Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Never Stop Praying!

My admiration of John MacArthur grows almost every time I encounter his words. So, I thought I'd seek out a daily email devotional from him. While I haven't found one yet, I did discover some devotionals on the Grace To You site, with one that was instantly near and dear to my heart.

Prayer, in my interpretation at least, is the way we tap into the power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside us all. I think too many of us, myself included, forget that we have a piece of God's power inside us that we can tap into at will, if we're following God's commands and living for Him. As MacArthur says in his book Found: God's Will, we don't need to ask God for strength, He's already given it to us, we just have to unlock it.

Prayer is a way to do just that. So, never stop praying. Ever.

Here's the devotional:

"Men ought always to pray" (Luke 18:1, KJV).

As a child I was taught to pray with my head bowed, eyes closed, and hands folded. Even as a young man I thought that was the only acceptable mode of prayer.

In my seminary days I sang in a quartet that traveled to various churches throughout the United States. The first time I traveled with them we had a prayer meeting in the car, and the driver prayed with his eyes open. All of us were glad he did, but I wondered if God really heard his prayer.

I have since learned that praying with my eyes closed is a helpful way to avoid distractions, but it isn't mandated in Scripture--nor are most of the other limitations people often place on prayer. For example, some people want to limit prayer to a certain posture, but Scripture tells of people praying while standing, sitting, kneeling, looking upward, bowing down, and lifting up their hands.

Some try to limit prayer to certain times of the day, such as morning or evening. But in the Bible people prayed at all times: morning, evening, three times a day, before meals, after meals, at bedtime, at midnight, day and night, in their youth, in their old age, when troubled, and when joyous.

Similarly, Scripture places no limits on the place or circumstances of prayer. It tells of people praying in a cave, in a closet, in a garden, on a mountainside, by a river, by the sea, in the street, in the Temple, in bed, at home, in the stomach of a fish, in battle, on a housetop, in a prison, in the wilderness, and on a cross.

The point is clear: there is no specific correct mode or kind of prayer, and prayer isn't limited by your location or circumstances. You are to pray always. That includes any kind of prayer, on any subject, and at any time of the day or night.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Make a list of your current plans, thoughts, and concerns. Have you made each of them a matter of prayer? Commit yourself to sharing every aspect of your life with God.

For Further Study:

Read Psalm 136. Note how the Lord is intimately involved in the lives of His people.

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