Most Christians are completely lost when it comes to prayer. It seems like really there’s no books that instruct us on how to pray. Well, E. M. Bounds wrote on prayer a lot… but I don’t know… I never really read his books and thought, yeah, that’s the key.
And recently I was researching more of the Word Faith movement, so I watched the entire Strange Fire conference by John MacArthur, for which I should get a medal, because I stayed awake during all the speakers, and… that was tough. But MacArthur made a throwaway comment that the writings of E. M. Bounds were Higher Life… which I never noticed! Was EVERYTHING that Broadman published in its first 20 years all Higher Life???
The biggest two changes in my doctrine that really opened the Bible for me was becoming King James Only…and local church only. The King James Only carried with it the understanding the Bible interprets itself, and is all sufficient. So, where do we go to learn how to pray?
“Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: For praise is comely for the upright. Praise the LORD with harp: Sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; Play skilfully with a loud noise. For the word of the LORD is right; And all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: He layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: He maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, The thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; And the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The LORD looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh Upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; He considereth all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: A mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: Neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, Upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, Because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, According as we hope in thee.” (Psalm 33, KJV)
Take a SINGLE VERSE from this Psalm, and work it into your prayers. “Lord, let all the earth Fear you.”
Wow. Easy, huh?
Then, when you can remember that, let’s alternate that with a different verse… but remember to turn it personal. “Lord, I praise you… your counsel standeth forever, O my king.”
“Lord, your word is right, and all your works are done in truth.”
Remember from the other day, we’re using the ACTS acronym of Tim LaHeye. Adore, confess, thanksgiving, supplication. Right now, we’re in the Adoration phase. The idea here is to GIVE GOD HIS DUE. REally simple concept.
David did this, Asaph, the sons of Korah, Moses… if they all did this in some form or another, then its an example.
“Lord, you love righteousness and judgment.”
“By your words were the heavens made.”
Now you need to start taking some verses and adding them in for confession of sin. For this, really, it’s sufficient to say, “Lord, I have sinned before thee. Please forgive me, and help me to grow stronger as a Christian, that I might not sin before thee.”
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old Through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: My moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, And mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; And thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: Surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, Or as the mule, which have no understanding: Whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, Lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: But he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: And shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” (Psalm 32:1–11, KJV)
“Lord, I will not hide my iniquity from you.” That’s a good thing to pray. You can’t hide your iniquity. But by praying this, you’re taking responsibility for sin.
“Lord, I acknowledge my sin before thee.” Seems to say the same thing? Exactly. That’s called parallellism. If it’s okay for David to do it, you can too.
Tomorrow, we’ll do the next two.