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07 December 2011

The Essentials of Effective Prayer 07 December

I briefly mentioned the will of God on Monday and said that we need to seek His will through prayer, Bible reading, and study. There are a few more items to consider when we choose to seek His will.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

What is my “spiritual worship”? How do I present my body as a living sacrifice?

That “living sacrifice” thing can be difficult! Sacrifices were to be perfect, with no blemish. That’s sure not me! How can I make that happen in my daily life?

Obviously, the first thing to do is make sure that I am asking forgiveness for my sins.

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our sins from us. Psalms 103:12 (BBE)

Now that I am blameless in Him, what steps do I need to continue to make my life a living sacrifice? Will I need to stop looking at things? Listening to certain music? Or something else? What is it in your life that keeps you apart from Him, that keeps you from being that living sacrifice?

Think about it – what are you doing, right now, today, that keeps you from being a living sacrifice? That is a real thought provoker for me. I know a few areas where I am far from perfect. How about you?
What does the Lord really require of us?

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 (ESV)

Okay. Do justice – that is part of the living sacrifice thing. Love kindness? How is that an element?

Love kindness. The King James says “mercy”. Hmmmm… mercy might be forgiving others, and kindness might be helping others. How is that a living sacrifice? When you are kind and merciful to others, especially when you intentionally connect it to Jesus, you are showing others that God loves them.  When you humble yourself to be a servant of others, you are mirroring Jesus’ actions on this earth.

Take some time in the next couple days to think about the living sacrifice/spiritual worship aspect of prayer. How will your prayer life change when you focus on asking God to satisfy other’s needs instead of your own?
Now is the time to start “praying the Bible”. Use scripture as a part of your prayer life. You claim His promises, and at the same time recite His word. This prayer is based on Colossians 1:9-12.

Father, I ask that I be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of You, fully pleasing to You, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You. May I be strengthened with all power, according to Your glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to You, because You have qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

If you have time, email me and let me know how your prayer life has changed since beginning this study. See you Friday!

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