Prayer tips

TWENTY GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE PRAYER


Persevere in prayer (Luke 18:1)

Pray with confidence (Heb. 4:16)

Resist the devil (Jas. 4:7)

Allow God to work (Ps. 37:5)

Pray specifically (Phil. 4:19; 4:6)

Pray in Jesus’ Name (John 4:13-14)

Pray in faith (Mark 11:22-24)

Pray according to God’s promises (2 Cor. 1:20)

Don’t try to dictate to God (Isa. 55:8-9)

God is almighty (Eph. 1:19-21)

Pray according to God’s will (1 John 5:14-15)

Pray with expectation (Jer. 33:3)

Praise and thank God for answers (Ps. 100)

Obey God and live a holy life (1 John 3:21-22)

Confess and break with all conscious and unconfessed sin (Prov. 28:9, 13)

Pray fervently and earnestly (Jas. 5:16)

Pray from your position of authority in Christ (Eph. 2:6)

Saturate your prayers in praise and worship (Rom. 11:33-36)

Wait upon the Lord so that He can answer you (Isa. 40:31; Ps. 145:15)

Be honest with God in your prayers; do not try to hide things or misrepresent things to God (Ps. 139:23-24)

Prayer Tips

AN HOUR THAT CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
(12 segments – 5 minutes in each step of prayer = 1 hour!)


STEP 1: PRAISE
A. “Enter His presence with praise”
B.  Praise God for who He is — think about His righteousness, His Word, His strength, His love.
B.  Read Psalm 100 and Psalm 150.
C.  Go through the alphabet and praise Him for something that begins with each letter (for example: Lord, I praise You because You are Almighty, Beautiful, Caring, etc)

STEP 2 – WAITING 
A.  “Be still and know that I am God.”
B.  Clear out the clamoring thoughts from your mind – slow down.
B.  Read Isaiah 40:28-31.

STEP 3 – CONFESSION
A.  Read 1 John 1:9 & Psalm 139:23
B.  Ask God to search your heart and bring to light anything within you that is wrong.
C.  Confess your sin to God – ask Him to cleanse you from all unrighteousness – to make you clean on the inside.
D.  Be sure to check your attitudes, motives, thoughts and words as well as your actions against God or your fellow man.
E.  When you’ve completed this step – thank Him for His grace and forgiveness.

STEP 4 – SCRIPTURE PRAYING 
A.  Open your Bible and look for verses to pray.
B.  Put yourself into the verse. For example: “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory” Phil. 4:19.
Lord, I have read this promise and I believe you will supply my need for_____________. Thank you for being true to your word.”

STEP 5 – WATCHING
A.  Read Matt. 26:41, Col. 4:2
B.  Watch for methods Satan may try to use to hinder your Christian walk this day. Prayerfully claim power to defeat Satan in each of these areas.
C.  Pray against Satan, and for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
D.  Pray for specific people, that they may not fall into temptation.

STEP 6 – INTERCESSION (PRAYER FOR OTHERS)
A.  Pray your list.
B.  Pray for the MCF Leadership team.
C.  Pray for a member of the military that you know does not know Jesus. Pray for their salvation.
D.  Pray for our chaplains.
E.  Pray specifically for people and their needs as the Holy Spirit brings them to your mind.
F.   Pray for the sick, the lost, the hurting, the church, the pastors, your family, your friends, your neighbors (…. the list is endless).

STEP 7 – PETITION (PRAYING FOR YOUR OWN NEEDS)
A.  What do you need from the Lord? Ask Him!
B.  Read Matthew 7:7
C.  Do you have faith to believe that God will answer your prayer?
D.  Most importantly, pray for God’s will to be done in your life.

STEP 8 – THANKSGIVING
A.  Thank Him for what He has done.
B.  Think about your many blessings.
C.  Thank Him for His grace, His Son’s sacrifice, His gift of eternity.

STEP 9 – SINGING
A.  Sing Psalm 100:2, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16
B.  Sing choruses or hymns unto the Lord
C.  Ask the Holy Spirit to create an original melody in your heart so your song is truly “a new song” (Psalm 144:9)

STEP 10- MEDITATION
A.  Read Psalm 62:5, Psalm 1:1-2, Psalm 77:12
B.  Focus on God’s word, on God’s works, on past victories, on positive thoughts.

STEP 11 – LISTENING
A.  Listen for God’s guidance and prompting. He speaks to us silently – in the heart. If you pause and ask God, He will speak to you.
B.  Do not hesitate to ask God very specific questions about different problems or situations.
C.  Be prepared to write down any ideas God may share concerning the details of solving that problem.

