Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105

Discipleship

The Priority of Private Prayer

By Robert B. Munger
A primary giving of love is self-disclosure. "Only when we are willing to put our true selves on the line, to be taken for better or for worse, to be accepted or rejected, does true interpersonal encounter begin. Martin Luther's first law of successful prayer was, 'Don't lie to God!' We must tell him the truth of our thoughts, desires and feelings, whatever they may be."

Scriptural references:

Abraham (Gen. 19:27)

Moses (Exodus 17:8-13)

David (Ps. 5:3,27:4, 7-9); Proverbs (8:17, 34-35)

Daniel (6:1-10)

Jesus (Matt. 6:6, Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16) 

We can view most elements of prayer as a two-way communication with God our Father: 

I. Speaking honestly to God about ourselves. 

A primary giving of love is self-disclosure. "Only when we are willing to put our true selves on the line, to be taken for better or for worse, to be accepted or rejected, does true interpersonal encounter begin. Martin Luther's first law of successful prayer was, 'Don't lie to God!' We must tell him the truth of our thoughts, desires and feelings, whatever they may be."  

II. Effective prayer is Listening to God.  

God approaches us through: 

Our mind. By His Spirit and truth, God helps us see persons, problems and possibilities through His eyes and in His perspectives. 

Our will. Admitting our helplessness, He comes through prayer to put new desires into our will with new power. 

Our emotions. God comes to us through prayer to forgive, cleanse, heal, calm, disturb and infuse with His love. 

Our imagination. God imparts vision, opens the understanding to see new possibilities to project His purposes and promises into future possibilities. 

Our memory. Through the stimulation of stored memory in prayer we are reminded of God's grace and goodness to use in times past making more firm our faith and gratitude in the present. 

III. Conversation: A Dialogue of Word and Deed. 

Prayer is to be: 

  • Centered in the will of God 
  • In accordance with the character of God 
  • Offered in confidence
    • That God hears
    • That God responds
    • That God answers
    • That God is good 
  • Concerned for the glory of God 
  • Offered in the Name of Jesus
    • Access to God
    • Power in prayer - Through the Holy Spirit
    • Power against the enemy 
  • Persistent 
  • Offered in faith  
 
© 1988  Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.com From the teaching notes of Robert B. Munger and R. J. Krejcir

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