Sunday, December 15, 2013

How to Pray and What to Pray For: A Prayer List for Every Day

My other blogs are:

How to Pray
and What to Pray For 
A Prayer List for Every Day

return to table of contents for all my articles
"When you are confronted with a matter that requires immediate prayer, pray until you believe God-- until with wholehearted sincerity you can thank Him for the answer. If you do not see the external answer immediately, do not pray for it in such a way that it is evident you are not definitely believing in God for it. This type of prayer will be a hindrance instead of a help. And when you are finished praying [such a prayer], you will find that your faith has been weakened or has entirely gone. The urgency you felt to offer this kind of prayer is clearly from self and Satan... (Streams In the Desert- Updated Language Version. Edited by Cowman, L.B. p. 17).
What this means is that if you pray and do not believe with your whole heart, then the Lord will work in you at some near-future point your ability to believe, which usually takes the form of trials and tribulations. Blessings are easily taken for granted and forgotten, but a trial by fire and salvation from that suffering will be remembered forever, and builds character in the process. Remember, God is a Great God of unbridled power and strength-- when you remember this, it is not entirely unreasonable to believe that He is attempting to instill those same qualities. For who in a life of ease and comfort could possibly learn what it means to be strong? By allowing pain and suffering, Christ can work His magic and offer blessings for those who look to Him, even if that faith wanders and waivers. However, faith in Christ is akin to trust. A man would not ask his friend for help if he didn't trust him, so how then can you apply your needs or wants (or both) to an omnipotent God and expect fulfillment when your relationship has no foundation? Surely friendship with God is similar to the ones we experience here on earth. Blind faith is admirable but can rarely withstand the flames of trials. True Faith is only the beginning, and as I've learned the hard way, it is quite possible to have faith yet not believe. The heart can trust completely while the mind doubts; both at the same time. Such struggles are neither contradictory nor uncommon, for the human struggle for faith in God is far from simple and rarely aligns itself to human logic. For how can we ever truly understand God when He is a God who values strength in the weak and wisdom in the unwise? Obviously, a God like this demands far more than we can ever realize, yet He reveals His awesome power and glory to us in small ways in our small lives...lives which matter to Him, no matter how small we are (and we are so, so small!)
Instead, when you read your Bible and come across lines that say, "God loves you," or "God is love," acknowledge in your heart to God that you have trouble with this, and do not focus instead on what is missing in your life or what may be demanding your attention, for what is more important in life than the Love of God and to love Him with all your heart? (Nothing, of course). So I have written a prayer list of all the things I pray each day, and I encourage you to pray this also each day and to modify it in the ways the Lord stipulates.
(I greatly encourage you all to copy and paste this entire list to pray it every day, and add to it all the things the Lord places upon your hearts to pray for!)
Prayer List:
Heavenly Father, I (pray that/for the)…
1)     Forgiveness of my sins and transgressions (name them). Lord, build me up to be a strong person in Your greatness, that I may be better in Your eyes.

2)     You would send your Holy Spirit to come into my heart, mind, body, soul and spirit to shatter all evil strongholds, raise holy ones in your heavenly power, and cast out all demons who would possess me or even speak to me.

3)      Angels will come down to fight away the demons that would cause doubts and fears, etc…, unrest in my heart and spirit, and discouragement and pessimism.

4)      Submit all my soul, spirit, body, mind and heart to Your authority, my Christ. I give you all of my doubts, fears, anxiety, hopelessness, apathy, bitterness, anger, resentment, sloth, and depression. Take them from me, that I may obey and love You without hesitation.

5)      Opening of my heart to Your whisper, so I may hear and obey completely without doubt and experience Your full blessings reserved for those with true faith. Do not let my trials be dragged out or wasted. Let me walk and learn the narrow path with faith and success.

6)      Deuteronomy 5:32— “Blessed Spirit, I give You the entire responsibility of closing every road and stopping every step that is not of God. Let me hear Your voice behind me whenever I ‘turn aside to the right or to the left.’”
7)      “Lord I remind you of Your exclusive responsibility to take care of me. There is no one else like you, and I greatly need you to send the Holy Spirit to…”:
a.     I ask for counseling in the Spirit to teach me faith, to give me faith, to lead me on the narrow path, to teach me joy in suffering, to keep my eyes You, Christ, to heal and remove these negative emotions in my conscious and subconscious that pick away at me like crows to dead flesh. I pray that You would heal my tortured past and struggling present, that I may walk steadfast in Your love now and in the future. And I ask that You would heal my problems with friends and family, jobs, and responsibilities.
b.   That You would weave together in my heart all Your miracles and blessings to help me to believe without doubt, in Your love and grace. I ask that You would shatter the disconnection between my heart and mind, since my heart believes yet my mind somehow doubts (or vice versa for some of you). Sometimes it seems more miraculous that I am able to doubt than to believe!
c.      ......
d.   Start your list of needs here…Don’t be afraid to make a huge list...
e.   The Lord will work in you to create a list specifically for you…
f.      ……
AMEN! (additional prayer lessons below)
Lessons learned for Kyle that may parallel your own:
I failed in my previous activities and even at maintaining holy friendships because I moved along through my life without Christ leading the way. Without ever realizing it, I was walking in darkness. It was not that I was a failure, a bad person or impersonal, but that the Lord was demanding my attention and I refused to heed, which can be as dangerous as it is embittering. I was stubborn and willful, believing ever always that I knew best and expected God to heed me if He loved me. How wrong I was! In fact, it was my discovery that the very opposite turned out to be true that saved me from even more spiritual and heart hardening. There are no if's in loving God. No one can say, "I will love/obey God if....!", and neither is God responsible for the wrongdoings of people and for poor circumstances, yet He will use sin and despair for His divine strengthening of our hearts and faith. If your girlfriend suddenly said to you, "I will continue to love you if..." would you not be appalled? Instead, I encourage you to submit, and you will love and be loved more than ever. Now each day I can't wait to submit to God in thought and action to see His glory in me revealed! I assure you, as one man of despair, poverty and bad circumstances to you, my suffering comrade of Christ...He is as eager to teach as He is to bless...but He values strength and power! Behold! With a mere sliver of faith He will lift you with strong arms and a gentle hand! And remember, after a prayer as great as this....
·         Prayer serves certain distinct purposes:
§  Taking time to pray is like taking time with friends—it’s mandatory to a healthy relationship.
§  Prayer is a form of submission.
§  By praying in faith and not begging, a person can interact with God in faith and courage, patiently waiting on the Lord while holding steadfast. Few ever get this far in their faith.
§  God seems to like to work through people. By praying for others, a person can lift up another in need to God and be heard. This builds relationships with people and in God simultaneously, even if the people in prayer are not nearby (although group prayer is best for this sort of thing).
§  Prayer enacts belief and faith. When I had neither belief nor faith in God, I simply could not bring myself to pray until He commanded me to. Even then, it took me one full day to grudgingly pray, and almost 2 years to discover its importance. The ability to pray shows a heart unhardened.