Thursday, August 25, 2011

Parts of Prayer

Prayer Request: I have a heavy heart for a friend who just lost her husband to cancer. They were only married a year and so young. Such a heartbreak for the wife, but I know that God will see her through this. I have been amazed how they both handled the last several months with such faith and trust in God. Please remember Bridget in your prayers over these next few days and months to come.
I am enjoying this little study on prayer. We all know there are different parts of speech in the English language. But there are parts of prayer too!

Who doesn't like adoration? I love to be told by my husband and my family how much they love me and how much I mean to them. Our Heavenly Father is the same way. He loves it when we adore Him in worship and in prayer.
Daniel 4:34, 35 "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
First of all, Nebuchadnezzar was very proud of himself for what he had done in Babylon according to " might..." and for " majesty." But when he stopped looking at himself and looked to Heaven toward God, he said his understanding returned to him and he began to proclaim adoration to God. There is nothing WE do in our lives that deserves adoration. Everything we do, everything we accomplish, is because God allowed it. He deserves our praise and honor.
After we give him praise and honor, we need to confess our sins. There is nothing more precious to me than when my children confess their faults to me with a humble spirit. It's the same with the Lord. When we humble ourselves, remove the pride, and confess our sins and faults to our Heavenly Father, He is faithful to forgive us. I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." There is NOTHING we can do that He will not forgive. We just need to confess it to Him.
The next part is supplication. That's one of those words you hear off and on throughout Christianity and you never really know the meaning of it. Supplication is a humble prayer, entreaty, or petition. I Timothy 2:1-3, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. It is very difficult to pray for those in leadership, isn't it? Sometimes I want God to just remove them from office, never to be seen or heard from again. That's human nature, I suppose. But you know, they really do need our humble prayers. It is our civic responsibility to be involved, but it is our Spiritual responsibility to pray with a humble heart. We also need to pray for those in other areas of authority in our lives. Our boss men/women, our Pastors, husbands, parents, teachers...whoever God places in authority over us, they need our prayers. All we have to do is call their names.
Intercession. This is the part I think we do the most. There are so many people in need of prayer. James 5:14, 15, "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." We were in some revival meetings last week and twice, there were people at that church that requested being anointed with oil and prayed for. When our prayer life is right with God, we can pray for those in need, and trust that He will do according to His will.
And last, but certainly not least, Thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." God wants a thankful heart when we pray. Even when things aren't going the way we've hoped or the way we've planned, we should be thankful that God knows what is best for us and that He has it all under control. There's a song that the trio I sing in is learning and one of the lines of that song says, My wants and God's desires don't always agree. But I lean on His will, for He always knows what's best for me. I've learned that lesson the hard way. There is no prayer that goes unanswered. He either says yes, no, or stand still until he tells us one way or the other. I've learned to be thankful for him answering prayers the way I wanted Him to and thankful for Him answering prayers the way I didn't want Him to. And I've even learned to be thankful for the times when He wants me to stand still. Which for me, seems to always be the hardest to do. But His answers are always good. And His answers are always right.