STEP 12- PRAISE (Start with praise and end with praise)
A.  Praise Him and thank Him for what he has done for you during your hour of prayer.
B.  Praise Him and thank Him for what He is going to do.
C.  Let your heart rejoice as you end your prayer. Repeat the universal word for praise – HALLELUJAH

PRAYER TIPS

Checklist for a Stimulating conversation with God.


PART 1: LISTENING TO GOD
Begin your Quiet Time by reading a passage of Scripture. Select and read a daily passage prayerfully, asking God to speak to you as you read it. Ask the Lord to call to your attention any:

  • examples to follow
  • commands to obey
  • errors to confess
  • sins to quit
  • promises to claim
  • new thoughts about God

Use a Quiet Time journal to keep a record of the insights you gain as God speaks to you through His Word.

PART 2: TALKING TO GOD
As you talk to God each day, have your conversations cover these five areas:

1. Praise: 

Praise is closely related to thanksgiving, but there is a difference. Praise involves adoring God for who He is. Thanksgiving is thanking God for what He has done. Praise is showing love to God; thanksgiving is expressing gratitude. God is to be praised for His character. He is to be thanked for His actions.

Begin your prayer by praising God. For example, “I love You, God. I praise You for being who You are.”

2. Confession

  • Ask the Lord to make you aware of any sins that are hurting your fellowship with Him.
  • Confess each sin individually to the Lord.
  • Agree with God that the sin is wrong.
  • Express your desire to avoid these sins in the future.
  • By faith, claim His forgiveness.
  • Right the wrong to whatever extent you can.
  • Accept by faith the fact that you are totally cleansed (1 John 1:9).

3. Thanksgiving

Express your thankfulness for specific things. Cultivate a general attitude of thankfulness whatever the circumstance (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

4. Intercession – Praying for Others

Pray for the needs of other people. In your mind draw together God and the person in need. God’s grace will meet the needs of that person.

5. Petition – Praying for Yourself

  • Pray for spiritual growth.
  • Pray for your material needs.
  • Share with God the desires of your heart and trust Him to respond in the best possible way.

Be willing to act on your prayers. For example, if you pray that a friend will recover from grief over a relative who has died, be willing to share words of encouragement and deeds of love with that friend.

P-R-A-Y-E-R Tips

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).


I.   P-revailing
“… as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed”
(Gen. 32:28).

  • To prevail means to become effective, to succeed, to triumph.
  • There are times when we must prevail in prayer as Jacob did. God does things when we pray persistently that He otherwise would not do.

II.   R-equesting
“Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matt. 7:7).

  • Some Christians fail to pray as they should until trouble strikes.
  • We must pray often, asking largely. God desires our daily fellowship with Him in prayer, petition, and praise.

III.   A-ccepting
“… whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matt. 21:22).

  • Many Christians pray often, but they fail to receive from God because they lack faith.
  • We must ask with expectancy, accepting God’s blessings by faith (Mark 11:24).

IV.   Y-ielding
“… not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).

  • Jesus was facing the cross. His life was at stake, but He yielded to His Father’s will.
  • Prayers will be answered; burdens will be lifted; broken homes will be mended; and souls will be won to Christ when we yield our will to God’s will.

V.   E-vangelizing
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

  • Our prayers can reach around the world to touch missionaries, loved ones, and the unsaved.
  • The prayer of faith is effective, both near and far, to sustain, save, and secure.

VI.   R-ejoicing
“Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).

  • Rejoicing comes with the anticipation of answered prayer. It is an act of faith preceeding the answer (Ps. 91:15).
  • We must praise the Lord after our prayers are answered. God is worthy of our praise.  

Borrowed from: Spray, R. E. (1978). 
Easy-to-Use Sermon Outlines(pp. 38–39). 
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House

Back to the Basics – Part IV

Pray the gift of a blessing



As we enter the month when the life, crucifixion, resurrection, assertion and promise of Jesus’ return is celebrated we can pray that our families find the true meaning of Easter. This month use this simple guide to pray blessings over someone who does not know Jesus as Lord. Trust God to reveal Himself to them.

Here is a link for: PRAYER TIPS PART IV for you to consider.

