Get Into The Godly Habit Of Praying

Some feel that prayer to God is only for certain times and certain places. Then, there are others that know it should be a regular part of their life. However, there are not that many that know it is even more than that, as brought out by some of the Holy Scriptures in this article.
Get Into The Godly Habit Of Praying
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete)

If you are human and reading this you are breathing. Most times we breathe without thinking about it. And most of us know that if we stop breathing we may soon die. Without a doubt we would all say that breathing is absolutely necessary for physical life while we remain in our body.

Now, here is what William Evans said about prayer {1}: “The Christian life cannot be sustained without it; it is the Christian’s vital breath." The whole counsel of the Word of God supports that statement. Praying should not be sporadic, but a constant godly habit of every true

disciple of Christ. We may look at this blessed habit in the following ways.

I. Continuous Prayer

Romans 12:12c: “be constant in prayer." -- English Standard Version (ESV)

The clause, “be constant in prayer," “continuing instant in prayer" (AV, Authorized Version) is what the Greek has, and looking more closely at the word translated above as “be constant"/"continuing instant" we see it can mean {2} . . . 
1) to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one 
2) to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing 
3) to continue all the time in a place 
4) to persevere and not to faint 
5) to show one’s self courageous for 
6) to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly

This same Greek word is the one that is used for “stand ready" in Mark 3:9: “And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him." Obviously praying to God through Christ is something a real Christian should be doing at all times. However, one does not have to be on their knees all the time, which we will see later.

And before we continue it would be good to point out that prayer is simple communication with God. No old words like “Thee” or “Thou” are needed. Also, it is not just asking. It can and should include thanks, expressions of wondering, praise, and more.

And what many people fail to realize is that prayer is not just talking to God. It is also listening to Him {3}. He will speak to our spirit. And this is an aspect of prayer that will help us understand that we need not be “on our knees" all of our waking hours. Many disciples of Christ develop the godly habit of staying “tuned in” to God every moment. We can do this within our heart and in back of our mind. We may ask Him to guide or strengthen us in a certain task, speaking to Him either vocally or by our spirit. This continuous communication with God through Christ is a great tool to help anyone to stop cursing, arguing, fussing, and more. It is certainly a great way to make sure you include God in every facet of your life in both the big and small things.

Such constant communication with God helps to ready one for emergencies. Some time ago on the Internet I encouraged people to pray to God first before calling for help. One, thank God only one, person took issue with that. I got the impression she thought I meant to spend a few precious seconds first, then pick up the phone to call for help; That is not what I meant. 

First, how long does it take to cry out “God help us" to Him from your heart? In that very brief amount of time one can be grabbing their phone or whatever is needed and still keep praying to God as to what to do and how to help anyone that needs help. Being in constant communication with God will ready us for trouble, and there will be times that we will hear from God that something is about to happen and what course of action we should take.

II. Spirit Led Prayer

Ephesians 6:18 - With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

Listening to what God has to say, or simply just “staying tuned" to Him, is a vital aspect of prayer. Physically we breathe out.  We also physically breathe in. This is one way we stay physically alive. It is the same spiritually. The Greek word translated as “spirit" is the same one used to express the word “breath."

So far we have said about God speaking to our heart. This is the primary way His communication to us occurs. However, He may use visions or sometimes dreams. What often happens to me is there are times, whether I close my eyes or not, a “visual" comes into my mind. One time when I had closed my eyes for the night I almost immediately saw fire. So I pray for those persecuted whose homes would be in danger of such an attack.

If you do not know what to pray for in such cases just let God know. The important thing is to communicate with God. He knows what is happening, or going to happen, any way. An objective, though, is to have us commune with Him and for us to do so constantly. Another objective is for us to learn to immediately obey. Still another goal is for us to be always alert to what He says to us. The things mentioned in this paragraph are include in what it means in many cases to watch and pray.

It also needs to be said again, (I have brought this out in many articles and messages) that though we may sense God speaking to our heart, or have visions or dreams or some other type of Biblical divine guidance, when the Holy Spirit speaks He will never tell us to do or think something contrary to the written Word of God.

