4 Principles of Consistent Prayer:
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I have been so blessed by a message in which Chris Hodges shared the four principles that will help you develop a lifestyle of prayer. I will briefly share these principles and encourage you to go to churchofthehighlands.com for more teaching and resources.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)
- The goal is to be a “remaining” type Christian, rather than a Christian who simply “becomes” spiritual or acts spiritual when they go to church or get around people who are Christians.
- These four principles will help you become more consistent in your prayer life. I don’t know about you but prayer has not always been something that I have wanted to do.
- My flesh rebels against this spiritual activity which dethrones the fleshly cravings.
- I have found a love and passion for prayer, which I believe is our highest calling on earth. No matter what your occupation, your gifts, your talents and callings, the number one purpose is interacting with a loving heavenly Father through prayer to release His will in our world.
- The following principles, if applied for seven days consistently will revolutionize your prayer life! It is the one thing that has reignited my passion for God and I am confident that this will absolutely revolutionize your life.
- The Priority of Prayer.
Prayer should be our first response, not our last resort.
- It is the principle of first things. Honoring the Lord with the first of everything which means that it is a priority.
- What you do first reveals your priorities in your life. It gets God’s attention when He is your priority and then it sets the precedent for everything that follows.
- The first has the power to bless the rest. So make prayer a priority by making it the first thing you do before anything else.
- What would it be like if the very first words of your day were words of love and commitment to God? “Lord, I love you and thank you for all that you are. Today I choose to serve you with my whole heart.”
- This short phrase gets God’s attention and sets the course of your day to be in line with God and His Word. So don’t worry about praying long prayers.
Be like Daniel….
(Daniel 6:10) Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
Make an appointment with God…. and keep it!
- The Place of Prayer:
- Jesus had places that He went to pray and some scholars believe that the Garden of Gethsemane was a place that Jesus would go often to pray.
- It is important to find a place or places because it helps you keep the lifestyle of prayer and develops a routine that will be consistent without interruptions.
(Mark 1:35) Very early in the morning, (there is the priority thing right there) while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
- This could be your bedroom, a quiet walk in the morning, your kitchen table, your closet, etc. Just any place that can become your place to connect with God.
- The Plan of Prayer:
(Luke 11:1-2 NLT) Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Jesus said, “This is how you should pray…”
- The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray and He instructed them in a pattern or model that we call the Lord’s prayer. He did not teach them to merely recite this prayer but “pray after this manner”. He gave them 7 specific topics as a plan of prayer.
- So the application is to bring tools or a plan with you into prayer. The Lord’s Prayer, the Epistle Prayers, Tabernacle Prayer, devotionals, lists of people and places and a prayer journal to write down the important thoughts and revelation that you receive.
There are times when it seems time goes by so slowly in prayer. I mean I look at my watch and only 30 seconds have passed and it seemed I had been praying for 5 minutes. I guarantee you that if you bring a plan to your prayer time, you will find that you will not have enough time for prayer. The time goes by so fast!
- Any meaningful relationship that is growing will have a plan. Make sure your time with God has a plan.
- 4. The Persons of Prayer:
It is important that prayer does not become a plan, a place, a list and so on. Prayer is all about connecting relationally with God.
- Each one of the persons of the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are linked to you in a different way. When you relate to them in those ways it will bring meaning to your relationship with Him.
- Here is a beautiful description of the personalities of the blessed Trinity, found in this benediction or closing of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
(2 Corinthians 13:14 Message) The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.
The first mention is of the Master and it describes the very function of Jesus in prayer…
The amazing grace of Jesus.
- Jesus is the mediator, the Bible says, between God and man. Jesus is there connecting us to the Father. Hebrews says….right now, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, and He is interceding on your behalf.
- So in other words Jesus is seated, talking with the Father God about you…. and here is how the conversation is going…. “Oh Lord, Scott is in trouble…. I just talked to him and He is really in a mess and Dad, it’s hard because I was there…. I experienced that! It’s really difficult….
(Hebrews 4:15-16) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
- When you understand what Jesus is doing for you in prayer it just changes your view of Him and helps you connect with Him in His role before the Father on your behalf.
The extravagant love of the Father.
(Psalm 103:8-13) The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear (the word fear there is the same word that is used for worship) him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
- The tragedy is that many have been hurt or abused by their earthly father and now they are allowing their view of their Heavenly Father to be polluted by their earthly father.
- If that is you, I have great news! You can be healed of that hurt today in Jesus Name. Your heavenly Father loved to be referred to as your Father, in fact that is His favorite term to be called.
The intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit is the One Who after you have been in the throne room of Grace and have interacted with your mediator, Jesus Christ, says, “Come on, let’s go do life together”.
- In other words He goes with you everywhere and will never leave you. He is there to be an intimate friend who knows everything about you and everything that you are going through. He is called alongside of you to be a Helper, Counselor, Your Guide into truth, Your strengthener, Your Comforter.
(John 14:16-17) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth.
- So the whole point is to connect with God! Don’t just develop a religious prayer discipline, which will have no value to you. But allow these principles to aid and facilitate you in a prayer life that will connect you with the living God.
Get ready, your life will never be the same! Praise be to God!