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"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
(John 15:5)
    University Bible Fellowship of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania


Meditations on Prayer (Index)

WEEK 13 – The Practice of Prayer

Just as the pursuit of any goal requires a narrowed focus and a single-minded diligence, a praying life requires a narrowed focus. In order to pursue a goal, we often have to sacrifice something else. However, the person who is living a praying life learns that nothing you give to the Lord is lost. Also the praying life is a life of diligence. Proverbs 26:14 says, “As a deer turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.” To live a praying life, we need to overcome our laziness. Many praying people get up early in the morning to seek the Lord in quietness. We don’t always have to schedule set times for prayer each day. However, the author recommends that we set aside specific times for uninterrupted prayer. Jesus said in Matthew 6:6, “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.” Jesus often prayed early morning, even after a hard day of work. If the early morning prayer time is not an option, we should set aside another time to come to the Lord.

The focus of our prayer is often people or things on our minds, but the author reminds that God should be the main focus of our prayer. Focusing on God, we can spend hours in prayer, talking and listening to him. Of course, it is not the length of prayer that matters. God is not moved by our long prayers. God hears the cry of our hearts. As we focus on God, we let him stir up prayer in us. This is the area I need to learn and practice in my prayer life. I repent that I focus on things and people in my prayer than on God. May God help me to focus on God himself and his word and listen to him rather than saying many things in my prayer!

The Lord’s Prayer teaches us about what should be the content of our prayer. From the author, I learned two particular things. First, we need to praise God as we come to him, trusting his love, goodness and power. When we focus on God in our prayers, praises and thanksgiving come to us naturally. God becomes our very great reward. That’s why, I think, praying people are filled with joy, praises and thanksgiving to God. May God help me to offer up my praises every time I come to God. Second, I am reminded of the importance of intercessory prayer. Someone we know may need our prayer support for a prolonged time, as God places burden on our hearts. We can also offer a quick prayer for others. The author uses the term “flash prayer” to talk about this kind of intercessory prayer. As we let God stir up prayer in us, we can pray for a person, even for a few seconds, in regard to his or her needs. It is a truly blessing and privilege for us to intercede for others. Our loving and caring God chooses his faithful prayer servants to intercede for other people who are in need, giving them his heart desire and burdens. That’s why Samuel considered not praying for others a sin. God called us to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. As little priests, we need to carry the burden of intercessory prayer. I must not just pray for myself, my family and ministry, but also extend the territory of prayer for others.

Meditation By Deborah Lee

Presentations on Prayer (Index)



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