“Lord, teach us to pray!” (Luke 11:1)
Based on the writings of David Berg
To cry to the Lord in prayer is something that should come naturally to every truly born-again child of God! God expects each of His children, those who really know Him, to PERSONALLY make DIRECT contact with Him, and not just through somebody else’s prayers. Therefore each of us must learn to individually make personal, intimate contact with the Lord through prayer, the Heavenly link,the divine telephone between us and the Lord.
The Lord LOVES to give us the answers to our questions, problems and troubles. He knows EXACTLY what we should do and how we should do it, and simply wants us to ask Him instead of going to all the trouble of trying to figure everything out ourselves. He says, “ASK and it SHALL be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you!”–Matthew 7:7.
The answers are all so simple for the Lord and the solutions are all so easy for Him! All we have to do is ASK and He PROMISED we’d RECEIVE. So don’t think you have to figure all your problems out for yourself.–Just get down in PRAYER and get GOD’S answers! He says, “Call unto Me and I WILL answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”–Jeremiah 33:3.
“WITHOUT Him you can do NOTHING”, but WITH Him you can “do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth you!”–John 15:5, Philippians 4:13. So when you really need help, tell it to JESUS! “Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee! Cast all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you!”–Psalm 55:22; 1Peter 5:7. The Lord’s shoulders are broad enough to carry ANY load–everyone’s burdens put together, including His Own! So it’s really IMPORTANT for you to learn to pray and commit your burdens, trials, questions, problems and needs to Him!
Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light”–but there’s one condition to it–“COME unto ME!”–Matthew 11:28. When you come to the Lord in prayer and faith and ask Him for the answers, you’ll get them!–And this is what prayer is all about! It is not merely some kind of religious ritual, but a living RELATIONSHIP!
HEARING FROM HEAVEN!
With most people, prayer is a one-way conversation in which they do all the talking. They pray, “Hear, Lord, Thy servant speaketh”, instead of like dear Samuel, the little child prophet, who at five years of age said, “SPEAK, Lord, Thy servant HEARETH!”–1Samuel 3:10. You’ll get a lot further that way, listening to the Lord instead of talking so much that you don’t even have a chance to hear what He has to say.
Prayer is not just getting down on your knees and speaking YOUR piece, but letting GOD speak HIS too! This is why each of us is supposed to know the Lord personally and be filled with the Holy Spirit and be led by the Spirit individually, so that we can personally seek the Lord and find the answers for ourselves that we each need for our own individual cases.
This is actually the greatest thing that each of us needs to learn–to follow God and to hear from Him fresh EVERY DAY! You can’t just get inspired once and let that do for the rest of your life! It’s like eating: One meal doesn’t last you even one full day, and it certainly doesn’t last you for weeks or months! And just like you’ve got to eat every day, you’ve also got to get inspired every day. You need fresh food of the Spirit, fresh power of the Spirit, milk of the Word, fire from On High to reinspire you day after day!
You can hear from God every day! It doesn’t have to be out loud, it doesn’t have to be with an audible voice. It can just be in that “still small voice” (1Kings 19:12) that you feel inside of you, sometimes not even words, just an impression that you have. God doesn’t have to communicate in words, He can just give you a feeling or a picture or an idea.
His Spirit is like a broadcasting station, broadcasting all the time, you just have to learn how to tune in!–You just have to have FAITH! Jesus speaks any time, anywhere, if you believe!–Any time you believe! So when you ask the Lord for an answer, EXPECT an answer, and take the first thing that comes.
If you really believe and ask the Lord, and you want to hear or see, you won’t be disappointed! And that thing you see or hear with the eyes or ears of your spirit, that’s the Lord, and it will be such a COMFORT to you! So expect God to answer! If you’re crying with your whole heart and are asking Him, He will!
But if you’re hurrying and rushing around, fretting and impatient, you’ll never be able to focus your full attention–your eyes, your ears, your mind, your heart–on the Lord for the solutions to the problems, the answers to the questions, the best decisions for the situations!
