Hello, and welcome to this episode of The Speak Life Today Podcast. I’m your host Felton Thompkins, Gospel Minister and Ambassador for Jesus Christ our Lord. In this episode of the Speak Life Today Podcast, we will be focusing on the topic of prayer.
And to be more specific we will be focusing on kind of attitudes that can only be and must be developed through the power of the Holy Spirit. For a few weeks now God the Holy Spirit has been reminding of the importance of prayer in my own life as well as the importance of prayer in the lives of my co-laborers in the faith.
Out of curiosity, I Googled the word “prayer” to see how many times it’s used in a search term and it came back with about 287,000,000 results. I also became curious to know just how many times prayer is mentioned in the bible. The most intelligent answer that I can give is that according to one source that I found, there are about 650 different prayers in the Bible but it is very difficult to get an exact number of how many times that the word “prayer” is referenced or mentioned in the Bible as every version of the Holy Scriptures is worded slightly differently. and that number varies depending on the version of the Bible you are reading. But in general, “prayer” seems to be referenced over 600 times. The actual number of times it is mentioned by name may be much lower due to the number of times that certain figures in the Bible (King David in Psalms, for example) simply perform the act of prayer without it being directly talked about. All I can tell you is that it is mentioned a whole lot, and in a lot of different ways. But here’s another statistic. According to Christian Bible Reference.org, the word “pray” is used in the KJV 245 times in the Old Testament and 68 times in the New Testament so if you are the type that likes numbers that would be a good site to navigate.
Now back to focusing on “prayer”. I believe deep down in our souls we all know the importance of prayer. And yet it seems to be the furthest thing from our minds until trouble comes. And for a lot of us, it’s the hardest thing to get around to doing. Awhile ago the Holy Spirit calmly brought to my attention that in order, for us to have better prayer lives that we would first need to change our attitudes about prayer.
Have you ever heard someone say…Well, all we can do is pray, Or maybe you’ve heard this one, all I can do is pray…? I’ve said it myself. You can hear attitude in that statement and it’s usually an attitude of the last result, an attitude of hopelessness, an attitude that doesn’t know the significance or the magnitude of effectual fervent prayer. As the Bible teaches us that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man, or woman, will avail much. We must develop an attitude that prayer is the most important thing that we can do for our relationship with God, for ourselves and for others.
Beloved, listen, I’m not trying to beat you down or make you feel bad about your prayer life or the lack thereof. But what I want to do is impart some desire in you and myself to focus on having a better attitude towards prayer and thus having a better, deeper, more passionate and fulfilling relationship with our Lord Jesus.
So, what kind of attitude should we have when it comes to prayer? I’m glad you asked. Now, let’s see what the Word of God have to tell us about prayer and our attitude or mindset that we should have when it comes to prayer.
But let me take a moment before we get started and speak a word of encouragement to those of you that may be new believers and are just babes in Christ, as the Bible puts it. And it is this…You will find in your Bible and in the Gospel Matthew 6:9-13 and also in the Gospel of Luke 11:2-4 what is referred to as the Lord’s prayer. And as you go through this life as a believer and follower of Christ you are surely going hear a few teaching on this. For example; You will hear some telling you that this is not to be used a prayer, but is taught by the Lord to give us an outline or to teach us the main points that we should be focusing or touching on while in prayer. Without a doubt, I believe this to be true. So here is my encouragement to you. I suggest that you take this outline or model prayer as some would call it and commit it to memory. And when you enter into you prayer closet or your secret place with God say it back to him it won’t hurt especially if you are new to praying and you don’t know yet what to pray about. God will meet you where you are, and as you begin to grow in the knowledge of God’s will and his word the Holy Spirit will begin to bring to remembrance the things that you should be asking for of God in prayer.
Now let get started.
First and foremost, I believe we should come with an attitude of worship and adoration. When the Lord Jesus met with the woman of Samaria at the well they embarked upon a conversation about where we should be worshipping God. Beloved hear these words recorded in the gospel of John 4:23 where the Lord Jesus said…”But, the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him”. We must learn to worship God in the beauty of his holiness which is exhibited in His character, His Name, His Words, His Work and His Kingdom: God is trustworthy. His name is above all names. His word is true, it is pure, steadfast and settled in Heaven. His work is perfect and extraordinary and no one can take from it or add to it. His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom and he is King of kings and Lord of lords forever and ever. Those are just a few of the reasons that we should worship and adore our God and our Lord Jesus.
We should come to God in prayer with an attitude of humility: The Lord gave us a great illustration of this when he told us about Pharisee and the Publican in Luke 18:11. God is GOD and we are not. He doesn’t owe us anything. The bible tells us that God resists the proud, but he extends his grace to the humble James 4:6. And in another place, the Bible ask this question. “Or who hath first given to him, (God) and it shall be recompensed unto him again? Or in other words… who has first given to God, that God needs to repay him? The bible teaches us that if we would humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and if we were to seek his face and pray that he will hear us, and lift us up in due season. Man only want us to bow down to him so that he can put his foot on our necks and keep us down. But Our Heavenly Father wants us to reverence him for our benefit to raise us up, that we might have life and that we might have it gloriously and abundantly. No one does that, nor has the wisdom, love, and ability to do such a thing but God. Glory to the Name Of Jesus!
