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The Place and Heart of Prayer


Dad can you please teach me how to build a computer? My then eight year old son had an excited twinkling in his eyes that made me ask the question, "Why do you want to learn how to build the computer? You would have thought I would be excited to pass on a skill that I have of working on computers to my son but because he had not really shown interest in my work before I was intrigued and suspicious at his ask. I later found out as we started to build the computer that his main interest was not the building of the computer but rather in the computer itself that we were building as he wanted to own a gaming machine and he had seen on You Tube that it could be built up and custom made.


Unlike me, Jesus did not interrogate His disciples when they came to him asking him to teach them to pray, In fact he immediately launched into the teaching because he knew the value that Prayer would bring them so Jesus says to them "when you pray pray in this manner " and proceeds to teach them. I was struck by the fact that Jesus said When you pray not if you pray. Sometimes Christians have mistakenly been deceived into thinking that only the Pastor, Elders or the Prayer Team have the anointing and mandate to pray. Not so, Jesus teaches not only the disciples to pray but even when he had a crowd on a mountainside and preached the famous Sermon on the mount he also impresses to everyone that there is an expectation that Prayer is supposed to be part of their lifestyle and he teaches them principles of how they should approach Prayer and Fasting as well.


Ok stop rambling and give us the details, how then should we Pray? what is the secret to effective Prayer? Well Jesus Addresses the issue of Prayer in Matthew 6 he First addresses where you should pray then as well as the attitude of our hearts in prayer.


Read Mathew 6 below and meditate on the first things Jesus taught on prayer;


“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, ' 'so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


Reflect on the Scripture above using the following Principles that I have learnt over the years


1. The hinderance to effective prayer is Pride - Don't flaunt your Prayer life

2. The Place of Prayer is Private - Privacy with God promotes focus as you pray

3. The environment of Prayer is intimate - Intimacy with God promotes understanding of who God is and brings growth to your own life as he imparts understanding of who you are

4. The Power and Reward of Prayer is unlocked through the Obedience to His instruction

5. When you Pray Keep it Short and to the point, God hears your heart not your grammar.

6. Fasting is not a Performance so keep it Private

7. Fasting in sincerity of connecting with the Father carries a reward.



Prayer:

Heavenly Father I come to you today, ready to learn from you. Help me to understand that prayer is the way i communicate with you and fasting is the approach I choose to take in focusing on you and making you my priority. Thank you that the reward of prayer is not in how I pray rather why i choose to pray. So Today Lord, I choose to Pray to connect with you, I choose to pray so that I can communicate with you in an intimate way. Holy Spirit teach me and bring clarity to my heart so that my Prayer Life may never become a performance but rather will be my heartbeat of the way i seek you daily and in every breadth that I take.

I love you Lord.




Prayer & Fasting Tip:

Find someone to be your prayer partner to hold you accountable on your prayer journey. In those days when it is difficult to pray or fast, ask your prayer partner to pray for you.

Praying in a group setting also encourages your own faith - for example Every Tuesday at 6:30pm-7:30 Power House Prayer happens at View Church Table view (Child care is provided)- Join us whenever you are in need of encouragement to Pray and to be strengthened.



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