Simply Praying

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
—Colossians 4:2

If we are going to become like Jesus Christ, then how can we develop the habit of prayer in our life just like Jesus did and experience God’s power in our life? The next two days we will look at suggestions for developing a praying heart. These practical tips will help you develop a powerful prayer life.

Number one, don’t complicate prayer. Keep it simple when you pray. You know, there are many books and seminars and sermons on the subject of prayer. Some people think you have to have a PhD in prayer to be any good at it. But Jesus didn’t teach that way at all. Other times we think prayer is about getting the right words in the right order—and if we can do that, somehow we unlock this mysterious code that unleashes God’s power. Nothing could be further from the truth. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:7: “When you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.”

Do you think God is sitting up in heaven and when somebody prays a particularly eloquent prayer, He nudges Jesus and says, “Man, have You ever heard a prayer like that? I can’t believe that guy’s vocabulary! That’s impressive. We ought to answer that prayer!” Do you think there is anything we can say or do to impress Jesus in the way we pray? Of course not. You know what Jesus is looking for? He’s looking for simplicity and sincerity in our prayers. Just tell God what you want. Tell Him what’s on your heart.

Second, use a pen and a tablet to enhance your prayer life. You know, it’s okay to write out your prayers. In fact, there’s something very helpful about writing out your prayers. Composing your prayers allows you to order your thoughts before you come before the King. Writing out your prayers helps you to focus. It keeps you away from those banalities like, “Bless this, bless that, bless, bless, bless, bless . . .”
When I’m praying, sometimes I’ll get on my computer and type out a prayer to God to focus on what I’m asking my heavenly Father for. At the very least, I encourage you to keep a prayer list of things you’re praying for and a record of God’s entries. I take a piece of paper and divide it down the middle. I put my request and the date on one side, and the answer to the prayer on the other. And when the answer comes, I put a single line through it so I can still read it and look back and see how God was faithful. I keep a running list of things that I’m praying for, and this is what I use as my prayer list every morning.
In every prayer recorded in the Bible, the person who is praying is asking God for something. Why not keep a record of God’s answers to your prayers?

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Developing a Trusting Heart” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

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