By Donald Lee – Special to Focus Daily News
I want to take time to share a little about knowing how to pray, and knowing that God doesn’t just hear the prayers that somebody else prays. He hears and responds to the prayers that you pray. And if you’re unsure of how to pray, here’s some food for thought.
The same way you’d piece together a letter and then mail off to someone, you can say your prayer. For example: The person or persons will receive the letter if you write down on the envelope their address and stamp it.
When you write the letter, you say, “Dear Mark (or Mary): Thank you for coming to speak to my class today. The kids had a wonderful time and can’t stop talking about the precious moments they had when you came and shared your presentation. You are definitely the best at what you do and we appreciate you and all the devotion you put into making certain we had a great time. You are the absolute best! Would you mind coming to bless us at our next event, too? It would mean the world to us! … ”
The upper-left part of the envelope that encloses this letter would be your name and return address. Further down to the right and centered would be Mark’s (or Mary’s) address. And in the upper-right corner would be the postage stamp. You see?
The example of the letter above represents a model of how you’d address your heavenly Father, God. Instead of saying, “Dear Mark” or “Dear Mary,” you’d say, “Dear Father” or “Dear, heavenly Father … ”
The actual body of the letter would start off with praise and thanksgiving for all that He is to you and what He’s already done in your life. The praise and thanksgiving get His attention. They make Him smile. They make Him feel appreciated by you. The rest of the letter (or prayer) is where you make your request, let Him know what you want, what you desire, what’s in your heart. (Truth is, He knows already. Whatever that desire is, [if it’s not anything wicked], He gave it to you.)
And as you bring your letter (or prayer, rather) to a close, say, “This thing (or ‘These things’) I ask in the name of Jesus” (or “ … in the name of Your Son Jesus. Amen). (Also see Luke 11:1-4, the prayer model the Lord Jesus shares with His disciples.)
Ending your prayer with “ … in the name of Jesus” is equivalent to adding an address for the intended destination and including a stamp. Without either on the envelope, that letter will never make it to where you’re trying to mail it. And without using the name Jesus as the “Stamp” and “Address” of the Father, your prayers will never make it to God the Father.
It’s important for every Christian believer to understand this fact. Jesus, Himself, says in John 16:23-24, “And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you.”
Also understand, too, that unforgiveness hidden in one’s heart will stop a prayer from reaching God the Father’s ear. So, if there’s someone in your life that you haven’t yet forgiven for any wrong they may have done to you, choose to forgive that person (or those persons). Don’t let unforgiveness stop you from living in the blessed state.
Friends, that’s all there is to prayer. And when you pray, be sincere. Sincerity gets your heavenly Daddy’s attention.
If there is anyone reading this who does not know the Lord but wants to receive salvation, this prayer model works the exact same way. In your prayer, confess that you’re a sinner and want to be saved from eternal damnation and into eternal life in His presence.
Confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your Heart that God raised Him from the dead. Tell the Lord that you welcome Jesus into your heart. At that point, my friend, you become “saved” and a child of God by way of Jesus Christ. You are then, at that point, a “born-again” believer (Romans 10:8-11).
Donald Lee is founder-pastor of Kingdom Living Christian Center in Dallas. He’s also a free-lance journalist and co-author of the Xulon Press-published book “Married to Commitment”. To reach Pastor Lee, call (225) 773-2248 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join him Mondays through Fridays at 9 p.m. (Central) for intercessory prayer via teleconference by calling (218) 862-4590, conference code: 279498#. Also, tune into his sermons “live” on the teleconference line from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sundays.