By Elizabeth Prata
We always pray for the weak and the hurting. That is good. But please also pray for the strong, whom the weak lean on and don’t usually ask to be prayed for. As more people hurt, more people go to the strong. In other words, let’s all pray for each other.
I finished my Institute for Church Leaders course on the Practice of Prayer. It was excellent, so excellent! The ICL is online and part of The Master’s Seminary. Anyone can take classes, or take a certificate track (usually of 4 classes). The classes run $70 but at the end you take a survey and usually they give you $25 off the next one. Some classes are free. Other times they run a half-off sale. It is not financially burdensome to take any ICL course!
The idea is to help pastors raise up men for leadership, or lay-people interested in strengthening their walk. My prayer course was with Brad Klassen and was rich with truth and wonderful insights.
My next class I’m taking in the Christian Living Track for a certificate, will be Biblical Manhood and Womanhood taught by John Street.
Here are a few thoughts on Prayer. Even with all the joy I felt while learning these things, and the wonder of our opportunity to commune with the Triune God, and the conviction I felt that I don’t pray enough, I still don’t pray enough! But I want to be better.
“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” (Ephesians 6:18).
What does prayer do? So MUCH. But here are a few:
It effects forgiveness and cleanses the conscience.
Prayer promotes holiness and mortifies sin.
Prayer taps God’s strength to meet daily needs.
Prayer gives opportunity to experience God’s goodness. (Gulp, this one really convicted me.)
JI Packer used to say, “The best way to diagnose one’s spiritual condition is to ask, ‘How’s your prayer life?'”
Prayer is not:
- a wish
- magic that “releases” God
- mystical meditation
- positive confession
- a way to receive revelation
The impulse to pray is innate in humans and only in humans. We were created to have communion with God on a personal level. What a gift! What an opportunity!
We pray in gratitude for this great salvation, for a very present help in times of need, for our future with God… Prayers of gratitude in the Bible are–
2 Samuel 22:47-51, “The Lord lives, and blessed be my Rock; And exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation, 48 The God who executes vengeance for me, And brings down peoples under me, 49 Who also brings me out from my enemies; You also raise me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from the violent person. 50 Therefore I will give thanks to You, Lord, among the nations, And I will sing praises to Your name. 51 He is a tower of salvation to His king, And shows favor to His anointed, To David and his descendants forever.”
Daniel 2:23, To You, God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king’s matter.
Psalm 7:17, I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
Psalm 9:1, I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.
Romans 1:8, First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the world.
1 Corinthians 1:4, I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 1:15-16, For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
I think I’ll end this here, so that I can go…pray!