Monday, October 26, 2020

Prayer & Discipleship

 Monday, October 26, 2020 Submitted by Van Houser

"Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 'Give us this day our daily bread. 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]' (Matthew 6:9-13)


Prayer & Discipleship 

Two spiritual practices are indispensable in reaching Christian maturity. The first is prayer; the second is Bible study.  These are like the two wings of a giant bird.  If you keep both of them going, you can soar to spiritual heights. 

The single most important factor in growing to Christian maturity is prayer.  Its importance cannot be overestimated.  It is the difference in Christianity being merely a form and it being a force.  Every great servant of God has been a person of prayer.  Not just repetitious sayings made at proper times but intimate conversations with Holy God.

Too many spend too much of their energy on trying to achieve righteousness.  We are the consummate “I can do this myself” generation.  We pride ourselves and praise others who are highly independent.  Here is some news for you...the Christian life is a life of dependence.  It is not believing in Jesus and then “doing the best you can.”  It is not an "Operation Bootstrap" where only the people most disciplined and gifted survive.  It is not joining the church and getting a “do-it-yourself” kit.  It begins by confessing our complete inability to save ourselves and continues with the confession of our desperate need for God’s power and righteousness.  It is living in constant fellowship with and dependence upon God. 

The importance of prayer can best be seen in the life of Jesus. Jesus on his knees is the greatest argument there is for prayer.  As someone has said, "God had only one son who lived without sin. But he has had no sons who have lived without prayer."  Jesus was constantly in prayer. He prayed before he ate, before great decisions, and in the garden of Gethsemane. Sometimes he prayed all night long.  His was the most beautiful life ever lived.  And it was punctuated with prayer.

The disciples were so impressed with the prayer life of Jesus that they asked him, "Lord, teach us to pray."(Luke 11:1)  They had heard him preach eloquent sermons, but they never asked, "Lord, teach us to preach."  They saw him perform amazing miracles but they never said, "Lord, teach us to work miracles."  They recognized that the secret of his great life was in his communion with God through prayer. That's why they said, "Lord, teach us to pray."  In response to their request Jesus gave them and us the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:5-17).

There is one thing that must happen if you are to know a powerful prayer life…you must focus on God.  If you focus on your need, you will worry.  If you focus on God, you will find your faith renewed.  Jesus said, “Without Him, I could do nothing.”  Are we stronger than Him?   

Scripture to Claim:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8



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