David was going to die before long! The doctors had said so. And they should know, after all they are doctors. Anyway, his operation was to be in about five (5) days. The doctors had said it would help, but one lung was already shot through with cancer and would have to be removed. In his condition, death was probably only a matter of months.
He didn’t want to die! He had hoped the doctors could help, but they only shook their heads and stared at the floor. They could give him a few more months, but that was all.
Why would God let him die like this? Why?
Haven’t you know of instances like this? Would a loving and just God let people die like this, without any chance of recovery without hope?
Apparently He does. Hundreds of people die prematurely every year who call themselves Christians. They think they are God’s children. And yet their bodies rot away with deadly cancer, or their lungs are shot through and covered with tuberculosis.
David’s case is a real example of one who found that this world’s help was not enough. Like so many of us, he always relied on doctors and drugs when he was sick. He trusted human strength and ability to deliver him from every trouble.
Oh, of course since he was a “Christian,” he trusted in God for WHAT! Yes, what? A sentimental feeling? Did he really expect God to supernaturally intervene and do something? NO. And neither do most of us!
When you are sick or in trouble, you may pray about it. But do you have the faith and the understanding to leave it completely in God’s hands, to absolutely know that He will deliver His children from sickness and trials of every kind? Very few people do.
When we don’t seem to have the wisdom or the power to solve our problems we often become frustrated and unhappy. Some will commit suicide! We completely forget and ignore the fact that we have the right to call on the Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, for help with all our problems. The greatest wisdom and power in all the universe will be with every one of us, if we will only do our part.
Do you really believe in the God and Father of Jesus Christ? You may think you do, but do your works prove it? Remember that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). Your faith must be proved by acting on it, by doing something about it!
Christ set a perfect example that we “should follow his steps” (I Peter 2:21) He lived a full and abundant life, a life filled with love and power from God. He knew how to keep in contact with and draw upon the Supreme Power of the Universe.
How much we need that same dynamic force for good in our lives today! Yet most people are in reality cut off from contact with that Supreme Power. This world is filled with sick, frustrated, and miserably unhappy people! We need the true God in our lives today!
If God be God to you, if you believe the Bible is His word and that He means what He says in it, then read on and discover the right way, the revealed way, to utilize God’ Supreme Power in your life.
Can you even think or imagine that Jesus Christ acted as if His Father had “gone way off somewhere” Yet that is the exact attitude displayed by most “Christians” today. Do they completely rely on God to heal them when they are sick, or rescue them from disaster, to bless them in material as well as spiritual things? Of course not. But the disciples saw that Christ, unlike most people, actually expected God to intervene and heal the sick, cast out demons, and even to quiet a storm on the sea. They too, wanted that kind of intimate contact with God.
By His fruits, they knew that Jesus understood the correct way to draw close to the Eternal God, and to call upon His power to help in every pressing situation. That key, that correct way to call upon God’s power, is something you and I should be utilizing every day of our lives! Its use can put new meaning and power into our lives!
But this “Key” has been incorrectly employed by many people of many different religions. Remember that Jesus Christ is our example. He knew how to use this key perfectly. His way gets results!
In Luke 11:1-13 we read that the disciples came and asked Christ the way to establish right contact with God. “Lord, teach us to pray,” they asked. People do not know how to pray until they are properly taught, that, probably is your trouble.
Then Jesus gave them a type or pattern of a prayer that will get results. Let us analyze this perfect example. The prayer is addressed to “Our Father which art in heaven.” When you pray, think first of all of God as your Father. Not your Father only, but “Our Father.” Remember that there are others who are trying to serve their Creator and Spiritual Father, and that God loves us all far more than a human father would be capable of doing.
Moreover, He has power to help you in ways that would be impossible for a human father. Would your earthly father let you rot away and die of disease if he could possibly help it? But God can help it, and He has promised to heal in a number of places including Ps. 103:3 and James 5:14.
The phrase, “which art in heaven,” reminds us that God is not an ordinary Father, but one who has all power and should be worshipped. We must be humble and reverent when we pray to the true God.
“Hallowed be thy name,” shows that God’s name and all that it stands for, is to be held in reverence. God’s name will someday be our name if we overcome and are born of God. That name carries authority and rule. It must always be respected.
“Thy kingdom come” is the first request of this perfect prayer. First of all we should learn to pray for God’s kingdom, God’s government, God’s Rule to come to this earth. How many so-called Christians really want God to Rule their lives? Most carnal-minded people use every imaginable device to hide their eyes from the fact that God is Supreme Ruler. Christians should pray that God will rule this earth. Only His rule will bring about the peace and happiness that this world longs for and is striving to achieve (Isa. 11).
“Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so in earth,” teaches us to surrender our wills to God as we pray, to acknowledge His Rule, His authority. Remember that God knows what is best. You need to study God’s word so that you will learn the principles of God’s will, and can pray accordingly.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Eph. 5:17, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
Drink in God’s word so that you will begin to think as God thinks, and to have God’s will made a part of your very character. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). Then you will automatically pray according to God’s will, as revealed in the Bible, and your prayers will be answered.
“Give us day by day our daily bread” certainly shows that God desires that we ask for our material needs. But notice that we are not to ask for great wealth, but our daily bread. God has promised to supply every need (Phil 4:19). It is God’s will that we prosper and be in health (III John 2), but being made wealthy might prove to be a stumbling block to our faith. So remember Christ’s example of only asking for our daily bread, not necessarily the sustenance for several years in advance.
“And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us.” You may ask God’s forgiveness only if you first forgive others. When you kneel before God in prayer, never come before Him with feeling of bitterness, resentfulness, or hate. If you can’t first rid yourself of these feelings, ask God to clean you up and replace the spirit of hate with His Spirit of love. And love is charitable, and patient with others.
It is a wonderful feeling to know that you hate no one, but in your way however clumsily, are trying to show love to everyone. God hears and answers the prayers of a man in this spirit.
“And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” God himself tempts no man (James 1:13). But he does permit us to be tempted by Satan and our own lusts. We should constantly pray that He would not permit us to be brought into, or partake of, any temptation and that He would give us the spiritual power to master any wrong desires.
“But deliver us from evil,” should be translated, “but deliver us from the Evil One (Satan).” The original Greek means this and most commentaries give this as the correct translation. Ask God each day to give you the strength to “resist the devil and he will flee from you” James 4:7).
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). Satan the devil will try his best to upset your day and night! Ask God for strength and faith to overcome him.
Christ continued teaching his disciples (Luke 11:5-13) about prayer by giving them a parable. It shows that if we are really in dire need, as the man who had an unexpected guest, we can be sure that God will answer our prayer if we throw ourselves completely on His mercy.
The disciples were still unconverted because the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, Christ told them (v. 13), “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? God is more than willing to give us of His Spirit!
Do you need wisdom, knowledge, faith, love? These are all gifts of the Holy Spirit (I Corth. 12 and 13). Ask God for these gifts. He is more willing to give you these things than you are to feed your own hungry family. This is His will, so ask in Faith.
During His “Sermon of the Mount,” Christ assumed (Matt. 6:5-8) that His true followers would pray. He did not say “If you pray, “but when you pray. He knew that anyone who was truly serving God would be praying often. Are you? Are you praying often?
And have you ever heard certain denominations repeat prayers over and over again? Christ said, “But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (v.7).
Memorized prayers, including the “Lord’s Prayer,” soon lose their meaning and sincerity. Nowhere in the entire New Testament is the “Lord’s Prayer” repeated. The apostles didn’t repeat it over and over again. Jesus Christ gave it only as a pattern or example after which we could fashion our own prayers.
This world’s churches are in error when they practice repeating any prayer over and over again each week. Avoid this error. And try not to return thanks in the same way at the table every meal.
When you pray, don’t’ just rattle off so many words. Think about your blessings, your needs, and pray from the heart.
We should be careful not to pray “to be seen of men.” But does this mean that we should be overly secretive as if we were ashamed when we pray? Absolutely not!
Many “babes in Christ” are faced with this problem. Some of you are afraid to pray as often as you should because you are afraid other people will know about it! Have no such fear! Should the nearest of your wife, husband, or children prevent you from maintaining at intimate contact with your creator and God? Of course not!
In Luke 9:18 and 28, we find two examples of where Jesus Christ our perfect example prayed a short distance from his disciples and they knew where He was and what He was doing.
So don’t be ashamed if anyone knows you are praying! Just be careful not to pray “to be seen of men,” and try hard to find a closet or “private place” where you will not be disturbed.
When Christ was staying at Peter’s house with his disciples, “rising up a great while before day,” he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and here prayed” (Mark 1:35).
You can be alone with God if you will follow Christ’s example and make a way!
The Bible records many different positions in prayer. But it always shows that in private, personal prayer, you should kneel on both knees. It has always been a custom to kneel on one knee to a king or other ruler as a sign of respect and esteem. But the Bible always records that we should bow both knees to God in reverence and worship.
In I Kings 8:54 and Ezra 9:5 we see an example of a very suitable position in prayer. Notice that Solomon and Ezra kneeled upon both knees and spread out their hands upward toward God. This is a position of humility and supplication. You will come more nearly praying fervently if you are in such a position.
God may not answer “sleepy time prayers” that you mumble to yourself in bed just before dropping off to sleep. If you want an answer, better get out of that bed and kneel before your Creator.
In public or at the dinner table, you may pray either standing or seated, whichever way you feel would honor God the most in each situation. In Matt. 14:19, Christ commanded the people to sit down before he blessed the loaves and fishes.
