Prayer… we talk about it, most believers say it is important… but do YOU pray?
If we are honest with ourselves most of us find that we think more about prayer than we actually pray. Ask yourself, “what is the purpose of the Christian life?” A great answer is that it is “godliness born of obedience to Christ” (Rm 8:29; Eph 4:24; etc.) R.C. Sproul said, “Prayer prompts and nurtures obedience, putting the heart into a proper frame of mind to desire obedience.” [Does Prayer Change Things Reformation Trust Publishing 2009]
We might say that prayer is to the Christian life what breath is to life. How long can you hold your breath and still be effective? So when was the last time you prayed? And we wonder why we individually and corporately are spiritually gasping for vitality and life.
Perhaps the best place to start in daily prayer is to hear the words of Jesus Christ in Luke 11 where he responded to the disciples request to “teach us to pray.” Jesus taught His disciples: When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
Martin Luther spent hours each day in prayer so that he was equipped to do the work that God called him to do. We would do well to learn from saints like Martin Luther and seek God in prayer for the strength and direction to do God’s work each day. Too often we decide what we think what God wants and then ask Him to bless our plans. Let us as a church become a seeking, studying and praying people who then have no choice but to carry out what we see God compelling us to do!
- Martin Luther’s instructions on prayer he wrote for his barber: A Simple Way to Pray
- Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer (online edition — excellent tool for tablets)
- John Calvin — On Prayer – PDF
- Gleanings from Paul A Study of the Prayers of the Apostle Paul by A.W. Pink
- All the Prayers of the Bible – PDF by Herman Lockyear
- Puritan Prayers – taken from the Valley of Vision
- Does Prayer Change Things? by R.C. Sproul
- A Discourse on the Delight of Prayer — by Stephen Charnock
- Thomas Watson — The Lord’s Prayer — a series of sermons on prayer