I felt like my prayers were dead and lifeless at times and at others I felt like I was just a child whining, crying, and being pitiful. I needed to know how to pray.
The following has always been one of my favorite scripture passages. This passage on prayer has literally changed my life. I want to take a few days to study prayer and for us to be able to talk about it; what prayer is, and why it is so important. This may be basic for some or most of you, but since it is a subject that God is bringing up with me today, let's just know He has something there for all of us.
13. Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. 14. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15. and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
About ten years ago, God called us out of our big growing church to help start a new church. I had been praying for a place that I new God was calling me to, but it wasn't yet visible. I met and prayed with the key leaders for six months before the church actually met together. So when it was time to step out there into a building, and actually become a separate body of believers, I was asked to head the prayer ministry.
I was a novice for sure, but one thing I did have was a heart for prayer. I had come to realize that to accomplish anything in the spiritual realm, or here in the physical for that matter, we must first start with prayer. People from many denominations were joining together in this church. Some had definite thoughts on prayer, others had none. God wanted us all to start on the same page. He led me to write a study on prayer to initiate our prayer ministry. What follows are my notes and outline for the study on prayer.
Foundations for a Life of Prayer
When I teach a Bible Study I teach from the Bible. I will give you instances from my own life and experience, but I want to give you the foundation from the Word of God. I can give you my opinion, but if your read it from God’s Word, then it will be God’s opinion.
When asked to teach on prayer I was so excited. I went home and got out all my books on prayer. As I sought the Lord over what and how to teach this He asked me a question.
“Who is teaching this class?”
I said, “You, Lord”.
He said, “Then put away your books and let me tell you how to do it!”
So what I am going to lay before you may seem basic, but God wants us all to start with the beginning. He wants to lay a foundation of knowledge and information from the Word of God, the Bible, that will prove what He is saying.
And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer'; but you are making it a robbers' den."
Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples."
God calls for His House, the church to be a House of Prayer. That not only means the building, but each of us individually is a “house”, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
16. Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17. If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
We are the temple (house) of the Holy Spirit.
46. "And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? 47. "Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: 48. he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49. "But the one who has heard, and has not acted [accordingly], is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."
We are to build our foundation upon the Word of God, the Rock, so that it will be strong, and in a time of adversity, it will not fall. The Word of God gives us a foundation for our prayers. If we believe God’s Word then when adversity comes, we can stand on the foundation of God’s Word.
So God gives us a command. “Our house is to be a house of prayer”. For our own bodies and spirit, and then for our church.
to be continued...