But in private He “kneeled down, and prayed” (Matt. 22:41). In your personal prayers, you should kneel before God and pray fervently (James 5:16). Concentrate your whole being on communing with God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and your own loving spiritual Father. A correct position in prayer will help you do this
In Acts 13:22, we read that David was a man after God’s own heart. Read some of the Psalms. Many of the Psalms are simply David’s prayers. He prayed to God in time of trouble, for guidance, in thanksgiving. In every circumstance David went to God in prayer.
Don’t think that you are bothering God by sharing your joys and your problems with Him. Talk to God often, in every circumstance. That is undoubtedly one of the main reasons that David was a man after God’s own heart.
If you want to be a child of God, then “get acquainted” with your Heavenly Father. Talk to Him often. Share your life with God. In Ps. 55:17, David wrote, “Evening, and morning, and at the noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” David went to God in prayer three times a day.
We read of God’s prophet Daniel (Dan. 6:10), “he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” These examples are not commands, but they certainly show that to kneel in prayer three times a day is a good way to bring God and His power into our lives.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear.” The apostle Paul was inspired to write in (I Thess. 5:17) “Pray without ceasing.” This means that we are never to discontinue our prayer life. It also, with many other verses shows that we should be constantly in an attitude or spirit of prayer. Talk to God as you go about your work or play. Ask Him to direct our every thought and action.
When you seem to be losing your temper, or when you are in doubt about a certain course of action, stop and think. “Would Christ do that if He were here today?” Ask God to show you, and study your Bible so you will know what God would have you to do. Then ask God for the wisdom, the faith, and the power to rightly carry out what you know is right. This simple process will change your life! Your life will then have more meaning, and more real happiness, than you have ever before had.
Prayer should be one of the most important and most enjoyable activities of your life. If you really love God as your Father, you will want to spend a great deal of time talking to Him.
Your spiritual food is obtained by contact with God through Bible study and prayer. Preparing and eating your material food takes at least two hours each day. Isn’t your spiritual food even more important? Spend more time acquiring it.
Time is precious. Use your time where it counts. It’s better to miss a few physical meals, better to fast once in a while, than to get “too busy” to drink in the spiritual things from God. That is the very purpose of your life! Sometimes you will need to spend a long session with God. Christ prayed all night before choosing His twelve disciples.
When you have a tremendous decision to make, or when facing serious trouble, remember that example. In such a crisis, spend a long time in God’s presence. Pray with all your might. God will hear. And it will be an experience that you will never forget.
Do you have trouble knowing what to pray about? First of all, “count your blessings” and thank God for “every good and every perfect gift.” How little most appreciate God’s boundless love!
Then study your Bible and find what God’s true servants prayed about. Get your mind away from self once in a while. Paul said to pray for the saints and for himself, God’s servant (Eph. 5:17-0). He wrote that he remembered the Philippian church in every prayer to God.
Are you separated from other true Christians but want to have a greater part in helping them and God’s work? Then read Colossians 4:11-13. Paul describes one of his helpers, Epaphras, as, “always laboring fervently, for you in prayer.” This man’s labor was in prayer! That was his part in God’s work that Paul referred to especially.
It can be your part as well! Paul said (v. 13), “For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you.” Do you have a zeal to help God’s children? Do you get down on your knees every day and ask God to help and direct them? Do you pray for God’s ministers and His work?
Your part in God’s great work may be contributing what you should in tithes and offerings, and crying out to God day and night to guide and protect His servants. God’s true ministers are only human and they have a job beyond their human power to perform. The ministry needs your prayers.
You should have more than enough to pray about. Once you really “get acquainted” with God in prayer, you will often have the feeling that you hate to stop communing with Him and attend to your other duties. It will be more pleasant to talk to God than to your dearest friend, and your life will have new purpose and meaning.
If you learn to pray as Christ did, if you apply the Bible principles contained in this article, then you will have more power at your disposal than this world dreams of.
When you come to know God intimately, and rely on Him with faith and obedience, He will literally move heaven and earth to help you!
God inspired the apostle James to cite the answered prayer of the prophet Elijah as an incentive for us to pray in faith (James 5:16-18). Notice, Elijah had passions, temptations and weakness just like you. But he prayed earnestly and God actually shut the heavens and it didn’t rain for three and half years! Then he prayed again, and it rained once more, “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
When a crisis comes, when you are sick or afflicted, know that God is a God of power! You can tap the supreme source of all power just by getting down on your knees in a private place and fervently beseeching God to intervene and help you.
Learn to expect an answer. God reveals Himself as a real God, a living acting God. Take God at His word! And remember that God’s power is available to make your life richer, fuller, and more righteous. All you have to do is ask for it.