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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Pastor Nelda’s Notes 4-18-21

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The Webster’s Dictionary defines Prayer as a “solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God”. We all know how powerful pray is to Christian people. Prayer can and will change things. Prayer is part of our hope in Jesus Christ. We must prayer without ceasing. If your prayer life consists of only Sunday mornings, it is time to realize our higher calling as a Christian. Prayer brings us closer to God and we are recipients of the blessings God bestows on us if we only turn to God. Prayer is a solemn duty and high privilege of  Christians.
Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons God has given us. Living and experiencing these uncertain times, I believe it has never been more important for God’s people to be on our knees. Knowing how to pray is not always easy. Jesus’ disciples felt the same confusion. They were familiar with the often repeated prayers of the Torah. But Jesus prayed with a kind of authority and power they had never seen before. It was as though God was truly listening. When they came to Jesus, in Matthew 6, they didn’t say, “Teach us another prayer.” They said, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13) is Christ’s response. It is a beautiful prayer. It is a prayer that every Christian should hide in their hearts. The words are elegant, but as elegant as the words are, I believe Jesus did not intend it to become another ritualistic prayer. Rather, it was to be an example of how to pray.
Here are eight keys to help you develop a a more powerful prayer life:  
1. Know to whom you are speaking. Address the person to whom you are speaking. 2. Thank God. A heartfelt thank you is always a great conversation starter. God loves to see that we have grateful hearts. Praise opens the gates of    heaven and should always be part of our alone time with God.
3. Ask for God’s Will. The Lord’s Prayer is where Jesus modeled a heart of obedience and submission to the will of God over his own desires and needs. In the Garden of Gethsemane, only hours before Jesus’ crucifixion, he would once again pray, “not my will, but yours be done.” 
4. Say what you need. In Jesus’ time, bread was a staple. It was the most basic needs of life, and he did not hesitate to ask God to provide it. The Bible says, “You do not have because you do not ask God.” Your Father in heaven delights to give you good gifts.
5. Ask for forgiveness. James 5:16 reminds us that if we want our prayers to be heard. Our hearts need to be right with God and with one another. 
6. Pray with a friend. There is power in agreement when we pray in Jesus’ name.  When I have an urgent need to take before the throne of God, I will often call a friend to pray with me. Finding a trusted prayer partner to pray with you.
7. Pray the Word. The Word of God has power and is our great spiritual weapon.  Pray the Word. Jesus did the same when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (see Luke 4:1-12). Use the authority of the Scriptures.
8. Memorize Scripture. The most important key to a vibrant prayer life is to understand our spiritual authority in Christ as explained in the Scriptures. Become familiar with the Bible. Even a few minutes a day in the Word of God will add strength and authority to your prayers.

God, through prayer, opens eyes, changes hearts, heals wounds, and grants wisdom (James 1:5). Never underestimate the power of prayer because it draws on the glory and might of the infinitely powerful God of the universe! Daniel 4:35 proclaims, We turn to prayer because it is the most personal way to encounter God, to experience God, and to grow in knowledge of Him. According to the book of Ephesians, God’s desire is for us to pray “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18).

“I don’t know how, but I know WHO!”
Grace and Peace, Pastor Nelda

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