Saturday, July 8, 2017

HOW TO PRAY AS A CHRISTIAN | BEST GUIDE 2017

HOW TO PRAY AS A CHRISTIAN



Most people tend to ask the question, how do I pray as a Christian? Some might be shocked to know that praying to God as a Christian is quite easy. Without boring you with long talk, I'll quickly cut to the chase and tell you how to pray as a Christian.
   
The scripture (Luke 11:1) says;

        'And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, that when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord teach us to pray even as John also taught his disciples'

The disciples of Jesus had lived with him for a while and they could not be ignorant of the fact and rather asked to be taught how to pray. Now, we all need to be taught how to pray as Christians, but unfortunately unlike His disciples did, we do not all realize this need.

Surprisingly many Christians quietly assume that there is nothing to be learned about prayer and praying, and for this reason, the prayer life of many remains frivolous.

We have to learn how to talk, walk, drive a car, play the piano, speak languages and so on, why then should we conclude or assume that the act of praying does not need to be learned? Read (Hebrew 5:7).

Let us not only be an inspiring example but also a rich deposit of teaching on the subject of prayer. He gave us the Holy Spirit to be our helper and teacher also 'Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered' (Romance 8:26).

Christ, therefore, teaches us how to pray as Christians, not only through His recorded word in the Gospel but also through the Holy Spirit within us praying in the Spirit. Read (Romance 8:27, Ephesians 6:18).


LEARNING HOW TO PRAY AS A BEGINNER: GUIDELINES




*TIME AND PLACE

          In the worship of the old testament, the daily sacrifice was offered early in the morning and again in the evening. 'You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ'(1 Peter 5:2).

Every child of Christ is a priest, with the privilege of offering the altar spiritual sacrifice of worship every day, in the morning and evening, this is our continual offering. But if this must be done it is necessary to set aside time for morning and evening prayer, and we must be very definite and practical.

Nothing that is said about prayer will be of many advantages unless definite time is set aside for it. If this is not done, it will simply push out of our life by the demand of hectic modern world. Christians neglect prayer not because they disbelieve in it, but because they have not set aside definite time and place for it. Adequate time must be given to prayer each morning before the day's work begins.

It's necessary to discipline oneself to get up at the required hour, it's advisable to use an alarm clock in our prayer life. Unless we learn to get up from bed at fixed hour, a disciplined prayer life is just not possible.
     

What length of time should be set aside for prayer both morning and evening? The answer to this question is not the same for everyone. Half an hour is certainly not too long, anything less than a minute is too short. It's wise to possibly aim for fifteen to twenty minutes, and then try to extend it to an hour or more. It's advisable not to pray in a hurry, rather we must learn to duel in the leisure of the Holy Spirit.

When a time is set for prayer, being faithful to the time is regarded as a part of one's loyalty to Christ, for prayer is not a daily duty but a personal meeting with Holy Spirit, Lover of our souls. It will be helpful if possible to have a prayer corner, a place comfortable to kneel with the Bible and other devotional books. We may follow our Lord Jesus example and seek some quiet spot for prayer and meditation. The aim of this is to connect a free from interruption. ''When thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door pray to the Father which is in secret'' (Matthew 6:6).




*THE KIND OF PRAYER

Our prayers can also be broken up into parts, eight of them actually. Each of this listed below should be included in any complete prayer life. 

1. Praise/Adoration: This would be the expression of pure love to God in worship, admiration, esteem, Joy etc. And it is the highest form of prayer. It's an act of delighting in his being and attributes, to glorify God and acknowledge His supreme worth. In offering this we need our Psalter and our Hymnal to help us.

2. Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving Is the grateful acknowledgment, an expression of gratitude of our indebtedness to Him who is to come. Every good and perfect gift that we receive, it's best to say 'Thank you' to God. Christians should make this a habit and not take God's gift for granted.

3. Penitence: We always come before God as sinners in need of forgiveness through the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. Penitence includes self-examination, confession, feeling of regret or remorse for doing something bad, and this should be done in full detail and not vague or general terms. ( Psalm 51).

4. Intercession: Is praying for other people, the act of intervening on behalf of another person. In fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we royal priesthood intercede for our brethren and for the whole world.

5. Petition:  Is making our own personal request to God the Father, who in His desire want to know and satisfy the needs of all His children. And this must be according to the will and purpose of God, and when this is done we must believe.

6. Consecration: It an act of offering or dedicating our whole self as Holy, a living sacrifice unto God (Romance 12:1). It is the climax of all prayer. A believer should make such a good surrender, dedicating himself in the morning and for the coming day.

7. Meditating On The Scripture: Meditating is keeping the mind fixed upon something, contemplating philosophically. Now, God speaks to us in His word, meditating on this helps in our prayer. It's a prayerful reflection where we communicate with the Holy Spirit to give us more insight about the scripture even as Jesus did to His disciples. (Luke 24:32). Meditating comprises speaking, picturing, feeling contemplating and study. It also has to do with connecting with the Holy Spirit in our heart and mind.

