Our prayers toward God speak a lot about our faith, as well as about the way of living which we have. If we constantly pray for material benefits, financial security and independence, perhaps even perfect health, then these things must be more important for us than God is. Moreover, this is a sign that our life spins around them.
Jesus uses the example of worrying to show us how strong our faith ought to be and how we need to live and consequently – pray. Let us turn to his words from Matthew 6:19-34:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. read more
One of the biggest problems before the Christian faith today is that all Christians claim they believe in God, but not all of them live according to their own claims. In other words, many of us daily call ourselves Christians, but far too many of us don’t live like Christians.
Let’s look at the relationship between a child and his or her parents as an analogue of ours with God. When a child truly trusts his or her parents, he or she waits patiently and faith till their promises come true. When mummy and daddy promise their son a new bicycle he doesn’t immediately run out, seeking for ways to buy it himself earlier than it’s promised to him. Where there is trust in a relationship between two sides, there is also patience and faith.
Between many believers and God, however, the trust is little… so, naturally, many Christians quickly run out of patience and lose faith. God, on the other hand, doesn’t cease caring for us, but how is it possible to feel Him caring if all the time we’re trying to solve our problems on our own and pay more attention to them than we do to God? read more
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-14, NIV).
When it comes to prayer, perhaps the first thing we learn after “Amen” is “in the name of Jesus.” Yet, it seems that very often, just as with Amen, the praying on behalf of Jesus is not completely understood by the believer. What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? Why do I have to pray this way, and what conditions are there to it?
In the context of the passage from John, Jesus is talking to his disciples about Him being the only way to the Father and His unity with Him. This is key to understanding the prayer in Jesus’ name because it establishes the foundation – the divine authority and power which is found in Jesus, and upon which we rely as we pray to Him.
At this point Jesus also gives the condition for prayer in His name – one’s faith in Him. When believers witness miracles and supernatural experiences, it is not by their power or abilities that they occur. It is through their faith in Christ that these thing happen. Faith is, thus, the door opener for God’s power in our lives. read more
“That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:32-35, NIV).
It is not only once that Jesus is giving us an example how and what for to pray. In the gospel according to Mark (as well as in Luke 4:42) Jesus’ prayer is an example for us when to pray. This is perhaps one of the most difficult examples to follow today. But before you continue on reading about it, turn your attention to what happens before Jesus goes to pray in the morning. Throughout the whole evening before that he is surrounded by people who are sick and demon-possessed – and they want healing. And after this, as well as all the other busy days that have passed, Jesus does not try to seek an excuse but gets up before the sun has come out completely and talks to the Father.
For most people today the morning has to do with awakening, followed by quite some stress around the trip to work or school… And yet, in between of all this there’s somehow time for a coffee, a smoke for some, and perhaps a quick and unhealthy snack. But there seems to almost never be enough time for God. Thus, day after day a large number of Christians are overcome by the daily routines, stress and demands without even noticing it. Some new believers manage to find a free slot for God in the mornings, but as they grow older in their faith often things change and prayer becomes just one of the things Christians do. So far for the intimate conversation with God that all of us can remember from their first days in the faith. As we have mentioned not only once in our devotionals, in no case should we think that the longer we’re Christians the less attention we ought to pay to prayer. It never becomes automatic. read more
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:14-21, NIV).
This is the way in which Paul prayed for the brothers and sisters from the church in Ephesus. Today, for some it may be surprising that this prayer does not include, say, a petition for a larger home for the church, more income from offerings and tithe, or even those prayers by name for the ones from the church who are sick or have other urgent material needs. On the other hand, apostle Paul may be well surprised at the prayers we say when lifting up our brothers and sisters before the Lord. What is different about Paul’s prayer? How can we also pray in a similar way, and why is it even important to pray in this way? Read along for more information answering these questions. read more