Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Privileged to Pray - Martin Wiles

And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. 2 Corinthians 1:11 NLT

Two words were handwritten on the front: Prayer Book.

Nine years after my dad died, Mom handed me a small notebook journal with the above words on the front. “You want this?” she asked. Of course, I wanted anything that belonged to my dad. Especially anything that had his actual handwriting on it—and this did. In the small journal, he had listed the various days of the week. Under each day, he recorded the things and people he prayed for. On one day, I saw “Marty and his family.” Knowing your dad prayed for you means a lot.

My dad was a pray-er. For as long as I can remember, he rose at five each morning and went to his study. He prayed at other times during the day, but this was his designated time. And when he finished his prayers, he read and meditated on the Bible. He counted it a privilege to pray.

Dad’s example stuck with me, and I’ve tried to follow the aspects of what he believed about prayer. Paul thought prayer helped too. He believed other believers praying for him as he made his missionary journeys guaranteed his safety.

Pray should be consistent. Dad’s were, and I’ve tried to follow his example. My designated prayer times have varied depending on my work schedule. While I make many “microwave” prayers during the day, I’ve always had one designated block of time when I came before the Lord. Making it a habit increases the likelihood of my consistency.

Humility should characterize our prayers. I always begin by thanking God for making it possible for me—a sinner—to come before His throne of grace. Because He has clothed me with the righteousness of His Son, I can come boldly and confidently.

More intercession than supplication should characterize our prayers. God doesn’t mind us asking for personal things, but turning our attention away from ourselves—unless it’s a petition to grow closer to God—should consume the bulk of our prayers. Most of Dad’s prayer list involved other people and other situations.

Faith must adorn our prayers for them to be effective. We may have to ask God to increase our faith, but we should pray with faith that God will answer and that His answers will be the best.

If you’re not enjoying the privilege of prayer, why not start today.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the privilege You give us of coming before You in prayer. 

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