Principles of prayer

One of the greatest blessings enjoyed by Christians in this life is the privilege of prayer, by which we can approach God.  Through prayer, the Christian can find forgiveness  for sins - 1 John 1:9; Peace to replace anxiety - Phil 4:6-7; Strength from God through His Spirit - Eph 3:14-16.  Paul frequently exhorted Christians to be diligent in their prayers... “praying always with all prayer and supplication...”- Eph 6:18; “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” - Col 4:2; “Pray without ceasing” - 1 Thess. 5:17.
Yet Jesus knew that people would tend to become slack in their prayers - Luke 18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”  So, let’s look at some Basic Principles of prayer taught in God’s Word concerning the practice of prayer in our daily lives.
•Prayer must be offered “In faith” . . . “And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” - Matt 21:22. We must have faith in God, and in His ability to answer (Heb 11:6).  Otherwise, prayer will not be answered - (James 1:5-8).   Is our faith weak?  Then increase it with the help of God’s Word.
•It must be offered “In the spirit of humility” . .  . As quoted by James: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”- James 4:6.   Notice the example of the Pharisee and the publican   - Lk 18:9-14.  Remember, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” – Psa. 34:18.
•It must be offered “In harmony with God’s will”. . . God answers prayer that is offered “according to His will” - 1 John 5:14. Jesus provided the example for us in His prayers at Gethsemane   - Lk 22:42.  Too often, prayers are unanswered because they are more concerned with our will, rather than God’s will! - cf. James 4:3.
•It must be offered “By those righteous before God”. . . “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” - 1 Pet 3:12.  The prayers of the righteous person are effective   - James 5:16-18
•It must be offered “In the Spirit of Thanksgiving”... “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” - Phil 4:6.
•It must be offered “With persistence”...  Jesus illustrated this aspect of prayer through two parables:  the parable of the persistent friend - Lk 11:5-10:  The parable of the persistent widow - Lk 18:1-8.
•It must be offered “In the Name of Jesus” . . . “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” - Eph 5:2
“Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray? . . .O how praying rests the weary!  Prayer will change the night to day.  So, when life seems dark and dreary, Don’t forget to pray.” Song: “Did You Think To Pray?”

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