Tag: prayer

What does God look for when we pray to him?

What does God look for when we pray to him?

I’m going to assume this is a genuine question from someone who wants to know the answer. That being the case let me begin by saying I’ve always had difficulty praying, at least on a regular basis. I can pray quite well under pressure but seem to lose the desire for prayer when it gets easier in my life. Even so I’d like to try and answer the question.

What does God look for when we pray to him.

I think he’s looking for a few things from us, first of all faith, that we actually believe that he will answer us. Secondly that what we ask for is not merely out of selfish motivation but that we want something that’s good for us and others. Thirdly I think God would want us to be wise in our requests only asking for sensible and useful things that can benefit as many people as possible.

Sometimes we can be the answer to our own prayers, why pray for something if you already have the knowledge or resources to find the answer yourself.

Ultimately prayer is one way that we show our dependence on God.

John 14:13, “And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.”

John 16:23, “And in that day you will ask Me no question. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name.”

Accomplishes Much

James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Christians Told To Pray

Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Directed to

Christ

Luke 14:14, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”

Acts 7:59, “And they went on stoning Stephen as he called upon the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”

1 Corinthians 1:1-2, “Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” Compare “call upon the name of the Lord” to Psalm 116:4, “Then I called upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I beseech Thee, save my life!”

Father

Ephesians 3:14, “For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father.”

God

Psalm 5:2, “Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You do I pray.”

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

Hindrances to Prayer

Disobedience

Proverbs 28:9, “He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination.”

Doubt

James 1:6, “But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”

Ignoring Needs of Others

Proverbs 21:13, “He who shu ts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.”

Pride

Luke 18:11-14, “The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. 12 ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 “But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”

Selfishness

James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

Wickedness

Psalm 66:18, “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”

How to Pray

Matthew 6:9-13, “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.’”

Kinds of Prayer

Family

Acts 10:2, “Now there was a certain man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, 2 a devout man, and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people, and prayed to God continually.”

Group

Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.”

Public

1 Cor. 14:14-17, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What is the outcome then? I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also; I shall sing with the spirit and I shall sing with the mind also. 16 Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.”

Secret

Matthew 6:6, “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

Offered

All of the Time

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.”

Frequently

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.”

In Faith

Matthew 21:22, “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”

James 1:5-6, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”

In the Holy Spirit

Jude 20, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit.”

With Confidence

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”

1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

With Earnestness

1 Thessalonians 3:10, “as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith?”

With Humility

2 Chronicles 7:14, “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

With a Sincere Heart

Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

Without Wrath

1 Timothy 2:8, “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.”

Parts of Prayer

Adoration

Daniel 4:34, “But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever.”

Confession

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Intercession

1 Tim. 2:1-2, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

James 5:14-15, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.”

Supplication

Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Thanksgiving

Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Posture During Prayer

Bowing the knees

Ezra 9:5, “But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God; 6 and I said, “O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads, and our guilt has grown even to the heavens”

Ephesians 3:14, “For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father.”

Hands Lifted Up

1 Timothy 2:8, “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.”

What time is the ninth hour of prayer?

What time is the ninth hour of prayer?

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  •  3:00 pm – Ninth Hour (None)………………………………….Psalm 117 

The Mosaic law did not regulate the offering of prayer, but fully recognized its spontaneous character. In what manner or how far back in Jewish history the sacrificial prayer, mentioned in Luke 1:10, originated no one knows.

In the days of Christ it had evidently become an institution. But ages before that, stated hours of prayer were known and religiously observed by all devout Jews. It evidently belonged to the evolutionary process of Jewish worship, in connection with the temple-ritual.

Devout Jews, living at Jerusalem, went to the temple to pray (Luke 18:10Acts 3:1). The pious Jews of the Diaspora opened their windows “toward Jerus” and prayed “toward” the place of God’s presence (1 Kings 8:48Daniel 6:10Psalms 5:7). The regular hours of prayer, as we may infer from Psalms 55:17 and Daniel 6:10, were three in number. The first coincided with the morning sacrifice, at the 3rd hour of the morning, at 9 AM therefore (Acts 2:15). The second was at the 6th hour, or at noon, and may have coincided with the thanksgiving for the chief meal of the day, a religious custom apparently universally observed (Matthew 15:36Acts 27:35).

