As Christians, we know we should pray. From listening come sermons and from reading Bible, we have the sense that we must be taking time the end to talk to God. We look around us and also we check out a few people praying. Pastors are always praying – however that is their job, right? and we view the super-spiritual varieties praying, those human being who seem lot farther down the road than we are.
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But we may not it is in a pastor. We might not be one of those super-spiritual types. Should we it is in praying too? should prayer it is in a consistent habit? Is prayer something the is forced of Christians? Is talking to God something that all christians – not just the turbo people – room commanded to do?
The scriptures gives us a couple of intersecting lines to look at in regards come this question.
The holy bible Models Prayer because that Us
Old testimony Examples
It appears reasonable the if prayer is something an important to our spirituality health and also joy, climate Biblical characters would be civilization of prayer. If talk to God is important, we will see it demonstrated by those personalities so familiar to us. Let start in the start of the Bible and also take a look.
In Genesis 20, Abraham has lied to King Abimelech around his wife by saying she was her sister. Abimelech takes her as a wife. The whole concern gets sorted out after some angst, and also the story ends v Abraham praying because that Abimelech, “Then Abraham prayed come God, and also God healed Abimelech, and likewise healed his wife and also female slaves so they boring children. For the Lord had closed every the wombs the the residence of Abimelech due to the fact that of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.” (Genesis20:17-18, ESV) soon thereafter, Abraham’s child Isaac prayed, “And Isaac prayed to the mr for his wife, because she to be barren. And the mr granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.” (Genesis 25:21, ESV)
The an excellent Moses, that the Red Sea fame, to be no stranger come prayer. Pharaoh, surrounding by the pester of flies, pleads with Moses to take it them away. “So Moses went out from Pharaoh and also prayed to the LORD.” (Exodus 8:30, ESV) when the nation of Israel angry God yet again, Moses interceded, “Then the people cried the end to Moses, and also Moses prayed come the Lord, and also the fire died down.” (Numbers 11:2, ESV) then take a look at Psalm 90. We space told in the opened notes that Moses wrote this Psalm.
Hannah to be a woman deeply distressed by her inability to have actually children. Not just a personal tragedy, but in that culture, a windy humiliation. Her an answer was a heartfelt putting out come God of she feelings and desires, “She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and also wept bitterly.” (1 Samuel 1:10, ESV)
King David, the man explained as a male after God’s own heart, was definitely a man of prayer. Together the author of a an excellent many that the Psalms, the is clear he knew exactly how to pray.
The prophets were mouthpieces God offered to interact to his people. Together such, castle were well versed in speak on instead of of God. Yet, they additionally spoke to him together well. Surrounding by an army holding ok intent, “Then Elisha prayed and also said, ‘O
The prophet Nehemiah remained in the presence of King Artaxerxes – his ceo – and he was sad. We all have had moments the sadness, but bringing such melancholy before this king was strictly verboten. The king noticed, and confronted Nehemiah with it. Nehemiah confesses he is bothered through the condition of Jerusalem, the house of his people. Nehemiah relates what happens following when he claims “. . . The king stated to me, ‘What space you requesting?’ So ns prayed come the God the heaven.” (Nehemiah 2:4, ESV) Nehemiah asks God for aid in a moment of crisis and also confrontation.
Daniel remained in the habit that praying. His friend knew it. His adversaries knew it. He was so committed to his habit, and also to his God, the his enemies encouraged the king to half prayer come anything other than himself because that thirty days. “When Daniel knew that the file had been signed, he visited his house where he had actually windows in his top chamber open up toward Jerusalem. He got down top top his knees and also prayed and also gave thanks before his God, together he had done previously.” (Daniel 6:10, ESV)
New testament Examples
Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ was himself a male of prayer. Luke tells us, “. . . He would certainly withdraw come desolate places and pray.” (Luke 5:16, ESV) number of times we are told the Jesus walking up mountain to pray. The night prior to he goes come the cross, that prays in Gethsemane. Jesus talked frequently with his Father.
Like his mentor, Peter had actually picked increase the habit the going off by himself to pray. “The following day, as they were on their journey and also approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour come pray.” (Acts 10:9)
Paul was one more person who conversed frequently with the Lord. In countless of his letters he speaks of his prayers because that his readers. He speak the roman believers, “For God is my witness, whom ns serve with my soul in the gospel of his son, the without ceasing I cite you always in mine prayers . . .” (Romans 1:9-10a, ESV) to the Ephesian church that writes, “. . . I execute not cease to offer thanks because that you, remembering you in my prayers . . .” (Ephesians 1:16, ESV) In a touching letter to his protégé Timothy, Paul tells him, “I say thanks to God whom i serve, as did my ancestors, through a clean conscience, together I remember girlfriend constantly in my prayers night and day.” (2 Timothy 1:3, ESV)
We might speak of many other instances of believers praying come the heavenly Father. This perform is by no means exhaustive. The bible records in its pages many other personalities who converse v God.