We should come before God in prayer with an attitude of Confidence: Hebrews 4:16 Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. This boldness is not a cocky arrogance that we approach God with as though he owes us something. But it is a confident approach that’s shrouded in humility. Humility causes us to want what God wants for us. 1st John 5:14 tells us just how this confidence plays itself out or is manifested with these words.” And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing in his will, he hears us:
We must come with an attitude knowing that we have God’s ear: 1st John5:15 And if we know that he (God) hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
The ISV reads this way: And if we know that he listens to our request, we can be sure that we have what we ask him for. What a promise!
We must come to God in prayer with an attitude of Faith: The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:6 that “without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Beloved, we must also come with an attitude of Persistence: There are so many verses of scripture that encourage us to be persistent in prayer. The Lord Jesus starts off by telling us to ask, seek, and knock. Matthew 7:7 and Luke 11:19. And in Luke 18:1- 8 he (Jesus) tells us the parable of the unjust judge and the poor widow. The illustration was to teach us that men and women ought to always pray and not faint.
Let me be a little transparent right here concerning persistent prayer if you will. I recall to my mind the instructions the Lord gave us on prayer found in Matthew 6:7 when he said these words…”But when you pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. v8: Be not ye, therefore, like unto them: You see I believe that because of my lack of understanding about vain repetition and persistence my prayer life was greatly hindered when it came to being persistent in prayer. But thanks be to God he gave me clarity on this. The Bible defines “vain repetition” as such: to repeat the same things over and over, to use many idle words. Please don’t misunderstand this because repetition is not a bad thing. We need repetitiveness in prayer, in serving God and in our relationship with him and with others. It’s the “vain repetition” that the Lord tells us is a waste of time because he’s not hearing us. Well, what do I mean by vain repetition? Or better yet what does the Lord mean? This is what I had to come to understand. I’m blessed to bring to remembrance a verse of scripture in Proverbs 30:8 where Agur asks the Lord to move far from him vanity and lies. He was asking God to remove from him falsehood, the emptiness of speech, lying and nothingness, and to keep him from the worthlessness of his conduct.
You see saints, productive repetitiveness, and persistent or importunate prayer goes hand in hand. Again a good example of that can be found in the Parable of the poor widow and the unjust judge Luke 18:1- 8. Beloved, what I want you to hear is that unlike the unjust judge our Heavenly Father is not going to grow weary when we continue to come to him in prayer about the same thing or things that we desire of him. And listen, not to make this any harder for you than it already may be. But we must ask in faith, and we must learn to pray and put forth our request to God according to His will if we expect to gain God’s ear.
We must come to the Lord in prayer with an attitude of dependency: Matthew 6:8… for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. John 15:5…for without me you can do nothing.
An attitude of dependency only comes from the realization that we as a people have done nothing, or can do nothing in and of ourselves. The Bible teaches us that “it is in him (Christ) that we live, and move, and have our being or our existence. Acts17:28 Listen, saints contrary to what some may believe there is no such thing as a self-made man or woman. No one, I said, no one on the face of this earth can do or accomplish anything outside of the one and only Almighty God which allows it, or ordains it to be so.
And in closing for this episode of the Speak Life Today Podcast Focusing on Prayer, Praying with Attitude.
We must come to the Lord in Prayer with an attitude of secrecy: Jesus instructed us to enter into our closet and pray to God in secret. He went on to say that whatever we ask our Heavenly Father for in secret that he would reward us publicly or openly. You see God want’s to put us on display for his glory saints. He wants to reward us openly that we might make him famous in our personal lives. That those that he put us in our presence might be provoked to jealousy and desire a true relationship with him as well. That’s just one benefit of secrecy in prayer. But the most important thing that we gain from it is intimacy with our God and Father.
Here is a quote that I discovered while reading E.M. Bounds on Prayer“Intimacy requires development. We can never know Him(God) by brief and fragmentary and thoughtless repetitions of intercessions that are request for personal favors and nothing more. This is not the way in which we can come into communication with heaven’s King. “ the goal of prayer is the ear of God,” said Spurgeon; and this is a goal that can only be reached by patient and continuous waiting upon Him, by pouring out our hearts to Him, and permitting Him to speak to us. Only by so doing can we expect to know Him; and as we come to know Him better, we will spend more time in His presence and find that presence a constant an ever increasing delight.” The Lord is better to me than thousands of gold and silver, and His loving kindness is better to me than life. Now I adopted that from the Word of God Himself. Glory to the precious and magnificent name of the Lord Jesus.
Well alright saints of God, that’s going to do it for this episode of the Speak Life Today Podcast. My hope and prayer is that you have gained a little insight and have been encouraged in the Lord concerning our attitudes for prayer. Listen, I truly count a blessing to have this opportunity to share with you the love of Jesus Christ. So, until the next time remember Proverbs 18:21 Death and Life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Lord willing, I’ll talk to you soon. God bless you, and speak life today!