In this fast-paced, multi-tasking world, believers in Christ are challenged to remain Kingdom focused. Because we are constantly bombarded with information and entertainment through technology and the internet, we must be intentional about maintaining a fervent and effective prayer life. This seven-day devotional offers practical steps to quiet the noise of the world, and receive answers from God.
- Matthew 6
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly (Matthew 6:5-6).”
Jesus admonished His disciples to not seek public recognition for their practice of prayer. He instructed them to go to a secret place to pray.
According to Time Magazine, the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds since the year 2000, to eight seconds due to an increase in digitalized lifestyles. This is less than the attention span of a goldfish, which is 9 seconds. The practice of praying in secret allows us to strengthen our focus and become more steadfast in prayer. In so doing, the Lord will respond openly to that which we pray for in private. Focused prayer gets results.
QUESTIONS: How long are you able to be focused in prayer before your mind begins to wander? What distractions do you need to eliminate in order to pray without interruption?
- Matthew 26
- 1 Peter 5:8
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter. ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak’ (Matthew 26:39-41).”
One of the major concerns my fellow Christians express to me is their inability to stay awake and alert in prayer. It seems many of us have no problem with other activities and tasks; however, when it is time to pray, we get sleepy. Choose a time, in which you are usually refreshed and rested, to spend with the Lord daily. This may require getting out of bed earlier in the morning, less time on social media, or sacrificing your lunch hour at work. Whatever it takes, make it a habit to give God the best part of your day, and He will bless the rest.
QUESTIONS: When are you most refreshed and alert during the day? What steps must you take to reprioritize your day for alert and focused prayer?
- James 1
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:5-8).”
When we pray, we must be certain about what we desire of the Lord. Whether we are praying on behalf of others or seeking strength and guidance for our life, we must not waver in our request. When we are inconsistent in our prayers, they are guaranteed not to be answered. In order to get results, we must be unwavering and stable-minded when we go before the throne of Grace in prayer.
QUESTIONS: Are you stable and consistent in your prayer life? What have you requested of the Lord and not received because you were double-minded about the situation?
- 1 John 5
PRAY ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5: 14-15).”
When our petitions are in alignment with God’s will, we are assured our prayers will be answered. As we diligently study the Word of God, His will is made known to us. We can pray in confidence knowing we are in agreement with the will and purpose of the All Powerful, Almighty, and Everlasting God. What He wills, no one can stop or stand against it. Our prayers should be according to God’s eternal purpose, not our carnal desires. Whatever we ask, knowing He hears us, we shall receive.
QUESTIONS: Are you praying in agreement with the will of God? Do your prayers have eternal value? Or are you seeking God for that which is temporal?
- 1 John 3:22
OBEDIENCE BRINGS RESULTS
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight (1 John 3:22). “
Ecclesiastes 4:12 teaches us a three strand cord is not easily broken. Faith, obedience and prayer comprise a three strand cord in the Spirit. They are a combined force which makes us invincible as we stand before the enemy. Obedience is the manifestation of our faith. Because we believe God’s Word we respond by living according to His commandments. Therefore, we receive results when we pray.
QUESTIONS: Do you pray in confidence, knowing you have obeyed God’s Word? Has the Spirit of the Lord led you to do something that you have disobeyed?
- Mark 11
BELIEVE IT AND RECEIVE IT
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them (Mark 11:23).”
When we pray in faith, meaning we trust God’s ability to answer our requests, we are promised to receive whatever we ask of Him. This promise is not contingent upon our religious title or position in the Church. It is obtainable by anyone who exercises faith in prayer. The Bible says, “Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed…and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says.”
QUESTIONS: Does your faith measure up to what you are requesting of the Lord? Do you believe He is able to move in your life as He has done in the life of others?
- Mark 11
FORGIVENESS IS KEY
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses (Mark 11:24-25).”
In addition to being focused, alert, stable-minded, obedient, in agreement with the will of God, and having faith when we pray, there is another key component that must not go unmentioned. We must present ourselves before God with forgiving hearts. Our God places relationships above all else. It is because He loves us and desires to be in relationship with us that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Not only has He reconciled us to Himself through Christ, but He has given us the ministry of reconciliation. He has sent us forth to reflect His love and proclaim His forgiveness to the world. Jesus said, we will not receive results from our prayers if we do not forgive others as the Father has forgiven us.
QUESTIONS: What is the condition of your heart when you pray concerning others? Are you seeking blessings for those who have offended you or their demise?