I lead a small prayer group from our church. Each week we focus on different aspects of prayer. This week we searched scripture to discover what Jesus had to say about prayer.
Since He was in complete agreement with God's will, Jesus knew exactly what to pray and He left us some examples of perfect prayers.
As born-again believers, we have God's Holy Spirit to guide us and we need to invite His Spirit to lead us in our prayers.
We also need to be in right standing with God, so before we begin to pray, we need to ask God to forgive us for any sins we may have committed and also that we forgive anyone who may have wronged us. This will clear our minds from wrong thoughts and help us focus on God, who knows our every thought.
Jesus instructs His disciples to pray for our enemies and those who persecute us. We need to be very specific about who our enemies are and ask God to soften their hearts so they can discover who Jesus is and that He died for their sins. He offers eternal life to everyone who believes in Him.
Jesus said that whatever we asked for in His name, we should believe that we have received it. He will not deny any of our requests when they are asked unselfishly.
Jesus set aside time each day to spend with His Father - He was intentional in His prayer life and we should be also. Whether we choose to spend time each morning or evening isn't important, what's important is setting aside time to spend alone with God.
"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Matthew 6:6-8
Someone told me one time that God has given us 24 hours in each day and that we should all spend a portion of each day in devotion to God.
Jesus also taught that we should not give up, but keep praying. The enemy will try to discourage us in our prayers for others. Many of us have been praying for salvation for loved ones for years and it is easy to get discouraged and quit praying, but Jesus told us not to give up. He also told His disciples to pray that they would not fall into temptation.
If there is one thing that I've discovered during my years as a prayer warrior, it's that Satan wants to keep me from praying - he puts up roadblocks and obstacles during the day to keep my focus on myself and off my God. Not only do I need to pray that I won't fall into temptation, but I also need to pray for my praying brothers and sisters. Keeping prayer warriors in prayer daily is important because their prayers are vital for so many.
We are also instructed by Christ to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the harvest field, because the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. There are millions of people around the world who don't know about God's amazing love for them. Ask God to send workers into those lands to share the good news.
Jesus also prayed for us - "I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you loved me.
"Father, I want those who you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." John 17:20-26
All believers are expected to have a prayer life - it goes with the territory. Jesus never said "if you pray" but He did say, "when you pray."
He has given us a beautiful example of a life of prayer - He has made a way for us to communicate with the God of the universe and He wants us to present our requests to our Father God.