Today, we’re going to once again invite some of you to be contributors to C201, but first, today’s thoughts are from the blog Digging The Word where they appeared a few days ago under the title, Learning to Pray (click to read)
Luke 11:1Once 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.”
Hebrews 5:7While Jesus was here on earth, He offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the One who could rescue Him from death. And God heard His prayers because of His deep reverence for God.
Describe your prayer life using one word. You may think of words like exciting, strenuous, frustrating, boring, confusing, intermittent, difficult, struggle. Do you think it was easy for Jesus to have a prayer time?
Jesus’ last prayer time was in the garden just before he was arrested. He knew that his time had come and that he would be tortured and crucified very soon. Of course he had a stressful agonizing time in prayer but I wonder how his other prayer times were. I looked at that verse in Hebrews that said that Jesus “offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears” and I wondered if that prayer in the garden was the only time that he cried out with such intensity in his prayer time.
Jesus agonized in prayer while his disciples calmly fell asleep. But when the test came, Jesus walked through the trials and went all the way to the cross with courage, he never showed any signs of stress but where were his friends that had skipped their prayer time? They proved that they didn’t have the same courage that Jesus had. We often see prayer time as preparation for the battle but for Jesus prayer was the battle ground.
In Luke 11, after Jesus had spent time praying, one of His disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
Some things are worth noting from this verse. John the Baptist’s taught his followers to pray and we need to be taught how to pray. Nobody expects us to know how to pray without any instructions on how to do it. The disciples had been with Jesus for over 2 years. They had total access when He taught and preached. They witnessed His miracles. Yet, as far as we know, they never took Him aside and asked, “Lord, teach us to preach,” or “Lord, show us how to minister.” They did come and request, “Teach us to pray.”
✔ Jesus prayed for others. Matthew 19:13-14, John 17:9
✔ Jesus prayed with others. Luke 9:28,
✔ Jesus prayed alone. Luke 5:16
✔ Jesus prayed regularly. Luke 5:16
✔ Jesus prayed in nature. Luke 6:12
✔ Jesus prayed all night. Luke 6:12
✔ Jesus prayed with passion. Luke 22:39-44
✔ Jesus taught persistence in prayer. Luke 18:1
These basic guidelines show us how, when and where to pray by following Jesus example.
Christianity 201 is part of a blog aggregator called Faithful Bloggers. (Click the icon in the right margin or below to link.) Recently Courtney, the moderator of Faithful Bloggers, wrote a piece guiding writers how to carefully craft a devotional piece. Is it a coincidence that I was holding this article for several days and today’s topic was prayer?
I’m reproducing it here to encourage some of you to consider taking a verse of scripture which is percolating in your hearts, and writing thoughts the rest of us might appreciate. Send it to the address on the submissions page. To read Courtney’s article at source, click How To Write a Devotional Piece: Be Prayerful.
Writing on a regular basis isn’t always easy. Coming up with the words you want to use to convey your message isn’t always easy. Sharing God’s Word and His message of salvation and love isn’t always easy. When you put writing and sharing God’s message together through devotions, it isn’t always easy.Writing devotions is a very precious and important task. Anyone who reads your devotional should be able to find the love of Christ of in it and reading your devotional might be the only time they see an example of that kind of love. That is why we must be prayerful when writing devotions!
Before you put pen to paper, or rather, start typing, pray. Ask God to tell you what He would have you to write about. What message does He want you to impart? Be mindful of what comes to mind as you are praying. Does a particular person come to mind with a specific issue? Does a specific verse pop into your head?
Listen. He will tell you what to write.
Praying before you start writing a devotion will make it so much easier to actual write the devotion. But that is not where you stop praying.
You need to be prayerful throughout the entire process – before you write, while your write, during the editing and proofreading stage, throughout marketing, etc…
Remember that once you publish your devotion, whether it is on your blog, as an ebook on Kindle or in PDF format, or as a physical book, your job isn’t done.
Be prayerful for your readers. Pray that your readers will receive the comfort, love, and encourage that you intended when you wrote the devotion. Be prayerful that your devotion will touch at least one life for the glory of God.
Being prayerful is something so simple that is it often the one step that is forgotten. Next time you decide write a devotion, don’t forget!