know yourself. Love must be in everything you do, just as it is in all that God does. Song of Solomon speaks of a love that can not be quenched. Song of Solomon 8:6 – 7, Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, and neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned (NRSV).
This is the kind of love Jesus has for all of us, the love of the Father, and we need to have this kind of love for all mankind. Here are 3 steps to keep in mind about our relationship to God and with others.
Step 1. Live your love for Christ and express it by loving each other.
Step 2. Reaffirm your faith by praying daily, read scripture daily and apply it, worship regularly, and consistently offer services to others.
Step 3. Talk the talk, walk the walk…daily pray for strength to be able to accomplish that goal. Just as with our friendship with God, we need to apply these steps in our daily lives with others: daily prayer, daily talks, and absolute trust and responsiveness.
Jesus Christ is the Lord of our life. He died “that we may have life and life more abundantly”. Be faithful to God and His Word. God is truly a loving God, merciful and gracious. He forgives those who forgive others and bless those who bless others.
God’s Word must be a part of our everyday life, not in Word only but in action; that of applying His Word in all, we say and do. God is willing and ready to answer our prayers. Are you applying His Word and willing to do what He speaks to you through His Spirit in your everyday living? Truly, happiness and joy will abound as we go forward in Christ.