The School of Prayer (Part I)

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Christian Living
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We are living in perilous times today. As believers, we turn to our Creator to rescue us from everything from financial difficulties, to heath issues, to spiritual growth. So many of us today struggle with these day to day problems, but when we pray the answers don’t seem to come.

The biggest problem is that most Christians today don’t know how to pray. Bible schools and seminaries throughout the country teach students Church history, hermeneutics and how to preach, but they are rarely taught how to pray.

Scripture teaches us that our weapons for spiritual warfare are mighty in pulling down strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4) Our greatest weapon God has given us is prayer, but what good is a weapon if we don’t know how to use it?

That’s why we recently started a Bible study based on Andrew Murray’s book, “With Christ in the School of Prayer.” Below is the first in our series on “The School of Prayer.”

Lord, teach us to pray. Luke 11:1

The disciples had been with Messiah, and had seen him pray. They understood the connection between his life in public, and his secret life of prayer and they felt the need of following his example.  As we grow in the Christian life, the thought and the faith of our Messiah in his never-failing intercession becomes ever more important if we hope to be like him in intercession.

Remember that there is no one who can pray like Jesus, and none who can teach like him and we should feel like the disciples and ask, `Lord, teach us to pray.’ And as we think of all he is and has, and how he is our life, we can be assured that all we have to do is ask, and God will be delighted to take us into a closer fellowship with His son and teach us to pray even as he prays.

This is what we need to be taught. Though prayer is so simple that a small child can do it, yet at the same time it is the highest and holiest work to which we can rise to. It is fellowship with the Creator of the whole universe! The powers of the eternal world have been placed at the disposal of prayer! It is the very essence of true religion and the channel of all blessings.

Prayer is the secret of power in our life – Not only for ourselves but for others; for the Church and for the world. It is through prayer that God has given us the right to take hold of Him and His strength. It is through prayer that the promises wait for their fulfillment of the kingdom and its full revelation. Unfortunately, for the most part the Church has become either lazy or unfit in this.

It is only by the Spirit of God that we are able to do this right. But the majority of the church has been deceived into a resting in a formula of prayer and then we’re left wondering why the power is lacking. Because the church teaches so little on prayer, its influence, habit, and the stirring of the emotions, it easily leads to prayer that has no spiritual power.

Jesus has opened a school, in which he trains his redeemed ones and who desire to have power in prayer. Shall we not petition the Lord to train us in his school of prayer? It is just what we need to be taught! Oh Lord, teach us to pray! True prayer, takes hold of God’s strength that is powerful and effective, (James 5:16) and to which the gates of heaven are opened wide. Knowing this, who would not cry, Oh Lord, teach us to pray?

Our greatest teacher

A pupil needs a teacher, who knows his work, who has the gift of teaching, who in patience and love will meet the pupil’s needs. Blessed be God! Jesus is this and much more. He knows what prayer is. It is Jesus, praying himself, who teaches us to pray. He knows what prayer is. He learned it amid the trials and tears of his earthly life. In heaven it is still his beloved work. His life is prayer. Nothing delights him more than to find those he can take with him into the Father’s presence, and can clothe with power to pray down God’s blessing on those around them, and whom he can train to be his fellow-workers in the intercession by which the kingdom is to be revealed on earth.

Jesus knows how to teach. By the Holy Spirit, God has access to our heart, and teaches us to pray by showing us the sin that hinders the prayer, or giving us the assurance than we please Him. Jesus teaches, by giving us not only thoughts of what to ask or how to ask, but by breathing within us the very spirit of prayer, and by living within us as the Great Intercessor.

There are many Bible colleges and seminaries that teach students how to preach and teach, but not much is taught on prayer. Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach, only how to pray. He did not speak much of what was needed to preach well but he spoke much about praying well. To know how to speak to God is much more important than knowing how to speak to man. Not power with men; ‘but power with God is, the important thing. Jesus loves to teach us how to pray.

Blessed Lord, whoever lives to pray; teach me to pray, to live to pray. Allow me to share your glory in heaven. Teach me to pray without ceasing, and ever stand as a priest in the presence of my God.

Lord God; I ask you this day to enroll my name among those who confess that they do not know how to pray as they should. Teach me to patiently stay with Messiah in your school of prayer, and give myself time to be trained by him. May a deep sense of my ignorance, of the wonderful privilege and power of prayer, and the need of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of prayer, and help me to cast away my thoughts of what I think I know, and make me kneel before you in true teachableness and poverty of spirit.

Fill me Lord, with the confidence that with such a teacher as Messiah I will learn to pray. I have the assurance that he is ever praying to the Father, and by his prayer you rule the destinies of your Church and the world. Therefore, I will not be afraid; because as much as I need to know of the mysteries of prayer I know you will reveal it to me. And whatever I may not know, you will teach me to be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Amen.

More to come…

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