(Pongo weighs in on this important topic — Curly)
A man took his small son with him to town one day to run some errands. When lunchtime arrived, the two of them went to a familiar diner for a sandwich. The father sat down on one of the stools at the counter and lifted the boy up to the seat beside him. They ordered lunch, and when the waiter brought the food, The father said, “Son, we’ll just have a silent prayer.” Dad got through praying first and waited for the boy finishes prayer, but he just sat with his prayer, but he just sat with his head bowed for an unusually long time. When he finally looked up, His father asked him, “What in the world were you praying about all that time?” With the innocence and honesty of a child he replied. “How do I know?I was a silent prayer.”
Today we talk about prayer, the topic I hope all of you know a lot about because it’s a very important part of your life. Unfortunately, for too many people, they wonder what all the commotion is about. They feel they have no use for prayer or time to pray for that matter. You might even be one of those persons.
People who don’t trust in the power of prayer usually fall into a couple of different categories.
The first group has never experienced the power of prayer their lives and they’ve only heard fig reports about what prayer has done in someone else’s life. They think prayer is only for the week and that any evidence of miracles from prayer, Great or small, Or a hoax.
They’ll only believe in the power of prayer if they see it. They might’ve tried prayer when they were really desperate but they didn’t notice anything different right away so they put it in their “been there done that” file.
The second group of people who have not come to trust the power of prayer are those will forgotten it. They might have experience good things coming from prayer in the past but they have long since forgotten. That was then, this is now.
They’ve become disconnected from the kind of prayer that changes things and eventually their prayers became more and more empty “prayer for the sake of prayer” They feel as if they’re speaking to no one so their prayers don’t really make a difference anymore.
If you can identify with either of these groups, I ask you to pay close attention. If you understand just how important prayer is or even if you don’t, I want to encourage you.
I want you to experience and enriched prayer life because when you understand the importance of prayer, you begin to pray with greater passion. When you begin to experience the true power in prayer, your prayers will be spoken with more conviction and faith. Should When you learn to buy whose authority that you’re able to pray, your communication with God will be deepened. When your prayers give you a taste of God you will be keep wanting him more and more.
Martin Luther said, “if I should neglect prayer but I single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith” and he urged his congregations to “pray as if everything depends on God, then work as if everything depends on you.”
We all have significant things in our own lives the hold up in prayer. What an incredible gift we have been given to be able to speak with our Creator and to no he listens to our every word.
So, what does an effective prayer look like? I believe the most effective prayer is an honest prayer, One the contains evidence that we understand just how dependent we are on God.
God isn’t really interested in what we look like or what we where or what kind of music we listen to. He’s more interested in seeing that we are looking up. He wants to know that we depend on him, that we cherish prayer is much his we cherish anything, and that we believe in its power to change things. Our God wants to see hearts that want to make a difference, that glorify him, that depend on him for everything.
God sees every heart and he knows whether your prayers are genuine or if they are nothing but words. Is listening to what our souls are telling him through prayer.
God sees the heart. You can’t trick him, you can’t fake him out because God sees the motivation for your prayer in your heart. To pray and in sincere prayer is to mark God as you try to manipulate Him.
Prayer depends on your relationship with God. If He’s nothing about a passing fancy to you then your prayers will show it. But if you have surrendered everything to God and you seek to strengthen that relationship, it is prayer that you go to because God wants nothing more than to give you the strength that can only be found in the faith you have in Him. An honest, truthful prayer from the heart is the kind of prayer that changes things.
James 5:16-17 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
That is one of the greatest promises that God attaches to prayer. He wants our prayers to claim that promised and fully expect God to honor His Word.
The Greek for this quote speaks over prayer that is done with great emotion, with great passion, and with great faith. Some of the most passionate prayers are those were there is no sound because the passion assault from the heart.
So where does this passion come from? We find it in things that inspire us, so your prayer should be a source of inspiration to you; a conversation with God, doing is much listening as you do talking. Your passion should come from wanting to make the kind of changes that glorify God in the process. When we pray for the sick, or anyone else less fortunate than ourselves our passion should be in wanting to be Christ to them. Our prayers should see transformation in us. The prayer of the passion that causes us to rise up and take action in a way that exalts God in the world. Psalm 34:6 says, ” In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from my troubles.”
But let’s be honest, not every prayer is going to be award-winning. Sometimes we’re not just that passionate. Sometimes we might even be a little angry with God. Well, your prayer is a conversation and God rejoices at every prayer, Even those given that are less than passionate.
God’s promise to hear our prayer, but even in our most passionate efforts his answer is sometimes no or later. These are the ones that trip us up because we all want immediate satisfaction, especially when we pray with earnest hearts. But if we look back on our lives, I think most of us can say, “Man, am I glad He didn’t say yes to that one!”
So what should our prayers contain? Honors prayer looks very much like a conversation between two people. When I have trouble imagining God hearing me I put a chair before me and imagine Christ is sitting there listening to me. Then I simply have a conversation.
Every prayer should have certain elements. These include petitions asking for forgiveness. God wants us to understand the depths that our sin has reached and the sincere desire to make a change. Every prayer should include petitions of Thanksgiving because got also wants us to understand just how much we have to be thankful for. Every prayer should include praise and adoration so that we might come to know how important it is for us to understand the immensity and greatness of God. And our requests should be ones that glorify god and not ourselves.
Sometimes we feel lost, even the most faithful of us. Jesus knows us and he wants you to pray to him for hope. Sometimes we feel anger; he wants you to pray for peace. Sometimes we feel lonely and he wants you to pray to remind yourself that he is there.
As you pray, understand that Jesus can. Jesus can save you from the greatest of trials. He died, not so that He could simply fulfill prophecy but also that we could feel confident coming to Him in prayer. He payed the price we couldn’t pay so that we could hold our heads high, looking to heaven for the answer we seek.
If you will devote yourself to an honest and passionate prayer life, I can promise you that your prayers will never go on answered. In every prayer of repentance, forgiveness will follow. And every since see your prayer of need, His mercy will be given to you. In every cry for a reduction, His promise of eternal life will hold true for you because He desires to answer the prayers of his people. God will take care of his children as he has promised, but you must go to Him and the best way to do that is in prayer.
1st John 1: 9 – But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That’s a promise. That’s the kind of prayer that changes things. It is an honest and fervent prayer that’s not afraid to bow the knee and humility before a mighty God. May God hear your every plea and answer you with the love only He can provide.