Monday, May 01 2017
People struggle with prayer! The disciples asked Jesus, "Teach us to pray." It seems like a simple concept. When asked to define prayer, I have heard people say, "A conversation with God." Yes, that is true, but we do not use the same conversational tactics with an adult as we do a three year old. We must know how to pray.
This particular blog entry will not be a comprehensive lesson on prayer. I wanted to give a "nugget" on how to begin your daily prayer closet experience.
So imagine for a second that you are going to pray. You get in position. There are many people that kneel, so lets assume your kneeling. Now what? You're in position and it still seems like the motor won't turn over. It's early. You just got out of bed. You committed to early morning prayer, but it just does not seem like it is working for you. In your mind, you wonder why you committed to praying in the morning. You're a night person, but then there was that preacher and that scripture. You raised your hand. You made a vow. So lets get started...
First, prayer is a time to commune with an Almighty God. You're flesh will never want to pray. It goes against it nature.
Romans 8:7 GW
 This is so because the corrupt nature has a hostile attitude toward God. It refuses to place itself under the authority of God's standards because it can't.
Therefore, you need to overcome the flesh and chase after the things of the Spirit.
Romans 8:5 KJV
 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
When the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus gave them a pattern of prayer. The "Lord's Prayer" is a structure for us. He begins...
Matthew 6:9 KJV
 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
He begins his prayer by acknowledging God and giving the direction of His prayer. This is followed by "Hallowed be thy name." Hallowed is translated from the Greek word, "hagazio" meaning "to make holy". This is praise. We are to begin our prayer with praise.
The tabernacle is also a pattern for us to base our life of prayer. It was the Psalmist that wrote...
Psalm 100:4-5 KJV
 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 118:19-21 KJV
 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord :
 This gate of the Lord , into which the righteous shall enter.
 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
When you kneel, sit or stand to pray begin with thanksgiving and praise. It will usher you into the presence of God. There may be times that you have a heavy burden including sin that gives you a - hurry up, I want to get to repentance feeling. That's ok, but begin with thanksgiving and praise and allow the presence of God to commune with you. He can relieve you of things that are keeping you bound through a few moments of praise.
Have a great week!