HOW CAN I PRAY EFFECTIVELY?
Today’s Bible reading
John 10, 11, 12
If the Bible can be compared to food, because it nourishes our spiritual lives, then prayer can be compared to breathing. There are two parts to breathing-inhaling and exhaling. So it is with prayer-talking to God and listening for His response.
The person who said “I cant find time for prayer,” was correct. You must MAKE time for it. A good way is to do it with your bible reading. In fact, when some truth grips your heart, you may want to stop for a few moments a pray about it.
A consistent prayer life is characteristic of a solid, mature Christian.
What to pray about
What to pray about is one of the first problems you’ll meet. You think of your family, your friends, your associates, your own needs- and in five minutes you’ve run out of subject matter. One way to solve this problem is to aim your prayer in certain directions, a different direction each day.
Kinds of prayer
Another solution to the problem of what to pray about is to recognize that there are several kinds or prayer. Basically, it is simply talking to God.
Praise – This is similar to thanksgiving but deals with Who God is instead of what He has done. Sometimes you can use one of the Psalms, reading it aloud to express how you feel about who God is.
Thanksgiving – Prayer is not just asking. Don’t forget to thank God for what He has already done for you. In fact, this is a good way to start your prayers. It builds your faith to remember what God has already done for you.
Petition – This means asking God to meet certain needs. Though some people never progress beyond the “gimme” stage, always asking God for something, there is nothing wrong with asking the Lord for His help. In fact, He encourages us to come with our needs.
Intercession – You may become gripped with the need of someone else and feel burdened to keep on praying until you have the assurance that God has answered your prayer. This is intercession, one of the greatest kinds of prayer, for in it you are thinking of others. We need more of this kind of prayer.
Take a few moments to carefully read the Lord’s Prayer in Matter 6:9-13. See if you can identify the different types of prayer in this model prayer that Jesus taught his disciples.
How God answers
This is an important lesson to learn. God answers every prayer. Sometimes He says “YES” sometimes He says “NO”, and often He says “WAIT”. But time spent in prayer is never wasted. You see, every more than what He does for you, God is interested in what He can do IN you.
Prayer changes you.
Praying in Public
Sooner or later, someone will call on you to lead in prayer. Don’t panic. Simply remember that you’re praying to the Lord, not to the people. Pray as a representative to the group and express what you think are their general desires in that meeting. Don’t worry about using exactly the right words.
Bible study for today
Who is the Good Shepherd?
What has Jesus done for the sheep?
Who did Martha say Jesus is?
What is needed in order to see God’s glory?
How often did the Father hear Jesus’ prayer?
What did Jesus mean by “lifted up”?
Good verses to memorize
John 10:9, 10:10; 11:25. 26; 11:40; 12:25; 12:32