A broken marriage, a dying husband, a wife determined to pray.
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SOME DAILY STEPS TO
1) Be still.
Stop spinning in circles about problems. Be still with the Lord, breathing in his rest and enjoying his presence. "They who dwell in the secret place of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 91:1) Jesus did this daily. The result? Renewal, refreshment, vision, power.
2) Be bold.
Dare to seek God. Then expect an answer. Why? He rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
3) Be changed.
Prayer experts all agree: We pray not to get, but to get changed. In seeking God, that is, He changes us--while also handling our needs--as we turn our concerns to his. "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33)
4) Get up!
Put some feet on your faith. Or as Jesus said to his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane: "Why are you still sleeping? Get up and pray! Then you will not fall into temptation." (Luke 22:46)
5) Believe God.
He wants to hear our prayers. He is listening for them. And he answers. The Scriptures confirm it. "Call to me and I will answer you..." (Jeremiah 33:3) "The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them." (Psalm 34:17) "Father, I thank you that you have heard me." (John 11:41)
6) Obey God.
"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." I John 3:22 (KJV)
7) Turn from evil.
Effective prayer warriors know that God is our Father, but also the Most High Holy God. As Jesus said: "hallowed be Thy Name." So seek to live righteous lives—godly and morally upstanding. "The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous." (Proverbs 15:29)
"The Lord's arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call," says Isaiah 59:1 (NLT). "It's your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore." (vs. 2) So confess and renew your relationship with our Heavenly Father. "But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." (1 John 1:9 NLT)
Another key way to unlock prayer answers? Forgive. "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." (Mark 11:25)
10) Pray with precision.
Consider Blind Bartimaeus and Jesus: "What do you want me to do for you?" I want to see! In that same way, ask for perspective on your situation—allowing the Holy Spirit to show you exactly what to pray for and receive.
11) Let God work.
Give God time. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there. Andrew Murray calls this "spiritual husbandry." Like farmers, we reap in due season. Don't harvest half-ripe fruit.
12) Stop babbling!
Our Heavenly Father already knows what we need. (Matthew 6:5-8) So pray. Then listen. Then take notes! The Most High God will speak to your spirit. Thus, "pray with an alert mind" and a grateful heart. (Colossians 4:2), believing the Holy Spirit will speak -- both to you and through others.
13) Say thank you.
If you say nothing else in prayer, don't forget to thank God for his amazing blessings, big and small, one by one. An attitude of gratitude changes our perspective on everything else.
14) Glorify God.
Live so you glorify God. Pray for things that glorify God. Give up things that don't glorify God. Andrew Murray: "It's the essential element in a believer's prayer.” If not, "He will not answer."
15) Abide in Christ.
His promise: "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you." (John 15:7-8) As we abide, we learn to love others—glorifying the Father.
16) Pray with others.
Work with others. Help others. Love others. As Richard Foster says: We are "saved in community." So live deep, love true, greet strangers, read lots, laugh, sing, travel, play, get in hot water, figure a way out, help, give thanks, pray. When we do, our prayer life becomes our life—without ceasing.
17) Follow Jesus.
Pray in his name. Walk in his way. Model his character. "And we will receive whatever we ask of him because we obey his commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight." (I John 3:22)
18) Serve others.
Wait on the Lord's answers by sharing with others, in the meantime. (Matthew 20:26)
19) Pray for others.
Remember that somebody is dying for your prayer. Re-member that person through intercession.
20) Expect the answer!
Imagine it. See it. Look for it. Trust God to be God. Jesus said it best: "Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:24)
-- (2012 Copyright by Patricia Raybon)
Like this list? Share it with others. Then check out Patricia's life-changing book, "I Told the Mountain to Move: Learning to Pray So Things Change." It's available wherever books are sold.
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