Unless you get QUIET and try to seek the Lord, how are you ever going to get anything FROM the Lord? He says, “Be STILL, and know that I am God. In QUIETNESS and CONFIDENCE shall your strength be!”–Psalm 46:10; Isaiah 30:15. You’re going to have to take time to get quiet by yourself if you’re going to hear from the Lord!
Every great man of God, from Moses to Jesus, had to retreat alone to his mountain for awhile in order to have time to meditate, pray and commune with God. Jesus Himself often had to get up at the break of day, before His disciples got up, and walk out across the hills or up in a mountain to get alone with God and get His orders for the day from His Father!–Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12.–My Lord, if even JESUS had to do it, how much more WE need to do it!
So start the day off right: Hear from the Lord! You need it, or things just won’t go as they should. You cannot do the Master’s work without the Master’s power and guidance!–And to get it, you must spend time WITH the Master!
He’ll solve a lot of your problems before the day even starts if you listen to what He has to say. But if you go plunging into all your troubles and your work without stopping to talk to the Lord and get directions from your Commander-in-Chief, prayerfully reading and feeding from His Word, then you’re going to be like a soldier who’s trying to fight the war all on his own without listening to headquarters!
We all need quiet time with the Lord in rest and refilling, drinking of the Living Water of His Word and fellowshipping with Him in the communion of prayer and the sweet love-making of the Spirit. It just totally renews you and completely refreshes you and gives you new vision and fresh inspiration, new strength, rest and peace and joy! For “they that wait upon the Lord shall RENEW their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint!”–Isaiah 40:31.
“IN ALL THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM!”–PROVERBS 3:6
Although we should spend some special quiet time with the Lord every day, the Bible also tells us that we should ALWAYS pray, that we should CONTINUALLY pray all the time, all day long, that in EVERYTHING we do we ought to be “looking unto Jesus”. He says, “Men ought ALWAYS to pray and not to faint!–PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!–Watch and pray!”–Hebrews 12:2; Luke.18:1; IThessalonians 5:17; Matthew 26:41. The Lord knows that we need to and it’s one way He has of keeping us close to Him and in His presence continually, constantly dependent upon Him and His protection.
Prayer is something you should be doing all the time, no matter what else you’re doing! You can’t wait until you’re through doing this or that, and then pray. It’s like thinking on your feet!–Or like BREATHING!–Just breathing the Holy Spirit all the time, being in constant communication with the Lord.
He says, “in ALL thy ways acknowledge Him and He SHALL direct thy paths!”–Proverbs 3:6. The Lord can save you a lot of work, a lot of trouble and a lot of time if you’ll just remember to pray first before you start a job! Whatever it is that you have to do, pray about it! The Lord is always right there with you. He says, “I’ll never leave thee nor forsake thee”.–Hebrews 13:5. It’s never God Who’s not there, it’s we who are sometimes not always there, when we run off someplace else and leave Him behind when we forget to pray. Some of the biggest mistakes that Christians make are through following their own natural reasoning and “common sense”, when the LORD has something entirely DIFFERENT in mind, something contrary to natural expectation which can only be revealed by His Spirit! Many’s the time in the Bible that men made decisions on their own by their own natural reasoning, and it turned out to be exactly the wrong decision because they hadn’t sought the Lord or been led of His Spirit.
The most important thing in our lives is JESUS, staying close to HIM and letting HIM lead and guide us. He’s the One Who has got to lead us because only He CAN! Without Him we don’t know WHERE we’re going or HOW to get there or ANYTHING! But He knows EXACTLY where and how, and all we have to do is just sit in the back seat and let HIM drive!
He’s promised that if you acknowledge Him, He WILL direct your paths! So ask the Lord about everything before you do it.–Make sure it’s what HE wants you to do. Seek Him about everything–every problem, every decision–and He will never fail you or let you down!
