Proper renewal prayer


I love the church. even with all of its problems. I pray to be renewed as I experience Jesus more in my life. I find that praying for myself is an opportunity for me to bring something new of Him into my church life. This might be the very way for a diseased church to be healed.

In this way he shall perform the ritual of purification for the house, and it will be ritually clean. – Leviticus 14:53b GNT

The more I experience Christ, the more I have to offer to a church that needs healing. I believe we have seen churches try to heal through discussions, arguments and debates but they seem to end up with the church more in trouble. As I experience newness in Christ, I can bring that to the church so that they too can be healed and move forward in Christ.

In my prayer of lament, frustrated and hurt, all I can do is pray. When I am criticized or accused of doing wrong, I cry out to God in hope. I like David’s prayer and the way he begins it.

Listen, O Lord, to my plea for justice;
    pay attention to my cry for help!
    Listen to my honest prayer. – Psalm 17:1 GNT

David pleas to God, seeking His attention. He does so because he trusts God. God is not fooled by what I say and shares little concern for popular consensus or opinion. God is a God of truth.

I know that it is possible for me to think that my cause is just when it is not. I cannot automatically apply these words of David to myself.  Yet I can look at my cause as impartially and dispassionately as possible (a very hard thing to do), looking as best I can from the perspective of the others and be more concerned with what is truly just than simply what favours me. Unfortunately, the unhealthier I am the more I might blame myself.

 “A cry is our earliest utterance, and in many ways the most natural of human sounds; if our prayer should like the infant’s cry be more natural than intelligent, and more earnest than elegant, it will be none the less eloquent with God. There is a mighty power in a child’s cry to prevail with a parent’s heart.” – Spurgeon

So I desire to pray as honestly as I can – I am not deceived that I deserve my problem and I do not withhold facts even if they seem to undermine my cause. I come to God with some confidence because of my tested conscience.

“They have Jacob’s voice, but Esau’s hands; they profess like saints, but practise like Satans; they have their long prayers, but short prayings.” – Bales, cited by Spurgeon

I know that God is not bound to hear or even honour me if I neglect His word. Before I even speak with Him, I must humbly and attentively be listening to His word or else my prayer is not honest, it will be repulsive to God. 

If you do not obey the law, God will find your prayers too hateful to hear. – Proverbs 28:9 GNT

“The prayer certainly will not be a proper prayer; someone who refuses to obey God will not pray according to God’s will—he will pray for some physical thing, perhaps even making demands on God.” – Ross

The first petition is that God’s name be hallowed [ Matthew 6:9]; the need for it is associated with our great shame. For what is more unworthy than for God’s glory to be obscured partly by our ungratefulness, partly by our ill will, and so far as lies in our power, destroyed by our presumption and insane impudence? Though all ungodly men should break out with their sacrilegious license, the holiness of God’s name still shines…we should wish God to have the honor he deserves; men should never speak or think of him without the highest reverence. To this is opposed the profanity that has always been too common and even today is abroad in the world. Hence the need of this petition, which ought to have been superfluous if even a little godliness existed among us. – Calvin



Confess and pray through

confess and pray through

There is a short list of things in Leviticus chapter five that outline what one might have done unintentionally that required a sin offering. This was the conclusion.

When you are guilty, you must confess the sin. – Leviticus 5:5 GNT

There is a lot to say about wisdom and watchfulness that would prevent these missteps. The offering, while very important, was not accepted if it did not come with confession through humble prayer for pardon. It would also seem that the confession had to be particular – I have sinned in this thing. Denial lies in generals – I know I have sinned, but my particular sin I may be unwilling to give up. So to ensure pardon and to be armed against sinning again in the future, I need to confess the exact truth.

King David seemed to have no issue in being particular in his prayers. When the world became messy for him, David had confidence in facing that world. God answers the call of my prayers when they are made with such faith.

But you, O Lord, are always my shield from danger;
    you give me victory
    and restore my courage.
I call to the Lord for help,
    and from his sacred hill[b] he answers me. – Psalm 3:3-4 GNT

I know silent prayers are heard but there are times when it is feels better to pray out loud. Answers to prayer are sweet for the soul and reminds me that I do not need to fear the world when I am joying in a prayer hearing God.

When prayer leads the van, in due time deliverance brings up the rear. Thomas Watson


I have often heard persons say in prayer, “Thou art a prayer hearing and a prayer answering God,” but the expression contains a superfluity, since for God to hear is, according to Scripture, the same thing as to answer. Spurgeon

When in danger, I need to pray.

There is rest, even during the night, knowing God sustains us and will be there to greet us in the morning. David knows his prayers are answered when he starts the day and that gives him confidence in whatever may happen. God is his salvation and he starts the day with that very prayer.

I lie down and sleep,
    and all night long the Lord protects me.
I am not afraid of the thousands of enemies
    who surround me on every side.

Come, Lord! Save me, my God!
You punish all my enemies
    and leave them powerless to harm me.
Victory comes from the Lord
    may he bless his people. – Psalm 3:5-8 GNT

It helps to be in need of care or to experience grieving when they engage me to earnestly pray. David found God ready to answer his prayers whenever he prayed. Prayer means there is no gulf between God communicating His grace to me and the working of His grace in me or between His favour and my faith. I am safe under His Divine protection. It applies to me and my family every night to which I am thankful for each and every morning. It is not much to do about my everyday aches and pains that may cause me bodily or mentality to be alarmed, it has to do with the peace in my spirit in the midst of all of this. The calming effect comes by God’s grace and the infilling of the Spirit. It is a great mercy, when I am in trouble, to have my mind on Christ.

There is a request to answer prayer and an acknowledgement that God has answered them.

Answer me when I pray,
    O God, my defender!
When I was in trouble, you helped me.
    Be kind to me now and hear my prayer. – Psalm 4:1 GNT

Psalm three gives me a model Lament – it can be used as a template to guide my prayers in the challenges and conflicts that I face. I found this recently, and once you read the psalm meditatively then click here to compose your own prayer.

The baptismal approbation of Jesus, the Son of David, thus takes on added significance. God’s sons Adam, Israel, and David’s descendants, all repudiated that privilege. Now, one can almost hear heaven sigh with relief because at last here is a true Son in whom God is well pleased. Such a Son is able to say with confidence to his Father, “I knew that you always hear me” (John 11:41-42). Christology, then, is vital to our understanding of prayer. What belongs to the true humanity of Jesus now belongs to all who trust in him. This is the ground of our justification. It is the source of our confidence in our own eventual resurrection to glory (Rom 8:10-11). Christ has become for us our alter-ego so that we have been crucified with him, baptized into his death, made alive with him, raised up with him, and made to sit with him in heavenly places (Gal 2:19-20; Rom 6:3; Eph 2:5-6). In this sense he is our life (Gal 3:3). Paul’s description of our “in Christ” and “with Christ” existence indicates that nothing hinders our access to the Father. The intercession of Jesus is the continual reminder of this (Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25). If it belongs to the risen Jesus to have access to the Father, it also belongs to all who are in union with Christ by faith (Heb 10:19-22). – Graeme Goldsworthy