Back to the Basics – Part III

Prayer


And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” Ephesians 6:18


It is almost impossible to go into the world and not see someone on their cell phone. People are talking in their cars (hands-free of course) while walking, and some while in movies. In this age of wireless communication, there are few barriers to connecting with someone regardless of where you are or what you are doing. Prayer has many similarities to this wireless phenomenon. We can dial up to God and talk with Him as long as we like, anytime and anywhere.

At some point, nearly everyone turns to prayer in some way. From the most devoted to the wildest prodigal, we pray. Some pray at the top of their day when they awaken, while another wait until they are on the top of a cliff, teetering on the edge. Regardless of where we are in our faith journey, God cherishes each prayer offered.

There are several styles of prayer that Christians use to engage with God and this article will address the style I refer to as WATCH & PRAY – the continual state of awareness as a watchman on the wall. The 15th – century spiritual guide, Brother Lawrence offered a unique perspective on prayer. He shared that when we look for God’s presence in the surroundings of our daily lives we will be lead to prayers of thanks, praise and wonderment. For example, when we look at those we encounter and recognize they are also created in God’s image we will be drawn to offer prayers asking for God’s mercies to draw them to the knowledge of Jesus.

“WATCH & PRAY” prayers are often short and are offered any time regardless of what we are doing. They fit beautifully into our busy lives and allow us to follow Paul’s guidance to the Ephesians church. Look around, look up, and look forward to talking with God throughout your day.

Getting back to Basics – Part II

Control

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20


When I attended basic training at Cornwallis, I was invited to participate in the Red Cross Bronze medallion program so that I could be used as a lifeguard during my stay. We were taught various techniques and skills to ensure our success as protectors of the pool. Early in the program, we were tasked to rescue one of the instructors who would simulate being in distress. In my eagerness to be the hero I plunged in, swam to the victim and soon found myself tangled up in his thrashing arms almost to the point I was the victim. Generally, a drowning person can’t grasp the help being offered because they are struggling to keep their head above water.

Following my near disaster, we were taught the proper method of rescue. This involved swimming towards the victim and stopping out of reach of them. Then, while treading water, offer calming words and watch for signs of surrender. We were to let them thrash away and when they had exhausted themselves with their own efforts, we moved behind them, placed an arm in the rescue posture and brought them to shore. We could save them because the victim surrendered their fight and allowed themselves to be saved.

During this training, I learnt a powerful lesson about control and surrender. A reality that many Christ-followers struggle with as they seek to walk with Christ. They have invited Jesus to be in their life and yet have not surrendered it to Him. They want Him nearby to step in when they struggle, but when they feel comfortable, they want Him to back off while they retake control. Many put significant effort into being like Christ forgetting that because we choose to follow, Christ resides in us. We don’t have to imitate or mimic Jesus’ behaviour, we just have to let Him lead and then follow. We have been created in the image of God which is not just a physical resemblance; we inherited His character. Sin broke that image and the only way we can love as God desires, make good moral choices, and act selflessly is to allow Christ’s image to live within us.

Getting back to the basics in our relationship with Christ means we have to surrender. This is very difficult because the world shouts at us to take control. It says we are individuals in charge of our own destiny and if we are truthful with ourselves, we know that is not the case. Sadly, many brothers and sisters who love God do not experience the calmness, peace, comfort, or rest Jesus offers because they are trying to do things they think will evoke Jesus’ blessings. They are trying to control Jesus’ gifts by their efforts instead of saying, “Jesus will you take control and transform me into your image.”

Surrendering to Jesus does not mean giving up on life. Surrender means to yield ownership, to relinquish control over what we consider ours: our property, our time, our future. When we surrender to Jesus, we are merely acknowledging that; what we think we own belongs to Him. By surrendering to Jesus, we let go of whatever has kept us from wanting God’s ways first. If you’re going to flail away in life, Jesus will allow you. But if you’re going to be crucified with Christ and die to the things you are trying to control, let Jesus take control over every aspect of your life, not just the ones you think you can’t handle.

Here is a link for: Prayer tips Part II″ for you to consider.

Getting back to Basics – Part 1

Putting God in Your Heart, Soul, and Strength 

“The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him”  Lamentations 3:25


Many of our brothers and sisters have hit a wall concerning their spiritual growth. They are at a place in their life where they struggle to see God’s presence, and their relationship with Jesus is not as vibrant as it was when they first decided to follow Him. If asked they will admit they don’t pray or read and study scripture as often as they’d like. Some have even dropped those practices altogether. Sadly, the reality of 2019 is that all our waking moments seem to be filled with competing priorities and other distractions. The world tugs at all of us and busyness steals us from our family, our pleasures and our Lord. No one really wants to work long days, ignore their families, or let their relationship with God slide. So, we must find a way to accomplish our most important activity of becoming the follower that Jesus desires for us.

