Luke 11:1 – “Now Yeshua was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Master, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” TLV
Now, let’s move to the next step in the development of a Powerful Prayer Life.
THE SECOND STEP IN PRAYER SHOULD BE THANKSGIVING.
I invite you to consider some powerful passages of scripture that say it better than I could the truth and value of this step.
Psalm 100:4 – “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 50:14-15 – “Offer God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High; 15 Call upon Me on the day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me.”
Ephesians 5:20 – “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;”
Philippians 4:6 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Colossians 3:17 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
We should focus on giving God thanks for every spiritual blessing we have received. We should give Him Thanks for every physical blessing we have received, and we should give Him thanks for every material blessing. IN EVERYTHING – Give Him Praise and Thanks!
THE THIRD STEP IN PRAYER SHOULD BE THE CONFESSION OF SIN.
Do you notice that I did not put it at the beginning? The reason is, that if you focus on your sinfulness first you will fail to focus on His Greatness, Love, Mercy, and Longsuffering. That does not mean we ignore our sinfulness, but we focus on His Greatness, and we can see the Light of Salvation and be inspired to want to renounce our sin! We need to see His Greatness, His Love, His Mercy, and His incredible Longsuffering to help us not only receive forgiveness but to believe that we have been forgiven!
1 John 1:9 declares, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Notice the word “if” – Forgiveness is conditional, not automatic. It is conditional upon our repentance and confession.
It has been said that we have a battle of two natures. Some agree and some disagree, but we all know that we face struggles with temptation and our want to. I heard the story told about a missionary and a native American convert. The Indian said, “I have two dogs inside of me fighting. It is a white dog and a black dog (the color is unimportant).” The missionary waited and the Indian said, “The dog I feed the most is the one that wins.”
We struggle with the godly and the carnal. Notice the word “we” in the scripture. It is personal. If we confess our sins not, depend on our parents, or the church but come to God exposed and humbly confess to Him our failure. Also, note the word, “confess” because it carries the idea of not only admitting but changing. That is what repentance is, turning and going in the opposite direction.
We change our attitude toward sin, self, and God. We begin to develop the ability to see our sin as God does and feel how deeply it breaks His heart. We do not sin because we have to or are forced to, but because we want to. The pleasures of sin are often real, but they are only for a season. There is a payday someday.
We need to acknowledge our personal or private sins (known only to God and us.) We need to acknowledge the sin that involves someone else but is not publicly known. We need to acknowledge our public sin and in this, we not only confess to God but publicly.
THE LAST STEP IS ASKING or PETITION or MAKING OUR REQUESTS.
Once we get in the right frame of mind and heart so that we believe in God’s goodness and trustworthiness we are in a place to petition. We can then engage in petition, intercession, and soul searching. Instead of repeating the petition over and over, we move to soul searching and weed out the tares in our lives. Remember the promise of Jesus, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be open.”
May the LORD bless you as you embark on your new life of Powerful Prayer! Have a Great Day in Jesus!