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Thank you for subscribing to Truth-Based Living. In this brief audio, I want to lay out a specific step-by-step formula to help you pump up your prayer life. The Bible depicts God’s followers as being on a journey. Yet without an effective prayer life, we are seriously inhibited in our ability to move forward in that journey. Have you ever tried to drive a car with deflated tires? You need to pump your tires up with air in order to effectively drive your car. The same is true with our prayer life. To use another metaphor…Bodybuilders when they wish to increase their weightlifting potential look for ways to pump up their muscles and enhance their strength. To do so requires that they think carefully about their lifestyle and habits, including of course their diet and exercise regimen. It’s no different for Christians. So, here are the steps… Step One: Choose to Trust and Believe in God The book of Hebrews tells us: “Without faith it is impossible to please God – he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” It’s not difficult to please God without faith. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith. Faith means trust. If you try to approach God without faith, then God sees that. He looks right into your heart. God knows whether or not you trust Him. And it’s obviously displeasing to Him if He knows you have no trust in Him. What’s even more serious is if you doubt He’s even real. You must decide to believe that God is real AND you must put your full trust in Him. Only THEN can you please Him.
This of course puts many people in what they feel is a Catch 22. They feel that they can’t turn their doubts on and off like a light switch. This feeling is due to, I think, three things. 1) Not understanding that trust is a decision. Trust is not a feeling. It’s a decision. Are you willing to set aside your feelings of doubt, your emotions of fear and/or apprehension, and DECIDE to trust God? 2) The second thing is that they haven’t truly studied the evidence for God or tested the reality and nature of God. The Bible tells us to “test all things” and to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” If you doubt God, how much effort have you put into studying Him, understanding Him, and pursuing Him. The book of Hebrews tells us that He is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him? Let me test your diligence now. Have you read the Bible? Simple question. How can you say you’ve diligently sought after God if you haven’t even read His Word? Have you studied the evidence for God? How many books by Christian thinkers and apologists like C.S. Lewis, Ravi Zacharias, J.P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, and others have you read? How much effort have you put into studying God or pursuing God? 3) The third thing is that too many people try to understand or approach God on THEIR terms. If God doesn’t provide them with a good job, good health, good income, etc., then they are not interested. They want a God that will do great things for THEM. They want a God that will solve THEIR problems. In truth, God asks us to conform our lives to HIS will. We are here for God. Not the other way around. I would encourage you to genuinely ask if you’ve chosen to TRUST God and chosen to seek after God on God’s terms. That’s the first step in pumping up your prayer life. Step Two: Eliminate Pride Billy Sunday: “Pride keeps us from proper prayer. Being chesty and big-headed is responsible for more failures than anything else in this world.”
PRIDE: a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. CS Lewis: “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you.” It is the sin of Lucifer (Isaiah14:13 - "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.") Psalm 10:4 – “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Self-indulgent, self-obsessed, self-confident – these folks will not seek after God In the book of Proverbs…PRIDE and ARROGANCE are equated with EVIL!!!
Picture humility and pride on a continuum – a line. Very few people are all the way on one side or the other. People on various points of that chain! In Proverbs, a “froward mouth” is an indicator of pride. --Talking more than you listen --God gave us TWO ears and ONE mouth! --In fact, Prov. 8:33 “Hear instruction” And in this…we see some WARNING SIGNS of pride… *Talking more than we speak
*Closed-mindedness (not listening to instruction)
Step Three: Surrender Your Stubbornness Being like a MULE or a stubborn HORSE can inhibit one’s prayer life. WE – and I mean “we” – as Christians often equate stubbornness with standing firm for our convictions. We see being “stubborn” (at least in some areas) as a good thing. BUT… The word “stubborn” appears 7 times in the King James and it is NEVER used in a complimentary way. It is most often associated with rebelliousness. Example…
I Samuel 15:28 – “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” Sometimes, the KJV uses “stiffnecked” – 9 times – and, again, NEVER in a positive light. Sometimes, it’s expressed as hardening our necks or hardening our hearts. Proverbs 28:14 – “Happy is the man who feareth alway, but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” Step Four: Cultivate a Heart of Worship One of the biggest problems that people have with prayer is that it takes on a selfcentered character.
Prayer is not about us. It’s about our relationship with God. But…we make it about us…..in the same way we make LIFE about us! This is why I think we find WORSHIP and ADORATION so uncommonly practiced. It’s why we find it awkward and unnatural. And it’s why God calls us to it! In the prayer Jesus gave His disciples…. “OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN… “HALLOWED BE THY NAME… We are called to WORSHIP God.
Psalm 135:1 – ‘Praise ye the Lord, Praise ye the name of the Lord; Praise Him, O ye servants of the Lord.” Psalm 145:1 – “I will extol thee, my God, O King; and I will bless thy name forever and ever.”
With these four steps, I’m confident you will break through some of the barriers you may be experiencing now in your prayer life and you will enjoy a relationship with God that perhaps you never thought possible. May God bless you!