Friday, July 17, 2015

The Privilege of Prayer (Based off Chap. 11 of STC)

The Privilege of Prayer (Based off Chap. 11 of STC)

God speaks to us through His Spirit, His word, Revelation and Spirit of prophecy, but God wanted to give us a way that we could also speak to Him. So he gave us the privilege of prayer; Prayer is a gift, a privilege that is so special.
We need to be able to pour our hearts out to Him, We need to be able to communicate with Him-This is a necessity for us to have a real relationship with Christ.

So, what is Prayer?
The world has many different types and meanings of what prayer is considered. Everyone prays at some point-Protestants, Catholics, Buddhist, Hindus, Muslims, even atheists sometimes-But everyone prays.
The question is, what is real prayer?

This is prayer
Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him. {SC 93.2}

Prayer is the doorway of communication between Man and God.

Christ prayed

"Jesus Himself, while He dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Savior identified Himself with our needs and weakness, in that He became a suppliant, a petitioner, seeking from His Father fresh supplies of strength, that He might come forth braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, “in all points tempted like as we are;” but as the sinless one His nature recoiled from evil; He endured struggles and torture of soul in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and a privilege. He found comfort and joy in communion with His Father. And if the Savior of men, the Son of God, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of fervent, constant prayer. {SC 93.4}

Christ set an example for us, He taught the disciples to pray because He knew that we need that special communion with God.

Christ yearns to hear our prayers

"Our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little! God is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of His children, and yet there is much manifest reluctance on our part to make known our wants to God. What can the angels of heaven think of poor helpless human beings, who are subject to temptation, when God’s heart of infinite love yearns toward them, ready to give them more than they can ask or think, and yet they pray so little and have so little faith? The angels love to bow before God; they love to be near Him. They regard communion with God as their highest joy; and yet the children of earth, who need so much the help that God only can give, seem satisfied to walk without the light of His Spirit, the companionship of His presence. {SC 94.1}

God watches us so much, He sees our every need and wishes to lead us every step of the way, but He only wishes to intercede at our wish. If only we would take use of this privilege of prayer and ask for the strength to carry on, to pour our hearts out to Christ so that he could come in and fill the void within us. Christ yearns so much for that.

Without prayer we put ourselves in danger
"The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path. The adversary seeks continually to obstruct the way to the mercy seat, that we may not by earnest supplication and faith obtain grace and power to resist temptation. {SC 94.2}

Prayer is a necessity for faith and godliness, it is our ability to call for help when we are losing to the powers of evil. By the lack of prayer and worship of God we set ourselves at a great danger, we no longer would commune with Christ and would thus lose sight of the light of truth where all strength and faith comes from. Prayer is a mighty tool against satan, don't forget to use it.

There are conditions of the heart in order for our prayers to be heard
A person who is living a life of sin knowingly, without purpose to change, cannot expect to have their prayer heard by God. When we pray, we are going before the King of Kings, The Lord of Lords. We are by far completely unworthy. With sin thriving in our hearts, we cannot pray with humbleness and true Respect unto God. By going through the motions without faith, the works are of no good. We must be willing to have that full faith and believing in God, and be willing to give up our whole selves to him, to repent and confess of our sins and turn from them. Once we have resolved to give our sins to Christ, He is faithful and Just to forgive us and redeem us from them. We should seek Him Humbly in prayer and pray from our hearts with utmost respect. We have to let Christ change us from within. If we are not willing to abide by God's laws, then why would we feel entitled to His help and care? That is what presumption is.

We must be faithful to Him no matter the outcome of What we ask for
"But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire, is presumption. God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Then do not fear to trust Him, even though you do not see the immediate answer to your prayers. Rely upon His sure promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you.” {SC 96.2}
Faith and Presumtion are to easily confused in Christianity. Faith is a Full trust and Believing in God to let Him do what is best according to his will regardless of what we ask of Him in prayer. Presumption is a self based action action that leads away from prayer. A man with presumption does not follow the works of obedience and faith, but rather believes that God will give them what they want and need. God Does not work in this way, He says to ask and it shall be given unto us; we cannot expect to receive something without first asking for it. Faith in prayer is asking and trusting that God's will, not our own, would be done.
The Lord always Answers our diligent faithful prayers, sometimes He says yes, sometimes no, and sometimes He says wait.

