Prayer is communication with God, and like all communication, it can be developed to maximum efficiency or allowed to languish. Which you choose will determine the quality of your spiritual life.
Ironically, the freedom of worship we enjoy in our society and our high standard of living make it easy to become complacent about prayer and presume on God’s grace. Consequently, many who say they trust in God actually live as if they don’t need Him at all. Such neglect is sinful and leads to spiritual disaster.
Jesus taught that “men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1, KJV). “Faint” speaks of giving in to evil or becoming weary or cowardly. Paul added that we should pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and petition, and “be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18).
First Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” That doesn’t mean to do nothing but pray. It simply means living in a constant state of God-consciousness. If you see a beautiful sunrise or a bouquet of flowers, your first response is to thank God for the beauty of His creation. If you see someone in distress, you intercede on his or her behalf. You see every experience of life in relation to God.
God wants you to be diligent and faithful in prayer. With that goal in mind we will devote this month to a study of prayer from two texts: Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9:1-19, and the disciples’ prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Both are models of majestic, effective prayer.
As we study those passages together, be aware of your own pattern of prayer. Examine it carefully for strengths and weaknesses. Be prepared to make any necessary changes.
Suggestions for Prayer:
- Thank God for the privilege of communing with Him in prayer.
- Ask Him to reveal any areas in your praying that need to be strengthened.
For Further Study: Read Daniel 9:1-19.
- What prompted Daniel’s prayer?
- What was Daniel’s attitude toward God? Toward himself and his people?
- What did Daniel request?