Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 33:3
Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 33:3
Reference: Psalm 66:18, Matthew 6:26-28
Goal: to provide believers with better understanding of the essentials of the prayer God wants and help them to pray fervently with their hearts
Jesus prayed very fervently and His sweat became like drops of blood falling down upon the ground. When we think about how Jesus prayed, we can understand how closely prayer of the heart is related to posture in prayer. We can gain insight into how fervently people pray by just observing their posture. By praying earnestly even putting his face between his knees, Elijah brought down rain that hadn’t poured for three and a half years. He offered up prayer God is pleased with and He wants. Here in this lesson, we are going to learn about the essentials to the kind of prayer God wants us to offer up.
1. The essentials to the kind of prayer with which God is pleased
1) You must pray with all your heart
To pray with all your heart is praying with your heart, mind, might, and dedication. If you pray with all of them, you can’t help but pray with good posture and you will pray earnestly with all your heart. To pray for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean that you pray with your heart. Even if you pray for a short period of time, it is important to pray in concentration.
You can also pray with your heart when you believe that God is watching you and listening to your prayer. If you feel God’s attention that is paid to your prayer you can’t pray in meaningless repetition or doze off. You need to understand the heart of God better under the guidance of the Spirit and pray earnestly for the kingdom of God with the thanks for His grace. Furthermore, you have to pray with faith and love and without the feeling of being coerced in order to you give prayer with the heart.
When you pray with all your heart, it will be delivered to God, and if you ask God with your heart and by faith, then there is no reason that you can’t receive whatever you ask from God who is love itself and who gives good things unsparingly to you. Thus, you must pray with all your heart and please God by believing in the almighty power of God for whom nothing is impossible.
2) You must cry out in prayer
Although Jesus is the Son of God He still cried out in prayer such that His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. He didn’t pray quietly, but He cried out in prayer. This is because it is the will of God to call out to Him in prayer.
Jeremiah 33:3 reads, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” This is God’s promise. The reason that God tells us to cry out in prayer is we can drive away idle thoughts and tiredness by calling to Him and we can also pray with our hearts.
But some people misquote Matthew 6:6 and say, “The Bible tells us to go into an inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret!” or “God knows our every need. Why do we have to cry out in prayer?”
However, nowhere in the Bible is there found mention of anyone who prayed in an inner room. Jesus prayed on a mountain or in a secluded place as described in Luke 6:12 and Mark 1:35. Peter went up on the housetop to pray as written in Acts 10:9, and Apostle Paul prayed in a place of prayer at the riverside as read in Acts 16:13.
The real intention of ‘Going into an inner room and praying’ is that you have to offer up prayer from the heart. When you go into an inner room and close the door, you will be cut off from the outside and it will lead you to be quiet and concentrate more on praying. In other words, praying in an inner room means casting away idle thoughts and worries and asking in prayer with the heart.
If you pray quietly in meditation without crying out it’s not easy to pray with the heart. At night it leads to drowsiness and tiredness or to worldly worries and idle thoughts. You might just fight with such things and fall asleep.
Only when you pray with an earnest heart and in a loud voice, can your prayer penetrate the camp of Satan which is the ruler of the kingdom of the air and be delivered up to the heavenly throne. Then, you are filled with the Spirit and trials and afflictions will go away. And all kinds of problems will be solved no matter how big or small.
3) You must pray with faith
If you open your heart and accept Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will come into you and you will be sealed as God’s child. As you try to act in the Word of God by keeping the Sabbath and praying, your faith will increase. In accordance with your measure of faith, God answers your prayer. Then, if you pray with faith and don’t sway in any kind of situation, God will give a greater answer by seeing your faith and cause all things to work together for good.
If we accumulate earnest prayers, we can get rid of sin and evil more simply because we can receive strength from above. In addition, to the extent that we resemble the Lord by living according to the Word of God, we can enjoy overflowing blessings. That is because we receive the living faith, which is given by God and makes it possible for answers and blessings to come down upon us.
The ‘living faith’ that is given by God is spiritual faith that is accompanied with deeds. If we diligently obey the Word of God, practice it, and pray with it, God will give us the living faith, namely, spiritual faith.
In this way, when we receive the spiritual faith, we can have the assurance in receiving answers to our prayers. So, because this God-given spiritual faith carries strength with which nothing is impossible, it also means we have already received the answer.
Thus, we must not doubt at all and we should pray until such assurance is given to our hearts just as Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” By doing so, we have to become a blessed person who receives all things we ask in prayer as recorded in Matthew 21:22.
4) We need to pray with a goal
When we set a specific and clear goal, we can push ahead with it more powerfully and achieve it fast. On the contrary, if your goal is not clear, you are not sure about what to do in many cases. Then, you forget why you have to do what you are doing even when you are faced with difficulties. It is the same in praying to God.
If we have already set a goal in receiving answers to our prayers, we need to pray with more earnest and patience. And as recorded in 1 John 3:21-22, which says that we can receive whatever we ask from Him if we have nothing to be condemned and we have confidence before God, we have to possess the heart in which there is nothing to be condemned by God. This is because God knows our every need, sees our inner hearts, and fills our needs.
5) You must pray in love
Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” If we believe that our prayer will be answered and rewarded, we don’t feel tired or difficult in praying. Just as Jesus prayed fervently to give His life for all people’s salvation, we also can pray fervently with love for many souls.
When we love others in deeds and truth, we naturally come to seek others’ benefits rather than our own. The prayer of love that God wants us to have is the prayer of seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness and the prayer for the shepherd and souls. This prayer of love also manifests different power according to what kind of hearts each of you have.
It is the prayer offered up with true love; this prayer contains hunger and thirst for righteousness, and love for the church, the shepherd, and souls. In other words, we need to have spiritual love, realize the will of God, and pray to accomplish the kingdom of God.
Let’s think about the prayer for the construction of the sanctuary. If you love the sanctuary which is the body of Christ, you will pray more fervently and with more dedication than when you are building your own house. So, you come to ask whatever is needed in detail for the construction one by one such as the land, finance, workers, and technologies with love for it.
With love for God and all mankind, Jesus prayed very fervently to fulfill the will of God. Through it, the way of salvation was opened and we could gain the right to become God’s child. Now that you have received such grace, I hope you will achieve the heart of goodness and love like that of the Lord and offer up the beautiful aroma of prayer all the time.