God's Lightning: A Seminar on Prayer
SOME ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS
LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY!
Notes from Roland Brown's talks on LAWS UNDERLYING EFFECTIVE PRAYER (from a personal letter from Marcia Brown February 23, 1992)
"Two sentences I read in a book several years ago have stayed with me: 'A prayer when properly prayed in accordance with the laws laid down by Jesus is remarkably fulfilled.' and 'Anyone who becomes interested in the power of prayer will soon enough find out it's requirements of selflessness (denial of self), of forgiveness, of letting go of resentments, of unremitting determination to bring to pass the goal for which one prays.'"
"What was the author saying: Don't give up! Not if you are truly intent on learning how to pray as Jesus indicated and taught . Go back to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. That's where we find Jesus' commands and instruction on prayer. Spend extra time with the Sermon on the Mount. Maybe we aren't following Jesus' laws of prayer closely. And spend a lot of time daily alone with Jesus: bringing your life into conformity with the life and teachings of Jesus . Delight in fellowshipping with Jesus. He is our Lord and Savior, our Guide; our Teacher; our Example, (watch Him at work as you read the Gospels). He is our Enabler, ever available, ever present. He wants us to carry on His work, His mission. He wants us to be useable and used by Him in the ministry of healing, reconciliation, and glorifying the Father. To be one with Him and in Him. (John 14:15-23)
After a lot of meditating on the life and teachings of Jesus I have come to the conviction that effective prayer (Christian prayer) is based infinitely more on the kind of people we are than upon the words we speak or the ritual we follow--although both could be very important. Roland used to say, "When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray he taught them how to live."
Keys to successful prayer
1. LOVE (John 13:34-35; I John 4:12, 16)
2. SECRECY (Matt. 6:6)
3. FORGIVENESS (Matt. 6:12; Luke 11:4; Matt. 6:14-15; Mk. 11:24-26; Luke 17:4; Matt. 5:23-24; Matt. 18:21-35)
4. AGREEMENT (Matt. 18:19-20)
5. ABIDING (John 15:7)
6. GUIDANCE (Jn 8:31-32)
7. BELIEVE (Mark 11:24)
8. ASK (Matt. 7:7)
9. OBEDIENCE (John 14:15)
10. GRATITUDE (Phil. 4:6-7)
11. REJOICE/PRAY WITHOUT CEASING/GIVE THANKS (I Thess. 5:16-18)
12. IN THE SPIRIT (I Thess. 5:19)
13. FAITH (Matt. 17:20)
14. SEEK (Matt. 6:33)
15. CONTRITION (II Chron. 7:14)
16. RIGHTEOUSNESS (Ja. 5:16, Matt. 6:33)
17. PRAY WITH OTHERS (Ja. 5:14-15)
18. HUMILITY (Matt. 5:3; 18:3)
19. GOD'S PROMISE TO THE OBEDIENT (Is. 65:24)
20. RELINQUISHMENT (Jn 12:24--Let Go and Let God)
TEN RULES FOR GETTING EFFECTIVE RESULTS FROM PRAYER
(Excerpted from How to Pray with Power by Norman Vincent Peale.)
FIRST: Set aside a few minutes every day. Be very still. Do not say anything. Simply practice thinking about God. This will make your mind spiritually receptive.
SECOND: Then pray orally using simple, natural words. Tell God about anything that is on your mind. Do not feel you must use stereotyped pious phrases. Talk to God in your own language. He understands it.
THIRD: Pray as you go about the work of the day, on the subway (or car) or bus or at your desk. Utilize minute prayers by closing your eyes to shut out the world and concentrating on God's presence. The more you use such fractional minutes the nearer you will feel God's presence.
FOURTH: Do not always ask when you pray, but instead affirm that God's blessings are being given. Use most of your prayer in giving thanks.
FIFTH: Pray with the belief that sincere prayer can reach out and surround your loved one with God's love and protection.
SIXTH: Never use a negative thought in prayer. Only positive thoughts get positive results.
SEVENTH: Always express willingness to accept God's will. Ask for what you want, but be willing to take what God gives. It may be better than what you ask for.
EIGHTH: Practice the attitude of putting everything in God's hands. Ask for the ability to do your best and leave the results confidently to God.
NINTH: Pray for people you do not like or who have mistreated you. Resentment is blockade number one of spiritual power.
TENTH: Make a list of people for whom you pray. The more you pray for other people, especially those not connected with you, and those who do not like you, the more prayer will bring wonderful blessings into your life.