Perseverance in prayer
Perseverance in prayer has been made a condition of receiving. We must pray always if we would grow in faith and experience. We are to be “instant in prayer,” to “continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” Romans 12:12; Colossians 4:2. Peter exhorts believers to be “sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7. Paul directs, “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6. “But ye, beloved,” says Jude, “praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God.” Jude 20, 21.Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God. {SC 97.2}

We should pray in the family circle
the privilege of prayer is an important element in the family circle. By teaching the young how to pray from the heart and with faithfulness, to teach them that God is eager for and listening to our prayers, and that through prayer we can receive the needed strength and direction from on high.
A family that prays together, stays together. For Christianity to flourish in the family, there needs to be solid communication with God as a family. The Children will follow after the patterns of the parents, so let the examples of the Parents be Honest and Christlike.
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)"

Never neglect secret prayer
We should pray in the family circle, and above all we must not neglect secret prayer, for this is the life of the soul. It is impossible for the soul to flourish while prayer is neglected. Family or public prayer alone is not sufficient. In solitude let the soul be laid open to the inspecting eye of God. Secret prayer is to be heard only by the prayer-hearing God. No curious ear is to receive the burden of such petitions. In secret prayer the soul is free from surrounding influences, free from excitement. Calmly, yet fervently, will it reach out after God. Sweet and abiding will be the influence emanating from Him who seeth in secret, whose ear is open to hear the prayer arising from the heart. By calm, simple faith the soul holds communion with God and gathers to itself rays of divine light to strengthen and sustain it in the conflict with Satan. God is our tower of strength. {SC 98.2}
Pray in your closet, and as you go about your daily labor let your heart be often uplifted to God.It was thus that Enoch walked with God. These silent prayers rise like precious incense before the throne of grace. Satan cannot overcome him whose heart is thus stayed upon God. {SC 98.3}
There are somethings that should only be between Us and God. We don't need to pour our hearts out to God before others, we can have that special communion with Christ, just He and Us. Never neglect this privilege, it is important to the growth of Christianity.

We should Pray Often
Let the soul be drawn out and upward, that God may grant us a breath of the heavenly atmosphere. We may keep so near to God that in every unexpected trial our thoughts will turn to Him as naturally as the flower turns to the sun. {SC 99.4}

When we pray, we are not to have a mere mention of His name before and ending of each prayer, but we should pray in the Mind and spirit of Jesus always.

He who does nothing but pray will soon cease to pray, or his prayers will become a formal routine.{SC 101.1}

Pray together
If Christians would associate together, speaking to each other of the love of God and of the precious truths of redemption, their own hearts would be refreshed and they would refresh one another. We may be daily learning more of our heavenly Father, gaining a fresh experience of His grace; then we shall desire to speak of His love; and as we do this, our own hearts will be warmed and encouraged. If we thought and talked more of Jesus, and less of self, we should have far more of His presence. {SC 101.3}

Praise and Thanksgiving in prayer
We need to praise God more “for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.” Psalm 107:8. Our devotional exercises should notconsist wholly in asking and receiving. Let us not be always thinking of our wants and never of the benefits we receive. We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. We are the constant recipients of God’s mercies, and yet how little gratitude we express, how little we praise Him for what He has done for us. {SC 102.2}
There is a time and a need for us to ask for Guidance and strength From God, but there is always a greater necessity of praise to God. We, after our own abominations against the Lord and our wickedness, we are unworthy of His blessings, Yet Christ continues to Bless us more than we even realize. What an Awesome God, Praise Him in all things, even that which is trials and troubles.

Therefore, Brothers and Sisters, let us not abuse this privilege of prayer, let us make use of this wonderful gift God has given us to Praise Him, to worship Him, to seek Him continually and in all things. Let us pray without ceasing, with one another and in personal worship with God, Let us daily pour our hearts our to Christ and let Him enter into our lives each day. In the Morning, seek first the Kingdom of God to be prepared for the tasks of the day, and in the evening, seek the Name of the Lord for Forgiveness from the mistakes of the day, let not the sun go down upon our own mistakes.