Arminian Today

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How To Develop a Stronger Prayer Life

Let me briefly give you some pointers to developing a stronger prayer life.  These points have been points that I myself have put into practice in my own prayer life.  No doubt we all know that God wants us to pray (Jeremiah 33:3).  Jesus said that His disciples would be a people of prayer (Matthew 6:5).  It was the prayer life of Jesus (and not His teaching or His miracles) that the disciples wanted to learn about the most (Luke 11:1).  Paul admonished the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV) and he told the disciples in Colosse to “continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2 NKJV).  Revelation 5:8 records that the prayers of the saints rise up before the throne of God.  How vital then prayer is to the disciple!

How can we then strengthen our prayer lives?  Here are some quick points.

1.  Meditate on “Prayer” Scriptures.

Meditating upon the Word of God is so important (Psalm 1:1-3).  The Word of God is our delight (Psalm 119:162).  Jesus said that we were to abide in His teachings (which is His Word) to be His faithful disciples (John 8:31-32; cf. Matthew 7:24-27).  The Word of God is the only weapon the disciple is given to combat Satan and the lies of the world (Ephesians 6:17).  We are to renew our minds which can only occur in the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2).

I advise taking the “prayer” Scriptures and writing them down where you can read and re-read them to meditate upon them.  Passages such as 1 Samuel 12:23; Matthew 6:5-13; 7:7-11; 21:22; Mark 11:22-24; Luke 18:1-8; John 14:13-14; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 4:2; etc.  I would urge you to study all the major passages on prayer.  A good book on this is the book, The Spirit Helps Us Pray: A Biblical Theology of Prayer.  

2.  Study the Lives of Great Intercessors.

Study the lives of great prayer warriors such as John Hyde, David Brainerd, Leonard Ravenhill, E.M. Bounds, Andrew Murray, Charles Spurgeon, Rees Howells, David Livingstone, John Wesley, Martin Luther, and many more.  John Bunyan was a great man of prayer.  William and Catherine Booth, founds of the Salvation Army, were great intercessors.  Read and study their lives and imitate their faith in God (Hebrews 13:7).

3.  Read Books on Prayer.

A few books that I would highly recommend would be Why Revival Tarries? by Leonard Ravenhill, The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on PrayerPrayer by John Bunyan, A Method of Prayer by Matthew Henry, and The Path of Prayer by Samuel Chadwick.  

4.  Pray With Other Intercessors.

Find some men of God (if you’re a man or find women if you’re a woman) who seek God earnestly and pray with them.  Lay aside your Arminianism or your Calvinism to seek God with your brethren.  As long as we are orthodox in our theology over the major issues, seek God with such folks.  There is so much to learn from praying with others.  I first learned how to pray by praying with some older saints who are now with Jesus.  They taught me how to tarry in God’s presence, how to seek God earnestly for who He is not what we can get from Him, to learn to view prayer not as merely asking for things but to know God and love on Him in worship.  1 Timothy 2:8 should guide us here.

5.  Pray! 

To read on prayer or study Scripture on prayer or to meditate on prayer is not the same as praying.  Prayer must be practiced.  To merely talk about prayer is not the same as praying.  I know of churches that faithfully preach the Word of God and can expound on prayer but if they just talk about prayer, what is the point?  Prayer must be “worked” out.  Prayer must be something that we don’t just study but earnestly do (James 5:16-18).  The key difference between us and the early Church is not so much theology but its practice (Acts 2:42-47).  Prayer is important and powerfully because of who we are seeking, the sovereign God of the universe.  Let us pray!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

11/02/2012 at 8:48 PM

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