Gordon H. Richards
Copyright © 2003-2005
Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give." Although this material is copyrighted, I freely give you permission to make photocopies, electronic or all other types of copies of this material for distribution, providing credit is given to Love Without Borders Ministries Inc. In the event that the material is translated into another language the author would appreciate it if a copy of the translation is sent to him at the following address:
DEVELOPING A PRAYER LIFE
Why are so many Christians ineffective in their prayer life? Why do so many Christians not have the power of God that they see in others? Is God a respecter of persons? James gives us an answer as to why many of us do not receive answers to our prayers.
James 4:2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
ASKING TO RECEIVE
Many people do not bring their needs to the Lord because they are not expecting Him to meet them. Some feel that they are unworthy. Others feel that they need to do a few more good things before the Lord will grant their petition. These thoughts stem from a spirit of pride. We will never receive salvation, or other gifts because of our good works. We must understand that God operates through faith, and not through some type of bartering system. "Lord, if you will do this for me, I will do this for you". Here the person is mixing a vow with faith. God will honor our faith for the first item. He may have told you to do the second thing a long time ago. You have been living in disobedience. You now start to obey. You still receive the answer through faith. The disobedience prevented the faith from working before. God is expecting us to stop neglecting prayer and demonstrate our faith by asking Him to meet the need.
Christians in many churches are living far below the positions that the Lord has for them. Many Sunday School teachers are having problems with their classes. Many parents are at their "witís end" because they do not have the answers to the problems they are faced with. What is the reason? They claim that they are praying. Is that really the case? The answer is NO! They are praying the problem, rather than looking for the answer. An example is: "Lord, my son is so rebellious. I donít know what to do". Is that a prayer? No, it is a complaint. What are you asking the Lord to do? In this illustration the answer is nothing. You are complaining about two things. The first is the spirit of rebellion in the son. The second is the lack of wisdom in your own life. Complaining will always open the door for unbelief, and will stop faith from working. People who are also frequently complaining about their pastor, their church or family will find that they are opening the door of unbelief, which stops faith from working as well. They will see that the answers to their prayers are hindered, and finally stopped.
Matthew 18:18 Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20. "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
Call your mate, or some trusted friend. Agree with each other that these spirits are going to be bound in the name of Jesus. Then speak to the problem. See Mark 11:22-14; Job 22:27-30. "You spirit of rebellion, in the name of Jesus we bind you! In the name of Jesus, you are not to create any more problems in the life of our son". The next spirits that you are to bind are the spirit of complaining and the spirit of unbelief in your own life. Start expecting victory in these areas, because God is binding the spirits in Heaven at the same time you are.
ASKING FOR THE WRONG MOTIVES
James 4:3 shows us that asking for the wrong motives will not allow our prayers to be answered. We are now starting to step out of the will of the Lord for our lives. There are times when the carnal Christian will get his prayers answered in this area, whereas the spiritual Christian will not. The spiritual one is depending on the Lord to have His will done in the matter. God says no to him, because of the adverse affect that will come if the request was met. The carnal Christian uses his faith and demands it, because he does not want to take the time to pray and find out the will of God. He then reaps the harvest of his rebellious spirit.
A wrong motive could be that we are wanting to impress or keep up with others. A friend of mine had a problem with his car. He had to buy another one. His neighbor immediately bought another car to keep up with my friend. There was nothing wrong with the car the neighbor got rid of. We will run into difficulties when we start praying for things to impress others. Another reason why the Lord does not want us to have some things is because He knows that those things will separate us from serving the Lord to our fullest potential.
PRAYER LIFE OF JOY
Joy is one of the attributes of God. It is able to pass from Him to us when we spend time in prayer. True joy is possible when we approach God through His requirements. Many people have followed traditions rather that follow what the Bible teaches. An example is seen when the Samaritan woman came to Jesus. Tradition taught her that she was to worship in Mount Gerizim, John 4:20. Jesus told her that we were to worship in spirit. We now can use any place to spend time in prayer.
God is wanting to fill us with joy, and make it run over. People whose joy is full are filled with gladness. It is like an artesian well that keeps on bubbling over. Jesus is wanting us to bring our requests TO the Father in the Name of Jesus - so that we will be full of joy.
John 16:23 And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
David shows us that we are filled with joy when we spend time in the presence of the Lord. The secret of this is found in a life of prayer. The Holy Spirit is then able to direct us in a greater way.
Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Paul tells us not to worry about anything, but to take our needs to the Lord. The peace of God is able to flood us because we can be confident that He is going to meet the needs.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens (Greek: empowers) me. 14. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
© 1999-2005 LOVE WITHOUT
BORDERS, INC. (All Rights Reserved)
Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:8 "Freely you have
received, freely give."
We freely give you permission to make photocopies of this material for distribution.