And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe… (Acts 2:42-43a, NASB)
This week, my group study is on the Doctrine of Prayer. Oh, man. I always feel like the world’s worst prayer warrior. And that’s often because I mentally make prayer something more, something harder, than it is. This chapter was a good reminder to me of what prayer is and why God calls me to pray.
Prayer is personal communication from me to God. That communication includes petition for my own requests (Matthew 7:7) and intercession for the needs of others (1 Timothy 2:1-2), confessing my sins (Psalm 139:23), the adoration and worship of God (Psalm 63:3), and thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Prayer also includes watching, singing, meditation, and listening.
I am called to pray not so God can find out what I need — He already knows — but because prayer expresses my trust in Him. Prayer allows me to fellowship with my King, my Heavenly Father, and increases my love for Him. It allows me to participate in His work here on earth, activities of eternal importance.
Grudem lists some important considerations for effective prayer:
- I must pray according to God’s will (and to do this, I must know Him and His nature and the will that He has revealed in His written word);
- I must pray in faith;
- I must live in obedience;
- I must confess my sins;
- I must forgive others; and
- I must humble myself before God.
Relationships remain healthy only when I am open and honest with the other party involved. I can take loved ones for granted. I can fail to communicate with them, either on purpose or out of anger or even from simple carelessness. And that failure to communicate leads to a breakdown in our relationships.
God wants me to talk to Him. He loves me and wants to fellowship with me. He wants to hear my hurts and my excitement. He wants me to tell Him my secrets and my troubles. He wants to love all over me, and He’s waiting for me to come to Him so He can. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I just have to show up, open up, look up.
Here I am, Lord. It’s me. Robin, and I’ve got some things to tell You.
Today’s Bible Reading: Acts 1-3