Looking in ~ the example of every one of these men and women, extending thousands of years and also throughout the story of the Bible, the is coming to be clear the the example God’s people collection for united state is the God’s people pray. If your bracelet says WWJD – What would certainly Jesus Do? – that is clear that at the very least one of the points he would perform is pray. If you had actually a bracelet that check out WWMPBD – What would Most world in the scriptures Do? – the answer continues to be the same.
God’s people pray.
Example is not enough
The pages of bible contain a great many instances of people who pray. We have examined few of them. But, several of us can advise caution. An example cannot always be a command. After ~ all, for countless of these characters, the Bible likewise records their major failures. Failure which incorporate adultery and murder. Nobody looks in ~ the visibility of this actions in the Bible and also construes a command.
This gets us down come brass tacks. Walk the bible actually command believers to converse through God?
The Bible’s regulates to Pray
As it transforms out, the bible does command christians to pray.
Paul closes his an initial letter to the Thessalonian church with a list of things they must remember come do. On the list is a quick sentence top top prayer, “. . . Pray there is no ceasing . . .” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, ESV) This command is quite clear. Pray. We have to pray. Occasional prayer is no enough. Prayer during just time of dilemm is insufficient. We need to pray without ceasing. We have to be consistent and enthusiasm in ours prayer. The God of the world wants you talk to the – regularly.
Jesus likewise issues a directive to pray. He prefaces one of his parables by saying, “And that told lock a parable come the impact that castle ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1, ESV) The parable that goes on to share helps civilization understand that they should pray, and also pray a lot. That proceeds come tell the parable of the persistent widow.
The parable is the story the a widow that is gift oppressed and appeals come a judge for justice. This referee does not fear God or people. That is not encouraged by a love because that God, and he does not care what various other will think around him
For good measure, Paul add to a few more regulates to pray. To the Colossians he says, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it through thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2, ESV) clearly an imperative: pray. Pray faithfully. Be certain to it is in grateful and also give many thanks as well.
To the church in Philippi that pens among the an ext familiar i on prayer, “. . . Do not it is in anxious around anything, however in whatever by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let her requests it is in made recognized to God.” (Philippians 4:6, ESV) A indigenous of encouragement to many. Great hope originates from being said to no worry and also ask God for your requests. Do no failure though, words in the original Greek because that “let her requests be made known” is in the imperative. This is an encouragement, but additionally a command.
At a basic level then, prayer is a issue of obedience. Words of God regulates us to pray. We must strive to end up being people of prayer.
The Command is Paired with a Promise
For some people, analysis the over may have just been a “bad news first” moment. Currently stretched by life’s demands, we are now including something else to the to-do list. We could feel like our load just gained a small heavier.
This is a normal response. Theologian john Calvin knows this is a usual response, and also in his Institutes of the Christian Religion the points us to hope. The acknowledges the command come pray. The Calvin additionally points the end that the command to pray is paired v promise.
What an impressive promise. Particularly for someone who has just been ordered come pray. Yes, we need to pray, but we are also promised the God will certainly answer our prayers. Prayer is no intended to be some empty routine that we execute simply since we must. It is intended come be an effective experince. And it is plan to it is in effective. What we look for in God’s presence – we will certainly find! What us ask for – we will get! our time conversing through God will have meaning far past rote ritual.
Jesus’ promise is a broad overarching promise to do our prayer effective. God’s native reveals numerous other, more specific promises in regards to prayer. In the Psalms, Asaph tells united state of god’s promise come hear ours prayers: “I cry aloud come God, aloud come God, and also he will hear me.” (Psalm 77:1, ESV)
The apostle Paul reminds the church in Philippi, “And mine God will certainly supply every need of yours follow to his wide range in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) This verse shows up on a many coffee mugs, but it is quiet true. God guarantees to accomplish our needs.
The pages of god’s word encompass other promise in regards to our prayer life. One is god’s promise to overview us (Psalm 31:3). An additional is his promise to give us wisdom once we questioning (James 1:5). Among the most comforting to me is the promise to constantly forgive us as soon as we confess our guilty (1 john 1:9).
These promises adjust everything.
Promises and also Lottery Tickets
Many civilization think around prayer in the exact same way.
But imagine that together with the strength to order world to purchase lottery tickets I also had the strength to guarantee that you would success a big amount that money every time girlfriend played. Purchasing ours lottery tickets would certainly jump directly to the peak of our daily to-do list. Why? – because we now expect the time, effort and also money expended to it is in richly rewarded.
God’s assures in regards to prayer are similar to the guarantee because that the lottery tickets. This promises average that us will obtain what we room seeking. We will certainly not it is in wasting ours time or efforts – due to the fact that God guarantees to hear and also answer.
Exchange our Lottery tickets for plane Tickets
These promises are good news to us who don’t have a consistent prayer life up and also running. This pairing of command and promise permits us change our entirety conception that prayer. Unable to do is the idea that we must endure drudgery and rote ritual. In its location we have actually the idea of optimistic expectation. Praying is not buying a lottery ticket. It is buying a plane ticket. Us buy airplane tickets v the expectation of gaining somewhere. We deserve to now pray v the exact same expectation.
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So, let’s embrace our obligation to pray. Take on it with hope. And also start praying. Or start again.