Coming in prayer and praise

PrayerPraise

I cried to him for help;
I praised him with songs. – Psalm 66:17 GNT

This is where I see prayer and praise going together hand in hand. Some see them as separate but I am not sure how that works. The only difference for me would be one requires me to be eloquent with my tongue and the other with my heart.

If I had ignored my sins,
    the Lord would not have listened to me. – Psalm 66:18 GNT

Basically, if I looked at my sin, not glancing at it, I may find myself cherishing it, possibly loving it, at least excusing it. If so, another reason God may not be listening to my prayer. It is almost like I have made a decision to not hear God’s voice. I have been here and know what this is like. Most of us who have stayed here longer than we have ever wanted can feel what it is like to be considered a hypocrite.

But God has indeed heard me;
    he has listened to my prayer. – Psalm 66:19 GNT

Freedom from sin is the sign of answered prayer and confidence in my sincere heart to God. It is not a hope, rationale, or dream, it is definitive. Is it not true that I can sense God’s heart as He loves me when my own heart is sincere? There is something about knowing that God is listening to my voice, my cries – most importantly He interprets them correctly, accepts them and then replies. His grace on my heart as I stand right with Him.

I praise God,
    because he did not reject my prayer
    or keep back his constant love from me. – Psalm 66:20 GNT
 

I honour and love Him because He has not withdrawn His love from me nor the ability to pray freely. He did not throw out my prayer. Praise is part of my prayer and I am grateful to be able to enter into it.

I find myself be welcomed into God’s presence.

Come to the Lord, the living stone rejected by people as worthless but chosen by God as valuable. – 1 Peter 2:4 GNT

“Come” means it is an open door for me to “keep coming.” So I come for salvation, and also for worship, prayer and God’s Word every day.

If wrestling in prayer becomes a hard and bitter struggle, and you feel that your soul is out of touch and tune with God, and your prayers only empty words, then pray trustingly for the Spirit of prayer. He will point out the sin which is acting as a hindrance to your prayers and will help you to acknowledge it. And then He will make Christ so precious to you that you will voluntarily give up that sin which is threatening to sever your connection with God. – Ole Hallesby

 

The basis of thanks in prayer

the basis of thanks in prayer

There is rarely a day that goes by where I do not spend some time reminding myself about Christ and His death and resurrection. There is in my pray time a thanks to God for sending His Son to die on the cross so that I can have a relationship with Him. Without His death, I have nothing – because of His death, I have everything.

Leviticus 17 is all about blood and my takeaway is forgiveness – when my own sins were erased by God. I do not deserve forgiveness, but God grants it me my anyway. I cannot earn forgiveness but God graciously gives it to me anyway. With that gift comes a responsibility – to forgive others.

One of David’s prayers encourages me to pray for others but also to hold dear their prayers for me.

May the Lord answer you when you are in trouble!
May the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from his Temple
and give you aid from Mount Zion.
May he accept all your offerings
and be pleased with all your sacrifices.
May he give you what you desire
and make all your plans succeed.
Then we will shout for joy over your victory
and celebrate your triumph by praising our God.
May the Lord answer all your requests. – Psalm 20:1-5 GNT

I pray because I know God will answer. I pray so that I need not be excused from praying because others are praying for me. When it comes to matters of the heart – “may He give you what you desire” – I can pray in faith as I lay my life as one who is after God’s own heart.

It is interesting to me on what godly prayer looks like. There would seem to be the personal devotional side of prayer as well as a public devotion made through submission. Paul makes indication of this.

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people; for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct. This is good and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth. For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and human beings together, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself to redeem the whole human race. That was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved, and that is why I was sent as an apostle and teacher of the Gentiles, to proclaim the message of faith and truth. I am not lying; I am telling the truth! In every church service I want the men to pray, men who are dedicated to God and can lift up their hands in prayer without anger or argument. – 1 Timothy 2:1-8 GNT

Why does Paul want men to pray? Most likely because they were not praying. If the men are not praying, what state do you think the church is in? Men tend to want to DO things and prayer doesn’t fit our male model of work. So, as a man, I learn submission by praying.

Prayer becomes my priority – “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people.”

I need to be prepared to pray, to want to pray. I love how many different ways my prayer can look like – petitions, requests and thanksgiving.

I learned a new acronym today – SPIT prayers.

Supplications – the kind of prayer where I ask God to meet a felt need.

Petitions – a reverent request of sacred words and respect as I ask God for help on my behalf.

Intercessions – I am coming to God knowing He can answer my request. I pray with confidence that God is going to answer. I pray for someone else who needs God’s help. The “inter” and “cede” means that someone comes between God and the need and prays for that person.

Thanksgiving – a prayer of thanks to God for what He has done expressing my gratitude and appreciation.

The reason for my prayer – “This is good and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth.”

Prayer is not to get my will done in heaven, but to get God’s will done on earth. Praying for those who are not saved and who do not know the truth is something that pleases God. I want to be someone who prays for them.

My prayer is based on this simple fact – “For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and human beings together, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself to redeem the whole human race. That was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved, and that is why I was sent as an apostle and teacher of the Gentiles, to proclaim the message of faith and truth. I am not lying; I am telling the truth!”

Grant us true obedience, a perfect, calm, single-minded composure in all things—spiritual, earthly, temporal, and eternal. Protect us from the horrible vice of character assassination, slander, backbiting, frivolously judging or condemning others, and misrepresenting what others have said. O hold far from us the plague and tragedy which such speed can cause; rather, whenever we see or hear anything in others that seems wrong or displeasing to us, teach us to keep quiet, not to publicize it, and to pour out our complaints to you alone and to commit all to your will. And let us sincerely forgive all who wrong us and be sympathetic toward them. – Luther