The 3rd hour of prayer coincided with the evening sacrifice, at the ninth hour (Acts 3:110:30). Thus every day, as belonging to God, was religiously subdivided, and regular seasons of prayer were assigned to the devout believer. Its influence on the development of the religious spirit must have been incalculable, and it undoubtedly is, at least in part, the solution of the riddle of the preservation of the Jewish faith in the cruel centuries of its bitter persecution.

Mohammedanism borrowed this feature of worship from the Jews and early Christians, and made it one of the chief pillars of its faith

7 BASIC STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL FASTING AND PRAYER

7 BASIC STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL FASTING AND PRAYER

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I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that our Lord has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual harvest around the world.

How to Begin Your Fast

How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success. By following these seven basic steps to fasting, you will make your time with the Lord more meaningful and spiritually rewarding.

STEP 1: SET YOUR OBJECTIVE
Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the resolution of problems, for special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your prayer fast. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically.

Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before God so the Holy Spirit will stir our souls, awaken our churches, and heal our land according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.

STEP 2: MAKE YOUR COMMITMENT
Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14,15) For Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:

  • How long you will fast—one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days (Beginners should start slowly, building up to longer fasts.)
  • The type of fast God wants you to undertake (such as water only, or water and juices; what kinds of juices you will drink and how often)
  • What physical or social activities you will restrict
  • How much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word

Making these commitments ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon it.

STEP 3: PREPARE YOURSELF SPIRITUALLY
The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:

  • Ask God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.
  • Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
  • Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4).
  • Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you.
  • Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15.
  • Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2).
  • Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10; 103:1-8, 11-13).
  • Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6).
  • Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17).

STEP 4: PREPARE YOURSELF PHYSICALLY
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision.

Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so that you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer.

  • Do not rush into your fast.
  • Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods.
  • Eat raw fruit and vegetables for two days before starting a fast.

While You Fast

Your time of fasting and prayer has come. You are abstaining from all solid foods and have begun to seek the Lord. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider:

  • Avoid drugs, even natural herbal drugs and homeopathic remedies. Medication should be withdrawn only with your physician’s supervision.
  • Limit your activity.
  • Exercise only moderately. Walk one to three miles each day if convenient and comfortable.
  • Rest as much as your schedule will permit.
  • Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety.
  • Expect some physical discomforts, especially on the second day. You may have fleeting hunger pains, dizziness, or the “blahs.” Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches. Physical annoyances may also include weakness, tiredness, or sleeplessness.

The first two or three days are usually the hardest. As you continue to fast, you will likely experience a sense of well-being both physically and spiritually. However, should you feel hunger pains, increase your liquid intake.

STEP 5: PUT YOURSELF ON A SCHEDULE
For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be.

Morning

  • Begin your day in praise and worship.
  • Read and meditate on God’s Word, preferably on your knees.
  • Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you to will and to do His good pleasure according to Philippians 2:13.
  • Invite God to use you. Ask Him to show you how to influence your world, your family, your church, your community, your country, and beyond.
  • Pray for His vision for your life and empowerment to do His will.

Noon

  • Return to prayer and God’s Word.
  • Take a short prayer walk.
  • Spend time in intercessory prayer for your community’s and nation’s leaders, for the world’s unreached millions, for your family or special needs.

Evening

  • Get alone for an unhurried time of “seeking His face.”
  • If others are fasting with you, meet together for prayer.
  • Avoid television or any other distraction that may dampen your spiritual focus.

When possible, begin and end each day on your knees with your spouse for a brief time of praise and thanksgiving to God. Longer periods of time with our Lord in prayer and study of His Word are often better spent alone.

A dietary routine is vital as well. Dr. Julio C. Ruibal—a nutritionist, pastor, and specialist in fasting and prayer—suggests a daily schedule and list of juices you may find useful and satisfying. Modify this schedule and the drinks you take to suit your circumstances and tastes.

5 a.m. – 8 a.m.

  • Fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed or blended and diluted in 50 percent distilled water if the fruit is acid. Apple, pear, grapefruit, papaya, watermelon, or other fruit juices are generally preferred. If you cannot do your own juicing, buy juices without sugar or additives.

10:30 a.m. – noon

  • Fresh vegetable juice made from lettuce, celery, and carrots in three equal parts.