There is another aspect of spirit led prayer. There will be times that God will put into our minds what words to pray. One time Dorcas and I were praying for relatives that were heading to divorce court. The husband was the initiator of the sought after divorce. In the course of prayer we felt led to pray that God cause a disagreement between the husband and his lawyer. That is precisely what happened when the court convened for the matter the following week. Glory be to God! By the way, the divorce never happened and they permitted God to heal their marriage.

Spirit led prayer can include speaking in tongues while praying {4}. An interpretation in such cases is not always needed. We get a sense of this mode of prayer in Romans 8:26-27, “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

One might ask why would one need to speak in tongues while praying. In the earthly realm there are a number languages that are richer than our


native tongue. How much more in the spiritual realm? Another reason is revealed in the words “according to the will of God.” There will be times we and others may not know what God’s will is for another and it might be God’s will that we do not know.

The subject of prayer itself is a very vast one, and when one has their mind opened to the spiritual realm, which would include the ministry work of angels both in the earthly realm and the general unseen world of the spirits, the subject is even more vast. In the second decade of my walk with Christ I came to realize that spiritual warfare was Scriptural. The Holy Bible indicates there are battles in the spiritual realm and we are to do our part to advance the Kingdom of God.

III. Focused Prayer 

Luke 6:12 -- “It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God."

Luke 6:12 is one of many verses where we see Jesus Christ in a time of focused prayer. Immediately I must say that in such passages we are not seeing merely an example, but we are seeing the very Life within us if we are truly redeemed. All that Christ has done is within each true believer in Him.

While we must be in constant prayer it is good to have times of focused prayer, where that is all that we are doing: praying. It is good to have some sort of schedule, but be open to it to being changed by the Holy Spirit. While many are accustomed to praying upon arising and / or retiring for the night, be open for new opportunities, listening to the Holy Spirit.

During my first decade of my walk with Christ for about three years I worked as an orderly (comparable to today’s Certified Nursing Assistant) at a nursing home in Grantsville, Maryland. As you might know, that is near “Amish territory” so the cooks at the home were well capable of preparing some tasty dishes. During break time we were allowed to go to the kitchen to eat any left overs. Hence, that was my habit. But there came a time that God told me to pray and worship during my break. I found the walk-in electrical closet and there I spent time in prayer and worship during my break, being very careful not to touch any wires. After all, I wanted power from heaven and not from earth!

Focused times of prayer can include praying at meals, before a test, with your spouse, when sending children to school, and more. And there are a number of focused times of prayer during a church service, or there should be at least. During a service make it a point to pray whenever the minister is giving an invitation for the unsaved to commit to Christ. There are other types of altar calls besides an invitation to salvation and we can pray accordingly during those times.

In all of this keep it in mind that satan {5} will always try to disrupt our times of prayer, or even challenge our fellowship with God. In 2 Kings 19 we read that the forces of Assyria were ready to invade Judah and sought surrender of the Jews. A threatening letter was sent to King Hezekiah. He brought it to the Temple, spread it out before YHVH, and earnestly prayed  (2 Kings 19:14-19). God rescued them from the Assyrians.

There will be times satan will try to stop you from praying. In Daniel 6 we read that certain leaders of Media Persia convince the king to make a decree which stipulated that for thirty days no one could ask help from anyone except the king, otherwise they would be cast into a den of lions. Daniel ignored the decree and continued praying three times a day with his face toward Jerusalem as he had been doing all along.

Yes, prayer is the vital breath of every true Christian. It must be constant, continuous. Just as we exhale and inhale in the physical realm, in the spiritual realm we must not only speak with God but we also must hear from Him. We must be in constant fellowship with Him, always in tune, and always willing to obey out of a heart of love.

Notes:

{1} Evans, William: The Great Doctrines Of The Bible (Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL: 1939) p171

{2} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{3} Please read To Hear The Voice Of God at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/hear-voice-god .

{4} The topic of speaking with other tongues is more fully discussed in the article, Nine Fallacies About Speaking In Tongues located at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/nine-fallacies-about-speaking-tongues .

{5} Not capitalized on purpose, and so throughout the article. Experts Column gives me the freedom to express myself in that way.

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by November 12, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M422 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    The value of prayer does not lie in the quantity of words and the mere repetition of formulas, as if accomplishing a task. The value of prayer lies chiefly in our inner attitude of faith and love of God.
    reply 0
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