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Friday, November 6, 2009

How to Pray?

Hello Everyone,

I wrote this email about 2 years ago. However, I thought it would make a wonderful post for this page so here it is..Enjoy the Read!

I've been a Christian for 11 years. Now I'll be completely honest with you. There are some periods when I don't read the Bible consistenly and there are times when I wake up and start reading! lol When I read the Bible in the past, I needed to read it so that I could learn about who God was...So I read the New Testament a few times over like when you read a novel..This is all over the 11 yrs... I was scared to read the Old Testament cause I found it boring and confusing so I'd start and rush along to the New Testament as my escape lol Then my pastor like 2yrs ago did a review of each book in the Old Testament and we had to read it before he preached on it. So I read! And it wasn't boring! He made things clear! And I understood more and became less distressed about reading it.So a couple of months ago I was talking to a friend and we were talking about prayer... He said "I pray once and let it go" I told him "I pray over and over again without ceasing and it seems to work for me all these years" So then I was like, which way is the right way to pray...So I wokeup on morning and I not only read but it was my 1st time studying...writing notes and writing down what I learned.... It was FUN! I realized that although you hear the Word at church its your job as a christian to read the Bible on your own for all its worth. Find out the answers to your questions! Dont walk around confused about your life! Go Find the Answers in the Word of God!

So I've decided (Like a couple of days ago) to get a journal of my own where I would read the Bible and write my thoughts and ask God my questions. I encourage you to do the same. Its helping me to make connections and I'm learning about who God wants me to be. I know it wont be easy but I pray that I will make an effort to read/study as often as I can. Below you will find what I found out about prayer. You don't have to believe it but it's a little look at how it may feel to study the Bible. Like I said don't take my word for it Read on your own! I don't know everything..I'm still a baby..lol...I just pray and ask God to help me understand what I'm reading and let me tell you IT WORKS!! (I figured that out along the 11yrs which helped me to read to begin with) So try it out and tell me what you find.Now for those people who just became a Christian I suggest that you read about Jesus through the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I'd start with the Gospel of John. They are all the same story...written from a different angle! Also read 1 John which affirms that Jesus is Christ and explains the basic truths about the Christian life. Get a study bible at a christian book store or log onto http://www.christianbook.com/ Talk to other Christians about what you found and see their prespective on it. I'm on my journey with the rest of you. But wanted to encourage you also! Below you will find my very first individual bible study. Remember to pray each and every time before reading asking God to reveal himself and his truths to you. The following is an email that I sent to a friend after speaking to him about PRAYER.

Yesterday when we were talking about prayer it really got me thinking about how I pray and ask God for help. I was thinking Hmmm do I just ask once or do I really bug God until I get an answer. To be really honest with you I think I do a combination of both. There have been times that I’ve prayed about something for a long long period of time and I never stopped praying because I knew that some things happen over time.. But the key to praying is having faith. (Hebrews 11 v 1 says Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see)

I looked through the Bible searching for the verses that alluded to the notion of praying without ceasing but I couldn’t find anything at first. I wondered to myself why do I feel that in some situations you do keep praying (e.g. when someone is sick) So I gave up looking for a specific verse and as I was searching I realized that in most of the letters that Paul wrote to Christians he always began by telling them how he often thanked God and how he prays for them. I noticed that he keeps praying and praying for them. Why not say one prayer for everyone and call it a day! Lol So I read all of the parts and realized… well you take a look first and I’ll tell you what I came up with….

1- Eph 1:15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, Eph 1:16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Eph 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Eph 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, Eph 1:19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

2- Phil 1:3 I thank my God every time I remember you.
Phil 1:4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
Phil 1:5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

3- Col 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Col 1:10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, Col 1:11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully Col 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

4- 1Th 1:2 We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.
1Th 1:3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Th 1:4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 1Th 1:5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake

5- 2Th 1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 2Th 1:12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

6- Phm 1:4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
Phm 1:5 because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. Phm 1:6 I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
Phm 1:7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

So here’s what I learned.. Paul was always PRAYING! Lol Man Oh Man he prayed and prayed a lot. But he prayed for believers so that they could continue to do God’s work, spread the gospel, to build their faith, to thank God for their faithfulness, but most importantly that they grow in God through wisdom endurance, faith, work and knowledge. He kept “asking continually” “always praying” and “never stopping” when it came to getting Christians to live in the Love of God. This above everything is when you pray over and over and over and over again. I think another big thing is giving God a Thank You continually. But that’s another bible study lol

I learned that prayer helps to build your faith because your asking God to do something for you and when he does it you wanna keep going back to Him knowing that the Lord will hear you and answer you. Now I’m not talking about getting a new pair of shoes (unless is something that you are in need of instead of in "want of" lol), but I think that your character and the work he calls you to do is important because you are representing God. That’s what non-believers will see above everything else.

When you keep praying it shows God that you need Him and that His role in your life is SUPER important to Him. Isn’t that how you feel when people consistently ask you for help whether its fixing something, doing someone's hair, helping someone learn to write or do a math problem because you're gifted in that area. The more they ask, the more you feel that what you do is special, and unique and people BELIEVE that you will save them of their issues!

God wants us to know that as our Heavenly Father HE LOVES US and is hear to listen. To provide for us. Let's Face it he is FABULOUS and all POWERFUL

Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mt 7:8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.Mt 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

So if you want to change/develop your character, and to become the person that God wants you to be...You have to ask him over and over and over again and never stop……I feel that is why I’ve become the woman I am today. I asked God to help me in everything and prayed for wisdom and developed my faith. The key word is to pray continually…..

1Thesselonians 5:16 says "Be joyful always; 1Th 5:17 pray continually; 1Th 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

I hope all this made sense to you. I hope and pray that you’ll try out this new way at looking at prayer. SO BUG GOD lol He's always there to listen if you believe and have faith that he will help you. Pray by simply taking a moment to get alone with him and talking to him as you would your bestfriend. Start by giving him thanks, praising him for what he has done and then present your requests asking everything in Jesus' name!

Be Bless As You Pray Without Ceasing!

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