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Christian Prayer Unleashed

Prayer is essential to a healthy Christian lifestyle. Indeed, joyful survival is dependant upon daily Christian prayer. That we may freely speak with our Father is our faith and our promise. We commune with Jesus Christ. We groan in the Spirit. Sometimes when the hour is early and the stars still bright, we kneel in great need, our hearts trembling. With earnest expectation, we cry out that God provide our needs, enlighten our understanding, shore up our defenses, and overcome Satan’s efforts to take advantage of our fleshly fears. With assurance and confidence we pray for friends, family, and the lost and dying world around us, knowing that God in heaven will never reject the pleas of a humble and contrite heart.

But some may not fully understand this power that resides in prayer. How many accumulate speak-words rather than a shared conversation with Jesus? How many amass minutes rather that arrive at fellowship? If your prayer life feels void and empty, consider the following scriptures. They may help you unleash confident Christian prayer.

In The Garden: Prayer Unleashed and Prayer Restrained.

In the garden of Gethsemane, even as Jesus, through prayer, battled his greatest temptation, a small group of disciples lay near and slept. “Keep alert and pray,” he said unto them, “Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For through the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak” (Matt. 26:41). Get the implications of this:

· Temptation waits by the door.
· Lack of spiritual awareness is deadly.
· Sensitivity to the subtleties of spiritual battle quickens the flesh.
· Prayer equips a Christian for future warfare.
· Without prayer, temptation wins.
· Prayer shores up a Christian’s spiritual strength.

The implication is that a right response to the Savior’s warning could have protected Peter from the yet to come trial of denial.

Earnest Prayer and the Active Church Body.

Much later, while this same Peter laid sleeping in prison between two soldiers, “…prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him,” (Acts 12:5). In time, after punching this sleeping man in the side to awaken him, an angel of the Lord leads Peter into freedom. Scripture says that Peter thought he was having a vision and that he wasn’t even fully awake until after he had exited from the prison.

Ponder this issue. What is the difference between a sleep of confidence and a sleep of resolve? Some would say that Peter was resting in confidence, but perhaps he had merely resolved to accept whatever may come. I have been there before. It is a form of surrender. We decide that our circumstances reflect God’s will. We cease to struggle, for struggle is difficult while acceptance is easy. But confidence prays. Confidence fasts. Confidence waits on God with awareness, still in flesh but powered in spirit. Surrender lies down, thinks little of anything, and merely hopes that something works out.

· Take care that your prayer life is not complacent.
· Earnest prayer changes events.
· Christian prayers can aid even the lazy.
· Wake up, pray, and be expectant of deliverance from your adversity.

Fine Points of Prayer as Taught by Jesus.

The Psalms are filled with prayers. The prophets spoke long with God, clearly defining their feelings and their needs and their frustrations. Godly men have always known His voice. But we will let the words of Jesus close this study. Look into Matthew 6:5-15.

1. Prayer is personal, not show.
2. Prayer is exact, not babble.
3. Prayer is thoughtful, heartfelt, and sincere, not rash and explosive.
4. Prayer involves forgiveness, not condemnation.
5. Prayer praises God, even as we sometimes weep.
6. Prayer seeks fulfillment of God’s heavenly plans, not personal agendas.
7. Prayer expresses dependence, not demands.
8. Prayer strengthens and delivers from temptation.

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