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Steps to Successful Prayer
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Study the exemplary prayers in Scripture and you cannot help noticing that all of them are brief and simple. Prayer that is heartfelt, urgent, and unfeigned must be of that style. Verbiage and windbaggery are badges of insincerity, especially in prayer. The prayer of the publican in Luke 18:13 is as short and to the point as possible: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” Then there’s the prayer of the thief on the cross: “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” (Luke 23:42). Those prayers are cut from the same cloth as Peter’s cry for help when he was walking on water—sometimes cited as the shortest prayer in the Bible: “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30).
Friday, May 4, 2012
The worldly excess and spiritual shallowness of prosperity preachers and charismatic faith healers are easy to spot. It’s a man-made, man-centered theology powered by extreme greed—one that encourages followers to make outrageous demands for prosperity and personal gain, reducing Almighty God to little more than a vending machine...
Monday, May 7, 2012
How often do we actually think deeply about the words we say in prayer? These days certain names for God and phrases like in Jesus’ name are thrown around so haphazardly you wonder if they still have any meaning at all...
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
What is the most common motivation to go to the Lord in prayer? Is it to confess sin? Or is it to make a petition on behalf of a loved one? Do we want to bring our latest requests to Him, or remind Him of something we think He may have overlooked? Far too much of our time in prayer is spent focused on us, not on the One to whom we’re praying...
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Very few people make it through life without some sort of plan. The vast majority of us have to put a lot of thought into our schedules and plan ahead if we want to accomplish anything. And what we put the most time into planning says a lot about where our hearts are—too often vacation and celebrations get lots of forethought, while responsibilities at work and around the house fit into our schedules as needed...
Friday, May 11, 2012
How often are we guilty of using our prayers just like a drive-thru window? We’re too often driven to prayer by the needs of the moment only, concerned about our circumstances alone, and eager to get on with life as quickly as possible. We’re prone to myopic, self-centered thinking that focuses on how events impact our lives rather than how the Lord is working through them.