Steps to Christ, Pt. 10: The Privilege of Prayer

The classic line in this entire chapter is the second one which reads:

Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend.  Not that it is necessary, in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him.  Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.

If we could all come to the place where we truly understood and believed this, imagine what our prayer lives would look like.  Let’s break this down just a minute.

So when we pray to God, we should be praying to someone as though this Someone was our friend, better yet our best friend.  Think about that for a minute.  How do you talk to your close friends?  I venture to guess that sometimes you are joking around having a good time, while other conversations go deep into the core of your being.  When it comes to prayer it should be similar.  Sometimes we are laughing, praising God for His goodness, while at other times we are really wrestling with an issue in our lives, at times bringing us to tears.  The bottom line is that when you have something on your heart to say to God, say it.  Tell Him how it is… what’s going on in your life… what your struggles are… what successes you’ve experienced.

Notice in the second sentence that prayer is not about us making ourselves “known to God,” “but in order to enable us to receive Him.” Prayer unlocks something.  I wish that I had a more profound or accurate word for what prayer unlocks other than something, but the bottom line is that I don’t entirely understand how prayer works, all I know is that it does.  It enables us or others to receive Jesus more fully and when Jesus is around, miracles take place.

Lastly, out of this paragraph, we see that prayer “brings us up to Him.” Do you want to be where God is?  Pray!  Do you want to become more like Jesus?  Pray.  Jesus prayed to His father and if Jesus prayed, how much more do you and I need to be people of prayer?

Switching gears a bit, I don’t know if you struggle with sin like I do (I pray you don’t!), but if you do here is what Ellen has to say about prayer, sin and Satan:

The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray.  The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer….

If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us: but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted.  When all known wrongs are righted, we may believe that God will answer our petitions.  Our own merit will never commend us to the favor of God; it is the worthiness of Jesus that will save us, his blood that will cleanse us; yet we have a work to do in complying with the conditions of acceptance.

Have you experienced that before?  Your prayer life is flatline and who is tempting the daylights out of you?  Satan.  He is right there to coerce you to sin.  That’s not to say that when you are praying heavily that you won’t be tempted, but when you are not praying, Satan seems to have much access on your life.  When we pray, we are taking strides into “complying with the conditions of acceptance” and that is another reason why it is so important to pray.

Ellen states that “to pray in the name of Jesus is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning and the ending of a prayer.  It is to pray in the mind and spirit of Jesus, while we believe his promises, rely upon his grace, and work his works.” After all, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.  When you pray, enter into the mind and spirit of Jesus!  Pray for that Spirit that will guide you into all truth!

Courage to you prayer warrior!

Matthew

Posted on by Matthew Gamble in Articles
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About Matthew Gamble

Communicator, Consultant, Coach. Founder of a non-profit VagaBondservant Int'l that takes me all over the world exploring the life and teachings of Jesus.

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