I originally wrote this article in January of 2012. I wrote it because of the deep and beneficial impact that prayer has made in my life. I republish this edited version, because prayer continues to be such a powerful construct in my life; that I can not come close to appraising its positive influence in my personality and behavior. I release this article again, in hopes that it will help many of you discover a dynamic that is readily available to you.. Prayer. It is often misunderstood and therefore overlooked and avoided. I hope these words will help some of you discover this powerful influence in your life.
Prayer can be the greatest union you ever experience with any one. God has joys unspeakable to share with those who dare be one with Him! For me, it is not just a meal time appointment but an all the time appointment made deeper by daily morning & night prayers.
I. Thessalonians 5:17. New American Standard Bible (NASB). Pray without ceasing. Cross references: 1 Thessalonians 5:17 : Eph. 6:18 ·
Here is how different versions of the Bible say this same verse:
New International Version (©1984)
New Living Translation (©2007)
Never stop praying.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
pray without ceasing;
International Standard Version (©2008)
Continually be prayerful.
GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Never stop praying.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Pray without ceasing.
Darby Bible Translation
Weymouth New Testament
Be unceasing in prayer.
Young’s Literal Translation
continually pray ye;
II. If we ever really get it-Prayer becomes the greatest part of life. I love lots of people. But there is no One I would rather meet with than God. I have spoken these words privately to myself: “I get to meet with God tonight. I get to meet with God.” Wow. What a privilege is prayer!!!
Prayer can be the greatest union you ever experience with any one. God has joys unspeakable to share with those who dare be one with Him! If you ever really get a hold of the tangible reality, of fellow-shipping with God; prayer will not be a duty but a desire.
I will have many appointments n the rest of my life; if I am granted long life. But One appointment I will have every day is with God.
Prayer is a secret sanctuary, I go to. A place of deep soul searching & earnest communication with God. Yes, you heard right. I said, a place.
My favorite time of the day is prayer. It is my first & last conversation of the day. I try 2 talk more 2 God than anyone else.
Prayer has become the greatest part of my life!!
III. The Bible teaches we must seek to find-God is not playing hard to get but His messages are so precious, They must b sought like gold to be found. This is especially true of prayer.
The greatest learning experiences in a child’s life are not the demonstrations of the parent But the discoveries of the child. So God lets it be this way to ensure our learning.
I can not figure God out. If He did not choose to reveal Himself through Christ; I would have confusion, instead of the peace I have today.
When God speaks; it is often so profound that your mind can not understand it. You can only speak it, if & when He enables & gives the words.
God is not a spiritual Santa Claus. He wants to give gifts to us but deep spiritual union must be attained before we can hear or handle them.
We want direction from God but don’t take the time to peel back the layers that must unfold, before messages can be deposited deeply in our heart.
Praying is often in layers. Preparation, Confession, Forgiveness, Intercession, Communion, Revelation, Restoration, Empowering & Direction.
We must SEEK, to find; in prayer.
For the believer, Prayer should be as intrinsic as DNA. It should be a rudimentary part of our life. Pray diligently to discover it’s potential & power.
IV. I have pre-decided that the most regular topic of my preaching for the rest of my life will be prayer. Listening to preaching about prayer can help deepen your prayer life.
I recently read of a Pastor describing his first sermon. “Twelve minutes later I was done. The church was besieged in cold-sweats. My mother took her first breath. The pastor cringed. The angels wept. It was the worst night of my life.
And God said, “Get used to it, kid, I’ve called you to preach.” And suddenly the words, “He uses the foolish things of this world had a whole new meaning. Balaam’s donkey looked awfully familiar.”
This is the way I feel about preaching about prayer. I am not real religious. I am a pretty rough guy but nonetheless God has called me to be a steady student and teacher of prayer.
Preaching is the centerpiece of pastoring, the non-negotiable in the job description. It’s how Preacher’s are defined. Debates rage over what constitutes a great sermon. Is it cleaver oratory? Is it crowd-pleasing analogies? Is it demonstrative passion? Or is it the congregation’s response?
According to scripture, great preaching has little to do with the size of the Preacher’s talent and everything to do with the size of The Preacher’s God, Peter at Pentecost being proof positive. Proclaiming God’s word was never meant to be show-and-tell for a man and his gift. Great preaching is simply the spoken word opening the written word to proclaim the Incarnate Word.
