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…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. – James 5:16b

This piece tremendously blesses us. We do hope it will bless you too and help you to cultivate or improve your prayer life.

The First Ten Lessons I Learned About Prayer:

1. The only real mistake we can make in prayer is in not praying.

If we pray earnestly, almost anything we do is better than not praying. After all, no father rejects the child’s plea because she did not use the right words or form. He welcomes his child into his arms.  Someone has said, “Nothing never happens when we pray.”

2. No matter how much you pray, you will never be completely satisfied with your prayer life.

You will always feel the goal is out there beyond you somewhere. We must work against perfectionism, that mental disease that convinces us because we’re not doing something perfectly, that we should stop it altogether. No matter how ineffective you think your prayers are, believe that they matter to God and keep on praying.

3. The Holy Spirit helps us in our prayer.

Romans 8:26 assures us “He helps us in our weakness because we do not know how to pray.” The Greek word translated “helps” is a compound Greek verb “synantilambanomai.”  The “syn” means “together, with us.”  The “anti” means “opposite to, in front of.”   And the “lambanomai” is a form of the verb “to lift.”  Together they tell us the Holy Spirit gets on the other end of our task, opposite to us, and together with us lifts the burden.  He does not do this in our place but works with us.

4. Keep on praying.

Persistence in prayer is taught so many times in Scripture. My favorite is blind Bartimaeus in Luke 18. Let nothing stop you from praying. Not your own inadequacy (of which there is much), your own needs (which can be overwhelming), not your fears (which never tire of assaulting you), and most definitely not other people (discouragement is all around us). Just keep at it.

5. Our emotions and feelings are irrelevant to effective praying.

We need to rescue our prayer life from bondage to our emotions. You know, “I don’t feel like my prayers go beyond the ceiling,” or “I don’t feel like praying today.” When you turn to the Father in prayer, how you feel has nothing to do with anything. Pray anyway.

By Joe McKeever

To continue tomorrow…

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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