23rd January 2016

A Heart For Prayer 

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Romans 12:1 (NKJV)

What is a living sacrifice? Well, this scripture tells us it is what every Christian should be. So what can we sacrifice and stay alive? Obviously one answer is our time.

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day but how do we use it? When we spend time in prayer, study, helping others, visiting the sick and even occasional fasting, we are sacrificing our time to God.

Today, let’s ask ourselves what that means in relation to prayer? When should we pray? How often should we pray? How long should we pray? What guidelines does the Bible give us? Psalm 5:3 says, “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.” This suggests prayer should be daily in the morning. But Psalm 88:1 suggests it should be twice daily, while Psalm 55:17 suggests it should be three times a day. Meanwhile in Luke 6:12 we have the example of prayer all night; while 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing! 

So what do we do?

Well, as living sacrifices we should certainly devote time to prayer. How much and how often will depend on our circumstances. A busy mother with three children under the age of 10 will not have the same amount of time as a retired person whose children have grown up and left home.

The most important thing is to make prayer a habit, preferably daily. We should also remember that prayer is not an activity which is done only in a special place and at a special time. A short prayer before an interview, a meeting, making a decision or in any situation we face during the day, is just as valid and important whether it lasts a minute or an hour.

For a new Christian prayer may be difficult, something they do once or twice a week, compared to someone who has been praying every day, regularly, for years. The important thing is to have a heart for prayer. If your heart tells you to pray once a day, that’s fine. If your heart tells you to pray twice or three times a day, that’s fine. If, facing a big decision or a crisis, your heart tells you to pray all night that’s fine, occasionally.

So what does pray without ceasing mean? Again it’s talking about the heart, being in an attitude of prayer as you live your daily life. Praying about people and situations as you go through your day. Let your heart guide you, ask God to show you how to be a living sacrifice in prayer. The most important thing is to try and make it a daily habit, whether once a day or many times.

Prayer
Loving Father , give us a heart for prayer—a desire to talk to you regularly, expressing our appreciation for all our blessings, sharing all our cares and concerns, and seeking to know and do your will.
Amen
 

Study by Keith Hartrick

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keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM L

ocal Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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