YPS Magazine

ISSUE: 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1

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Personal Prayer

by Jim Armstrong, Stevenston, Scotland

Part 1

We have more methods of communication available to us today than ever before. Social networking, instant messaging, text messaging, blogging, and email are just some examples of the many ways people can keep in touch. Whatever method we use, whether electronic or not, learning to communicate effectively is important in every aspect of life. Communication must take place to enable our relationships with others to grow. The more we communicate with someone, the stronger our relationship with them grows.

 

In the same way, communication is a vital part of our relationship with God. In order to grow spiritually we must talk with Him, and allow Him to speak to us. Just as children talk to their parents to ask them for help and tell them about their needs, God expects us to talk to Him, our Heavenly Father, in the same way. As the following answers reveal, we must do this regularly if we want to grow closer to Him and become more like the Lord Jesus.

 

Who are we communicating with when we pray?

Prayer is a powerful communication tool, more advanced and more sophisticated that any technology we use today. It is a special channel and unique privilege given to man, enabling us to speak directly to the living God, the Creator and Controller of the universe. God knows that when we use fancy words or pray long prayers, they can sometimes be meaningless because our motives are wrong, Matt. 6. 7. All He asks is that we speak to Him honestly and sincerely with reverence, meaning everything that we say. We should pray to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus, John 14. 13. We should remember that the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit are helping us when we pray, even though we are often not exactly sure what to pray for, Rom. 8. 26, 27,34.

 

Where can we pray and how often should we do it?

It is essential to spend time alone with God in prayer, Matt. 6. 6. We should form the habit of doing this every day so that on bad days, when we don’t feel like praying, we will do it anyway. Daniel formed this habit as a young boy, early in life. Even when he was an old man, Daniel was consistent in sticking to a disciplined prayer life. He continued his personal pattern of praying three times a day, even when it became obvious that continuing to do so would lead to his arrest, Dan. 6. 10! We read too of the Lord Jesus rising very early in the morning and setting aside time to pray, Mark 1. 35. The Lord Jesus was the Son of God who became a sinless man, still equal to God the Father, yet He felt His need to commune with God every day, Isa. 50. 4. If we want to grow closer to God then we similarly must create time to commune with Him. This may require us to cut less important things out of our day to make time to fit this in.

 

We can also pray to God throughout the day as many times as necessary: whether at school, in a business meeting, on an aeroplane, or playing sports. Even in remote places, where the latest technology may fail, a silent prayer can be heard loudly and clearly by God. It’s wonderful to think that our prayers are always heard by God, who is permanently ‘online’ and fully aware of our individual circumstances. Even if we don’t speak out loud He understands our every problem, no matter the size, and He is the one person who can guide us through every bottleneck of life however difficult it may seem.

 

To be continued

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