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Church, It’s Time to Pray – Blog & Podcast

June 8, 2018

Have you ever been praying for something from the bottom of your heart, and this thought comes to your mind…

  • “why would God bless YOU with that? Don’t you remember what you said earlier this week?”
  • “What about your attitude yesterday? How you were short with your spouse last week?”
  • “What about the time you spent looking at stuff on your phone that you didn’t have any business looking at?”
  • “Do you think God will overlook that conversation you had with him or her?”
  • “What about when your friend asked you to help them, and you lied and said you had something you had to do?”

In situations like this, sometimes guilt grips us like super glue and won’t let us go – shuts prayer down like a water faucet. In our text for today, John reminds believers that God is bigger than our fleshly desires, failures, minds & doubts. We can come boldly to the throne in prayer, as a child comes to a loving father, knowing their request is heard,

I John 3:21-22, 21 Dear friends, if our hearts don’t  condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive whatever we ask from him because we keep his commands and do what is pleasing in his sight.

God is greater than our hearts. God knows all things. God will reassure the hearts of His children who seek Him earnestly. So, what is this guilt I’m feeling? What his holding me back from being bold in my prayer life? John is basically saying sometimes that our conscience overrides the Holy Spirit’s confirmation in our lives. God forgives and forgets – we receive forgiveness and sometimes we can’t forget.

John is saying the same thing he’s been saying throughout the book – love God, love his people, and trust God. THAT will be the evidence that demonstrates you are a true child of God. If you are a true child of God, then you should exercise the main avenue of personal communication – prayer.

Show me a person with a consistently growing spiritual life and I will show you a person who has a consistent prayer life. Show me a church that is growing and reaching souls for Christ and I’ll show you people who are praying for it.

Church it’s time to pray…it’s time to move from being people who are held back by something in our past or present which has lied to us and told us that our prayers don’t matter. From people whohave treated God like a genie who may grant wishes if we are good enough to being passionate about loving God. From people who are praying about the smallest details but have lost sight of the big picture.From people who think of prayer as us moving God’s hand to people understanding that prayer is adjusting our hearts to God.

I want to challenge you today to move from guilt to grace, to become bold and unashamed in prayer– your life depends on it, your family depends on it, the health of your church depends on it.

Pray Enthusiastically

  • Ask God to give you an excitement about spending time with Him, to increase your desire.

Pray Systematically

  • Schedule it early in the day – make notes and a list if you need to, maybe even journaling and recording requests and responses to those prayers.

Pray Selflessly

  • If you make it a priority to focus on God first, needs of others second, and your needs last, you’ll honor God better.
  • Warren Wiersbe once said, “When our delight is in the love of God, our desires will be in the will of God.”

Pray Categorically

  • Jesus modeled a prayer for us that started with praise and thanksgiving, moved to intercession, confession, and then requests for protection. That’s a great model for our own prayers.
  • Are you praying regularly for your family? Are you praying for your children’s future mate? For the spiritual health of your children. Are you praying regularly for your church? When you do, are you praying for Kingdom growth or are you just praying that God would “bless our church”. Come bold and unashamed and pray for what would glorify God the most.

Whatever your hesitation has been, whatever your guilt is – God’s grace is sufficient. Whatever your excuse or reason is for not having a consistent prayer life, God is better. It’s not an obligation, but a privilege. Life is hard, prayer is not.

Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church
Palestine, TX

From → Blog Posts, Podcasts

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