A long sermon necessarily a great sermon. Jonah’s preaching led to a national revival, although it contained only eight words. For that audience, eight was enough. “Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”
In a single prayer, Jesus gave us the clue to His preaching: “I have given them Thy words.” Isn’t it interesting that Jesus preached about prayer. So as His follower and His Messenger; I am pretty sure that what I am supposed to do also: TEACH ABOUT PRAYING.
V. Prayer helps even the roughest vessel, become more pleasing to God.
We bring God joy simply by responding to Him, by taking time with Him as His loved one. Prayer should be the clear evidence of our love relationship with God. As the recipient of God’s love, it should be our pleasure to sit at His feet and let Him speak to us His words of truth.
How easily we forget what an honored privilege it is to offer our personal worship to God. When you go before Him and worship Him, you give Him what no one else in the universe can give: your own personal love, your own personal adoration, your own personal response to Him. Joy comes when you respond to your heavenly Father with your unique personality, which He created—when you take to heart His Word and tell Him your feelings and your love. And He is grieved when you don’t respond. That is One of the most profound and Amazing truths about God, That He is PERSONALLY interested in us.
God uniquely fashioned each one of us for Himself…. Each of us is individually precious to Him and will be for all eternity. Each of us can give Him the intimacy He longs for, the intense pleasure and satisfaction of our unique ways of relating to Him.
— Excerpted & Paraphrased from 31 Days of Drawing Near to God by Ruth Myers
I’m a rough & tumble guy-So it takes a lotta praying to keep me on the straight & narrow-I’m a problem child-But Jesus know’s how to set me straight.
VI. Prayer can bring a deeper sense of God’s Presence into our life…
Prayer is very important to me. Many die of thirst in a sea of plenty. Prayer is like that. It is the easiest strength to overlook. But the surest strength to rely on, when it is found.
Many do not know sound waves are present in the room until they turn a radio on and hear the music. Prayer is like that. The magnificent chords of God’s fellowship are always present. But often we do not have our receiver tuned in. Yet the Divine Reverberations are in the room nonetheless.
It is important to transition to learning about prayer, to BEING about prayer, to discover its deepest depths of meaning. And yes, when someone is in need; we may not know the outcome of our prayers but it is like depositing money in someone else’s account; you know you have given & a Power greater than yourself can combine the gift with interest on their behalf.
And when prayers are not answered; they are like love songs. The music is still beautiful, even when the consummation is not seen.
VII. PRAYER IS COMMUNION = THE DEEPEST COMMUNION.
Jesus invites everyone to partake of the new life He offers. We only must believe, invite him to remove our sins and allow Him to live as Lord through our lives.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me?” (Rev 3:20).
“Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?’- (Ex 33:15-16).
Prayer is communion. & communion for me is not just a cookie & a drink. It’s deep interaction with a powerful, holy, eternal, indescribable God. So called communion is just so called, when it does not involve a real spiritual transaction between you and God. Yes, this is Quaker thinking but it is also true.
Prayer takes the load of life of my shoulders and puts it squarely on the shoulders of a God, who helps me carry it, if I will let Him.
Prayer is a deep well.. The deeper you go in it, the purer the water becomes.
I used to think people were strange who only talked a lot about prayer. Wow. I just didn’t know.
Do you look forward to praying each day? It is like an oasis in the desert, if you find it.
PRAYER IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT APPOINTMENT EACH DAY!
say it again!
PRAYER IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT APPOINTMENT EACH DAY!
Thessalonians 5:17. New American Standard Bible (NASB). pray without ceasing
If we ever really get it-Prayer becomes the greatest part of life-
The Bible teaches we must seek 2 find. This is especially true in Prayer.
Listening to preaching about prayer can help deepen your prayer life.
Prayer helps even the roughest vessel, become more pleasing to God.
Prayer can bring a deeper sense of God’s Presence into our life… PRAYER IS COMMUNION = THE DEEPEST COMMUNION.
Let this very special verse from the last book of the Bible be your personal invitation: God wants to make His home on the inside of You! Let Him In.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me?” (Rev 3:20).