2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Herb tea with a drop of honey. Avoid black tea or any tea with caffeine.

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

  • Broth made from boiling potatoes, celery, and carrots with no salt. After boiling about half an hour, pour the water into a container and drink it.

Tips on Juice Fasting

  • Drinking fruit juice will decrease your hunger pains and give you some natural sugar energy. The taste and lift will motivate and strengthen you to continue.
  • The best juices are made from fresh watermelon, lemons, grapes, apples, cabbage, beets, carrots, celery, or leafy green vegetables. In cold weather, you may enjoy a warm vegetable broth.
  • Mix acidic juices (orange and tomato) with water for your stomach’s sake.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks. And avoid chewing gum or mints, even if your breath is bad. They stimulate digestive action in your stomach.

Breaking Your Fast

When your designated time for fasting is finished, you will begin to eat again. But how you break your fast is extremely important for your physical and spiritual well-being.

STEP 6: END YOUR FAST GRADUALLY
Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after your fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid food to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have negative, even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.

Here are some suggestions to help you end your fast properly:

  • Break an extended water fast with fruit such as watermelon.
  • While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:
    • First day: Add a raw salad.
    • Second day: Add baked or boiled potato, no butter or seasoning.
    • Third day: Add a steamed vegetable.
    • Thereafter: Begin to reintroduce your normal diet.
  • Gradually return to regular eating with several small snacks during the first few days. Start with a little soup and fresh fruit such as watermelon and cantaloupe. Advance to a few tablespoons of solid foods such as raw fruits and vegetables or a raw salad and baked potato.

A Final Word

STEP 7: EXPECT RESULTS
If you sincerely humble yourself before the Lord, repent, pray, and seek God’s face; if you consistently meditate on His Word, you will experience a heightened awareness of His presence (John 14:21). The Lord will give you fresh, new spiritual insights. Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, spiritually, and physically refreshed. You will see answers to your prayers.

A single fast, however, is not a spiritual cure-all. Just as we need fresh infillings of the Holy Spirit daily, we also need new times of fasting before God. A 24-hour fast each week has been greatly rewarding to many Christians.

It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast, do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time out, or your may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. As soon as possible, undertake another fast until you do succeed. God will honor you for your faithfulness.

I encourage you to join me in fasting and prayer again and again until we truly experience revival in our homes, our churches, our beloved nation, and throughout the world.

Great Catholic Prayers

Great Catholic Prayers

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Catholic Prayers you should know

Basic Roman Catholic prayers

Traditional, written prayers will form the backbone of your prayer life.

These basic Catholic prayers are the five most fundamental ones:

  • The sign of the cross
  • The Our Father
  • The Hail Mary
  • The Glory Be
  • The Apostles Creed

Catholic prayers throughout the day

Be sure to see the article daily Catholic prayer for good daily prayers, and suggestions on using these prayers. Make these prayers the foundation of a strong prayer life!

  • Morning Prayer
  • Grace before meals
  • Prayer Before a Day’s Work
  • Prayer to Keep the Presence of God
  • The Angelus
  • Daily Examination at Night
  • Act of Contrition

Catholic prayers about Mary 
(Marian prayers)

The article prayers to Virgin Mary contains these wonderful prayers about or to the Blessed Mother:

  • The Hail Mary
  • The Angelus
  • Hail Holy Queen
  • The Magnificat
  • The Memorare
  • Loving Mother of the Redeemer
  • Miraculous Medal Prayer

And of course, no section on prayers & Mary would be complete without mentioning the Holy Rosary! There’s a whole article just about how to pray the Rosary. The Rosary is one of the most outstanding Catholic prayers; check it out!

How to pray

A prayer life is essential to the Christian life — it is “a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God.” (Catechism, 2558)

Christ promises to give you “living water” if you simply come to him and ask (John 4:10). Sounds good!

But how?

  • You do not need a lot of time
  • It’s simple to begin
  • You can start right now

The keys to a solid life of prayer are very simple things.

  • The How to pray section has detailed guidance in plain language.
  • Daily Catholic prayer provides a brief set of habits that are essential to successful prayer.
  • Live in the presence of God with this set of easy habits for home & work.
  • Christian meditation, or mental prayer, will be the backbone of a lifetime of fruitful prayer.

So dig in and start your new prayer life today!