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Lord teach us to pray

The disciples ask the Lord to teach them one thing in life, how to pray. The most powerful force in this world is prayer yet so few tap into its resources. It is not so much a religious activity as communion with our Lord. Praying is not a blank check for us to spend on ourselves. It is a desire from the Lord to give what He wants for us. It is the frustration of unanswered prayers causing many to give up. There are times when our requests are based on what we want or think we need. Instead of changing our prayers to fit the Lord’s will we choose to stop praying, believing it does not work.

Prayers originate with the Lord as He leads us to His requests. The Lord will give us a desire or burden for something, we then verbalize it to Him so He can answer it. Praying does not move God to our will but rather moves us to His. The hardest element of prayer is staying with it until God can answer them through us. This allows the Lord freedom in our spirit to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He prays through us. One of the biggest spiritual developments in our life is when He is able to change our wants so prayer can flow from God through us and back to Him.

There are seven different words translated as prayer in our Bible. The most used word is in reference to the One whom the prayer is directed. Addressing Him as our Father, because He knows us best and loves us most. We come to Him as God Almighty because He has all the resources to meet our needs. We also call out to Him as our Creator, because He understands what we need most. As our Savior, He loves us enough to die for us and also to live through us. The Son of Man knows what it is to be tempted in all points as we are and knows how to give the victory over it.

Praying is God working through us. Another word translates prayer as a verb meaning to beg, crave or desire and reveals our attitude in prayer. Most prayers are a wish list hoping the Lord will agree with us and grant our requests. Our character is His main concern over our personal preference. His love for us goes beyond wanting to appease us like a spoiled child. He may delay our requests until we are mature enough to handle them. There are times when NO is the answer because it would not be good for us or there is sin in our lives. Crying out to the Lord for something is to recognize who it comes from. This is when God can trust us with answered prayers because we know who gets all the credit.

We learn to pray by praying. It is one of those skills that develops with experience. Pray and if we do not get our answer, ask the Lord to change our request and not His mind. Remember, we have not because we ask not.

STEVE CONWELL, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, is heard morning on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” His email address is SteveConwell@outlook.com.