A National Day of Prayer

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Today is the 65th annual #NationalDayofPrayer  The mission of the National Day of Prayer Task Force is to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture.  More information is available at:  www.nationaldayofprayer.org.

  • Prayer is powerful.
  • Pray continually.
  • Pray for America.
  • Pray first.
  • Pray about everything.
  • Pray from your heart.
  • Prayer changes us before it changes anything else around us.
  • Prayer is one of our greatest spiritual weapons.  
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere (Ephesians 6:18).
 
A PRAYER acronynm:
P – PRAISE and worship God for who He is first
R – REPENT and confess your sins to God, RECEIVE His forgiveness, and RELEASE others who have hurt you
A – ASK God for His help, guidance, wisdom and provision for yourself and for others
Y – YIELD your heart and life completely to God and His will
 
Billy Graham quotes on prayer:
If Jesus felt He had to pray, how much more do we need to pray.
A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian.
Heaven is full of answers to prayer for which no one ever bothered to ask.

As believers, we are encouraged to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). 
How do I pray continually?  I live in an attitude of prayer, and in a sense of His continual presence with me at all times.  I talk to God all throughout my day, saying prayers in my mind, surrendering my thoughts to Him, and, above all else, surrendering my heart and will to His plan.  I  cast every single care, problem, and situation I face on Him and believe and trust Him to answer, and to bring about what is best and that which will bring Him glory.
Personally, all my many  cares, trials, and problems have forged some continuous prayers throughout my days and years.  Some of them have actually been a fulfillment of Psalm 34:18 which says “the righteous cry out”.  I have cried out loud many times in prayer from a heart of desperation, and many have been bathed in tears and worship simultaneously too.  Desperate hearts either forge this type of prayer, or, in the absence of praying continually, we either complain continually or continually escape through some type of superficial substitute.  Beyond continually praying, Jesus’ teachings and numerous verses in scripture remind us that we have been given prayer as a tool for personal communication with God, and as a weapon against Satan.
Follow Jesus’ guidelines for prayer:  
Matthew 6:9-15

Pray, then, in this way:

Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

The verses ahead of “The Lord’s Prayer” specifically tell us not to recite the same words without any heartfelt meaning behind them.  That is not accomplishing anything in us or on behalf of others.  God sees and knows our hearts.  It is the passionate, heartfelt prayers of God’s people that accomplish much (James 5:16).  God desires our hearts to be surrendered to Him, especially when we pray. We are not to pray to be seen, heard, or admired by others, but in a spirit of humility.  We are to ask for forgiveness from the Lord, receive it, and then freely give the same forgiveness we have received from God to others.
Even before reading the numerous verses below, please accept this friendly reminder to not fall into the trap of turning prayer into a dead, spiritual ritual.  Just talk to God from your heart.  Just begin where you are and God will lead you along your personal journey in prayer.  God created us to be in relationship with Him, and if there is no prayer, there is no relationship.
   
Scriptures relating to prayer:
… if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (James 5:16)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7)

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Matthew 26:41)

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 

(Luke 18:1)
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)  

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.  (Colossians 4:2)

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