I have been helping people learn how to pray throughout my ministry. One of the best resources I have used is a small lesson from ‘Personal Disciplemaking‘ by Chris Adsit. Chris has done a great service to the body of Christ by providing materials and training in the area of one-to-one discipleship. I’ve used it for several years.
In the area of prayer, it has helped me to know TEN FACTS. Here they are:
1. You can pray about anything you want to, any time, andy place.
Since God is infinite, everywhere, and all powerful, He is not limited by time or place to hear my prayers. He wants to listen to me anytime, any place.
2. There are four basic types of prayer: A.C.T.S.
Throughout the Bible we find examples and admonitions to talk to God in four ways. It’s an acronym – Adoration (expressing your love to God in worship & praise); Confession (agreeing with God about your sin); Thanksgiving (thanking God for things He’s done); Supplication (making requests of God to supply your need).
3. God really does listen to your prayers.
Prayer is a genuine conversation. You speak, and God listens. He’ll speak back through the Bible, or circumstances, or even impressions in your mind.
4. Faith is vital in prayer.
Faith is one of the primary characteristics that God wants to develop in you, so He’ll respond to your faith in amazing ways.
5. God answers prayer in four ways: Yes, No, Wait, or If
God might say ‘yes’ to our request. That’s great! But sometimes he says ‘no’ to a selfish or foolish request. Sometimes He wants us to ‘wait’ until the time is right. And sometimes He will say ‘yes’ if we are obedient to Him.
6. There is great authority as you pray “in Jesus’ name.”
I used to think if I finished my prayer with the magic words, “in Jesus’ name”, it somehow made it good. But to pray in Jesus’ name simply means we are giving our requests to our Heavenly Father as representatives of Jesus. When He is our Lord and Savior, we can pray in His name.
7. “Yes” answers require certain conditions.
If we are living in disobedience to God or have poor motives, God will not say “Yes” to our prayers. God the Father knows our heart. And though neither He nor we could ever expect us to achieve sinless perfection, He knows whether we are at least trying to respond to Him by living the right kind of life to see our prayer answered.
8. Persistence is a true ‘yes-answer-enhancer.’
Some people think that once you’ve asked God for something, it is a lack of faith to ask again. But God encourages us to continue to ask Him until He answers or changes our mind.
8. Tolerating sins hamper our “Yes” answers.
God won’t ignore our sin. If we harbor sin in our lives, it will delay or even stop God’s ‘yes’ answer.
9. Don’t forget to listen.
It is good to spend some of the time in prayer listening to what God might want to say. You can sit quietly, perhaps with an open Bible in front of you, perhaps meditating on a Bible verse, and wait expectantly on the Lord. Take the initiative and ask God if there is anything in particular He would like to say to you. Then wait and listen.
Have you learned any practical help to prayer in your Christian life? Share it.
If you would like to know more about Chris Adsit’s ministry (especially to returning military), visit his website: www.DiscipleMakersInternational.com.