DESPERATE PRAYER POWER!
The Lord wants us to be happy, and thanks to Him, we usually are. But there should be times when you really seek the Lord for a needed change and really pray desperately, pouring out your heart to the Lord. He says, “Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with ALL your heart!”–Jeremiah 29:13. There are times when each of us needs to really get DESPERATE in prayer about any serious situations that arise in which we need to find out what God is trying to show us.
But a lot of people have sort of a lazy attitude and seem to think that the Lord will just do it all no matter what.–But the truth of the matter is, a LOT depends on US! Many times what God does depends on YOUR will and YOUR actions and what YOU want and how you PRAY! You’re not supposed to just stand there and let God and the Devil fight it out!
The Bible says that one time bad things were happening to God’s people because “No man STIRRETH himself to call upon the Lord!”–Isaiah 64:7. So the Lord really does leave a lot up to us: If WE stir OURSELVES, then GOD will stir HIMSELF. An awful lot depends on us, our faith and our prayers and what we want done.
Although God can do anything, He has committed Himself to work through YOU, and your prayers can do mighty things! Often He’s just waiting on us to command the situation. He even says, “COMMAND ye Me!”–Isaiah 45:11. He’s given such faith and power to man that you can even command God to do what you want Him to do!
YOU’RE in GOD’S hands, but in a way HE’S also in YOUR hands, like the Genie of Aladdin’s Lamp: “At your command!” If you’re in His Spirit, in His Will, desiring only those things which glorify Him, delighting your heart only in Him, you can command Him to do whatever you want, because all you want is what HE wants.
You can even CHANGE God’s mind through prayer! Once when the Lord was determined to destroy the children of Israel, Moses prayed so hard that God’s Word says it repented the Lord of what He was going to do to them. Because of Moses’ prayers, God was so sorry for them that He changed His mind!–Numbers 14:11-20. Of course God’s OVERALL plan, His OVERALL Will has never changed, but in certain DETAILS you can change His mind!
So next time you really need His help and are on the spot, turn around and put GOD on the spot! Call on the Lord, and through Him you can have power over EVERYTHING! Jesus never fails!–He always answers when we stir ourselves to call upon Him with a whole heart.
MORE PRAYER PRINCIPLES!
For a good prayer life, one of the main things you need to know is God’s Word. Faith grows by faithful study of His Word.–“Faith cometh by hearing the Word of God.”–Romans 10:17. So even though God can answer anyway, it will INSPIRE and give you more FAITH for your prayers if you have an inspirational reading of the WORD FIRST.
God has made PROMISES in His Word, and when you pray you should bring those promises with you to remind Him. When you remind God of His Word, it shows you have faith in it.–And it’s this positive declaration of your faith in His Word which pleases Him. But “without faith it is impossible to please Him!”–Hebrews 11:6.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and PRECIOUS PROMISES: that by THESE (His promises) ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature.”–2Peter 1:4. You have to quote the terms of the Contract (the Bible) to the Contract Maker (God), and hold Him to it! He is BOUND by His Word! So remind Him of it, cling to His promises, memorise and quote them, and never doubt for a moment that God is going to answer–and He will!
But always remember His conditions, His TERMS of the contract: FAITH and OBEDIENCE! Faith and obedience come FIRST, THEN God answers prayer! If we are obeying the Lord and are faithful and trusting and believing, then God’s GOT to bless and answer.
Of course sometimes God likes to TEST our faith, and often He will not give us the answers until we obey what He’s ALREADY told us or shown us. God’s DELAYS are NOT necessarily DENIALS, and sometimes we just have to have faith and wait for Him to answer, which usually results in “the trying of our faith, which worketh PATIENCE.”–James 1:3.
Another important prayer principle is to be SPECIFIC with the Lord!–We need to ask for and expect specific answers when we pray! A lot of times people pray generally because they don’t really EXPECT to be answered anyhow! Whereas if you are specific when you pray, you’re showing your faith that you expect to GET that specific answer!
