March 25, 2020

Read 1 John 5

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (1 John 5:14 )Does prayer strengthen a person’s faith? Many of the prayers that we pray are no more than an outward action, a duty that is performed because we are taught to do so. Some of the earmarks of outward prayer include:

 

  1. No remembrance of what we prayed for after our prayers.
  2. No thought put into the needs that we have, that our family, our church, our country has.
  3. No follow up to see if any of our prayers are answered specifically.
  4. Day dreaming when we pray.
  5. A small amount of actual time is spent addressing God, most of the time is simply thinking in our minds.
  6. No thought of confession, of the need to approach a holy God.
  7. Little emphasis on praise, we simply are not thinking about who we are praying to.
  8. Little or no thought given to thanksgiving for past blessings.

 

How different our prayer would be in we simply began our prayers with three prerequisites:

  1. We must know who we are praying to. We must approach Him as God, deserving of our attention. As God, He is worthy of praise, and as a Holy God, He is worthy of respect for coming into His presence with clean hands and a pure heart.
  2. We must know what we want to say, what our petitions need to be.
  3. We must expect God to answer.

 

Can you imagine how this would strengthen our faith when we see specific answers to specific needs? We are assured that someone is listening, that someone cares enough to answer, and that He keeps His promises. It is easy to believe that God will take care of tomorrow when He has always taken care of the past and present. Unless we “notice” the answers that God has given, we will not as easily believe that He will do in the future as He has done in the past. 
 
(Note: The exercises are part of the plan to increase our faith in the next forty days.  Each exercise will stretch us in a ways that will cause us to ask for God’s strength.)
 

An Exercise to increase our faith: Make a prayer list and begin to write every prayer need in your life and of those in your church. Plan and commit to pray for each of those needs on your prayer list each day. Remember to pray for the one that you will invite to church online, or in person when we can meet again. If you would like, email the first name of the person to the church so that we can put each person on a prayer list that we will all pray for corporately.   

 


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