Spiritual disciplines do not come easy to many as often when we are on our journey, we feel like we are on a spiritual roller coaster. To get off the ups and downs, it takes humility and commitment. We will need to acknowledge where we are now and be willing to have a desire to get even closer to God. Over the next few weeks, we are going to address the practices of prayer, engaging scripture and drawing closer to God. We want to offer some helpful tips that have worked for us and many others who tried to get back on track. Our relationship with Jesus is personal to each of us, and although we can suggest some practices, only you can know what works with your lifestyles, your family, and your desires. Like every other habit that we know is good for us, it will take time as well as some personal choices.

This week we’d like to challenge you to do two things. Firstly, make a calendar covering off a week and include the hours of the day that you are usually awake (i.e. 05:00 – 22:00). Start to fill in the time slots with the activities that you tend to do during the week. Include all meal breaks, preparation time, travel time, work, entertainment time and so on. After you have filled out the calendar think about the spiritual practice goals, you’d like to accomplish. For example, maybe you’d want to read scripture a couple of times during the week and study the bible for maybe at least 30 minutes once a week. Perhaps you’d like to pray for 5 or 10 minutes each day as well as take 30 minutes at the end of the week to talk and listen to God. These don’t have to be your goals but identify something you’d like to do. Caution – don’t say I want to get up at 4:00 AM each morning and for 2 hours read scripture and pray. That may come later but identify a goal you know is achievable at the onset. Once you have completed your calendar, look to see where you have time to fit in these goals. If you are like most of us, you will have to give something up to pursue your spiritual objectives. Reflect on this and start to think about where you can manipulate your calendar to fit in these goals.

Secondly, start a daily devotional. This is a straight forward activity that can prepare you in adjusting your weekly calendar. Devotionals are great because they offer a few verses of scripture, as well as some life applications that are easy to follow. Because you are seeking God, we know the Holy Spirit will bring the devotional to your mind several times throughout your day helping with the practice of sensing God’s presence throughout your day. Many use the electronic devotional YouVersion. It not only offers numerous translations of the Bible in both reading and audio format, but it also provides hundreds of simple to follow devotionals that take just a few minutes and can be read or listened to while eating breakfast or even having a quick coffee. This tool is available on all types of phones and computers. The reason we endorse this idea is that the word of God is placed in your mind at the start of the day through scripture, prayer and life application.

Our spiritual practices don’t earn us any points with God or make us better or holier than other Christians. They lead us to a more significant relationship with God and His children. Studying, not just reading scripture and spending intentional, planned time in communication with God, will open our minds to God. God’s desire for you is that you experience awakening such that these practices stop becoming activities in your daily routine but become catalysts to influence and inspire the way you live and perform all actions each day.

Here is a link for: Prayer tips Part 1″ for you to consider.

A letter from your Father

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. (Psalm 139:1) I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Psalm 139:2) I am familiar with all your ways. (Psalm 139:3) Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:29-31) For you were made in my image. (Genesis 1:27) In me you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:28) For you are my offspring. (Acts 17:28) I knew you even before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:4-5) I chose you when I planned creation. (Ephesians 1:11-12) You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. (Psalm 139:15-16) I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. (Acts 17:26) You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) I knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) And brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6) I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. (John 8:41-44) I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16) And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1 John 3:1) Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. (Matthew 7:11) For I am the perfect father. (Matthew 5:48) Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. (James 1:17) For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33) My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3) My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Psalm 139:17-18) And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17) I will never stop doing good to you. (Jeremiah 32:40) For you are my treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5) I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. (Jeremiah 32:41) And I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3) If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. (Deuteronomy 4:29) Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) For it is I who gave you those desires. (Philippians 2:13) I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) For I am your greatest encourager. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) When you are broken-hearted, I am close to you. (Psalm 34:18) As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. (Isaiah 40:11) One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. (Revelation 21:3-4) And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (Revelation 21:3-4) I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. (John 17:23) For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. (John 17:26) He is the exact representation of my being. (Hebrews 1:3) He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. (Romans 8:31) And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. (1 John 4:10) I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. (Romans 8:31-32) If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. (1 John 2:23) And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. (Romans 8:38-39) Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. (Luke 15:7)
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. (Ephesians 3:14-15)
My question is…Will you be my child? (John 1:12-13)

I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32)

Love, Your Dad.
Almighty God