Does Your Prayer Life Need to Change?

Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

I would guess that almost every Christians reading this sentence would like to have a deeper prayer life.

As we read God’s Word, we see that prayer is a crucial part of our Christian experience. It is not simply an event that we participate in, an exercise we accomplish, or a task we fulfill. Rather, prayer is humility before God. It is an expression of our faith in Him and in the veracity of His promises.

Sometimes people describe prayer as just “talking to God,” but we know that prayer is much more than that. It is worship. It is active dependence upon God our good Father. In prayer, we give praise to God and express to Him our gratitude for His grace and good gifts. We take our concerns to Him, seeking His aid as we actively trust in His sovereignty over us. We also plead for His grace to work in the lives of others whom we love (intercession). Prayer is all of these things and much more.  

Prayer is also a spiritual discipline. It requires discipline to pray because our sinful hearts fight against spending time in prayer. It is hard to maintain consistency in prayer. We need God’s help to both enable us to pray and to teach us how to pray in a way that pleases Him. God commands us to “pray without ceasing.” Prayer is a spiritual skill learned over time by God’s grace. When it comes to prayer, every Christian is still learning.

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Pray for the President

"Ours is not a convenient faith. We are bound by the commands of the word of God no matter how difficult they might be for us. While there was a lot of division in evangelical and fundamental circles regarding our previous president, there is not much sympathy at all for President Biden. It doesn’t matter. Paul said to pray for him." - P&D

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Matthew Henry on the Method of Prayer

Matthew Henry is perhaps best known for his Bible Commentary. I first came across him when I downloaded my first copy of the E-Sword Bible program. His commentary is available as a free download. Henry (1662-1714) died after finishing Genesis through to Acts. The rest of his commentary was finished by friends utilizing his notes.

But Henry also wrote a valuable manual on prayer. I only discovered this after stumbling across the book Taking Hold of God – Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer edited by Joel Beeke and Brian G. Najapfour. Some of the material below is drawn form Chapter 8 (written by Beeke) titled “Matthew Henry on a Practical Method of Daily Prayer.”

In his chapter, Beeke references Ligon Duncan who edited a book on Henry and his method of Prayer. See A Method for Prayer: Freedom in the Face of God. The following excerpt of an article by Duncan is an intriguing insight into Henry’s Method of Prayer:

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Barna: Online Prayer May Now Be Key to Building Faith

"In the new journal Five Questions Every Church Leader Should Ask About Digital Prayer, Barna, partnering with Alpha, reveals that more than two-thirds (68 percent) of Christians express openness to participating in prayer time during online worship. Yet only 28 percent report actually being involved with a digital prayer service during the pandemic" - C.Leaders

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