And remember, God takes you exactly at your word! I remember a preacher I once knew who said, “Lord, give me a car, I desperately need a car, Lord–any old car!”–And that’s exactly what he got, a real junker! He said, “Next time I prayed specifically for a GOOD car and GOT it!” So be careful what you ask the Lord to do because He’ll take you literally! He’ll give you what you ASK for, and certainly what you have the FAITH for!
And watch out about some of the things that you INSIST on the Lord giving you: He sometimes even lets people have things that aren’t good for them to teach them a lesson. He said of the children of Israel that “He gave them the desires of their heart, but sent LEANNESS to their SOULS.”–Psalm 106:15. Watch out that what you’re seeking is for His glory and within His Will.
If you are filled with God’s precious Holy Spirit, you’ll find that His Spirit will have a powerful effect on your prayer life. Once you have been filled with the Spirit, you can pray IN the Spirit and your prayers have more EFFECT because you’re praying BY the Spirit. “For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession FOR us.”–Romans 8:26.
Then once you’ve prayed about something and committed it to the Lord, you just need to have faith. “Whatsoever things ye desire when ye pray, BELIEVE that ye receive them and ye shall HAVE them!”–Mark 11:24. Once you’ve prayed and committed something to the Lord, from then on it’s GOD’S problem.–You don’t need to worry about it! Just trust the Lord and PRAISE Him and THANK Him for hearing and answering your prayer!–Even if you don’t see the answer right away!
In fact, you should not only END your prayers with praise and thanksgiving, but you should BEGIN your requests that way also! His Word says, “By prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING, let your request be made known unto God.”–Philippians 4:6. And, “ENTER into His gates with THANKSGIVING, and into His courts with PRAISE!”–Psalm 100:4. It’s like coming before the King and salaaming, giving Him due reverence and honour.
Even if you’re tired or discouraged or don’t FEEL like praising Him, you should go ahead and praise Him ANYWAY simply because He SAID to and you know that it PLEASES Him! It’s a little bit like priming an old pump: You pour a little in, but you get a lot out! When you go ahead by faith, praising the Lord, priming the pump and getting started, pretty soon you’ll feel happy in the Lord and really glad you praised Him because He’ll pour out His Spirit on you and He’ll bless you for it!
So look UP and count your BLESSINGS! Thank the Lord and get your eyes on the Lord and on the good things! Start your prayers by lifting your heart unto Him in praise! “By Him therefore let us offer unto God the sacrifice of praise CONTINUALLY, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving THANKS to His Name!”–Hebrews 13:15.
Also remember, “ONE can chase a THOUSAND, but TWO can put TEN THOUSAND to flight” (Deuteronomy 32:30), and it helps greatly to have someone else pray WITH you sometimes, especially during times of trial. “Where TWO OR THREE are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the MIDST of them.”–Matthew 18:20. And, “If any TWO of you shall agree on Earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be DONE for them.”-Matthew 18:19.
There is great POWER in united PRAYER TOGETHER! So never be ashamed to ask for help or prayer from someone else who loves the Lord and is following Him when you need it. “CONFESS your faults one to another, and PRAY one for another, that ye may be healed.”–James 5:16.
One last, but certainly not least, final reminder is about praying in the NAME OF JESUS: All through the New Testament the Lord tells us how important it is to pray in the Name of Jesus. JESUS is the One we have to approach God through.–“For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus!”–1Timothy 2:5. There is POWER in the Name of Jesus!–And without THAT Name, there is NO power! Jesus said, “If ye shall ask any thing in My Name, I will do it!”–John 14:14. Praise the Lord!
Do you know Jesus? We hope you do! If not, ask Him into your heart right now–and He will come in! Then you can learn to really know Him personally, intimately, as you learn to fellowship and communicate with Him through prayer! And if you need someone to pray with you or for you, write us today!–God bless you with good, clear, inspired “Heavenly Communication”!
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