8. Guidance: It's a prayer we pray for God to give us the direction of the coming day, problem, situation, Journey and on. And this is related to our daily life seeking for Gods guidance through prayer. 
Now, this eight listed prayer should find a place in our daily prayer life, this can be done in numerous ways.



*APPLYING HELP

A  lot of Christians have difficulties in knowing what to say in their prayers, and end up repeating the same phrases, word, and ideas.

The main solution of this difficulty is to live in such intimate fellowship with God through Jesus Christ and be sincere in His presence. Furthermore, our prayer life can be improved by making full use of the varied devotional book which has come down to us.

If you are having difficulty in praying to God as a Christian, the available materials listed below could help.

1. The Holy Scripture: All prayer should be based and related to the scripture. For we are to speak to God, remind Him upon the basis of what He says to us in His word, this way our prayer becomes a dialogue. A complete prayer life must be with scriptural backings.

2.  The Book Of Psalms: Helps us in praising God, and this must be done at all times. The psalms should be repeated aloud as an offering of praise to God. This does not mean that all psalms are equally suitable for use in this particular way. So we can make our own collection of psalms which can be used in personal prayer.

3. The Hymn Book: Is a very nice collection of prayers of all kind and is especially helpful for praise and thanksgiving. It's good to sing the Hymn to God, but if the reader is having difficulties in his vocals the Hymn may be said as a prayer kneeling. Every Christian should possess the use of Hymnal in prayer.

4. Books Of Prayer: There are very many books on prayer which will help us in prayer. We have Daily Guide, Daily prayer and so on..


CONCLUSION

Learning how to pray as a Christian takes time for some people and for others, it may come naturally. Hey, don't be scared, praying as a Christian is very easy to achieve.

Vivid application of the methods listed above will ultimately help you to know how to pray as a Christian, it will also ease your prayer life and help in your communication with the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for reading, kindly drop a comment if you have any questions or contributions regarding this post.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Overcoming Sin And Temptation: Short and Powerful Guide

OVERCOMING TEMPTATION


Is overcoming sin and temptation possible? This is one question that most children of God ask. But is overcoming temptation really possible?

You can't help birds flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building their nests in your hair'. This saying expresses two facts about temptation. Everyone will be tempted. And that leads us to the big question, is it possible to overcome temptation?

Now, Temptation is a universal experience, no member of the human race is exempted from temptation.

The bible says in (Romans 3:23) ''for all have sinned'' which necessarily implies that all have been tempted and all will be tempted. No man then is in a position to choose whether he will be tempted or not, this means that it is not wrong to be tempted but it is wrong to yield to temptation.

It is necessary to grab this important fact. Our Lord Christ Himself was severally tempted, not only at the beginning but throughout his ministry, yet He was completely without sin.  (Matthew 16:23, 22:18, Luke 22:28)

All humans will surely be tempted, but we can overcome temptation through Him (Jesus) 'that hath been in all point tempted as we are, yet without sin. ( Hebrews 4:15).


How then can we overcome temptation?

Here are a few ways that will help in overcoming temptation and  sin.

*WATCH AND PRAY

Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation (Mark 13:33-37). Jesus pointed out to us the need for constant watchfulness and alertness if we are to overcome temptation.

His Apostles took note and developed his teaching on this point. 'Be sober, Be watchful: Your adversary the devil, as roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). In the same way, the Apostle Paul warns us against the wiles of the devil, giving this as the reason why Christians should put on the whole Armour of God (Ephesians 6:2)

Many people fall victims to temptation just because they have become too 'Cocksure' not realizing that we are not fighting against flesh and blood. Therefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he falls. The word of God is capable of a much wider application. 

And what I say unto you I say unto all 'Watch and pray'(Mark 13:37). So also in the Lord's prayer, we are taught to ask 'Deliver us from evil'. And thus, it is through prayer that we acquire the strength and grace of God to overcome temptation (Exodus 17:2).

It's important in prayer not to concentrate one's attention upon sin. Your mind should be totally focused on God, and your attention should be directed in prayer to the positive grace or virtue needed, and not upon the sin you wish to overcome.

It always wrong to concentrate upon sin. How? Well, For example, do not say 'O Lord deliver me from my bad temper, but rather 'O Lord give me thy Holy Spirit and especially His fruits of patience, self-control, and Peace.



 *LOOK UNTO JESUS

Looking at a very practical point. We all are tempted, what then should be done in our moment of temptation. One thing is very clear, it's a mistake to concentrate on the evil that is tempting us in order to fight it.

The way to overcome temptation is not fighting evil. In order to fight evil, the attention has to be concentrated upon, and the more we concentrate fighting evil within ourselves, the more we are enslaved by it. People fail to overcome temptation not because they don't try to, but because they try it the wrong way.

The right thing to do is to redirect our attention looking nowhere else, but 'Looking unto Jesus'. The true function of this is directing our attention to Jesus, and when this is done, evil loses its appeal, and we will be enforced with His grace and power.

It is wrong that all spiritual progress be preoccupied with oneself. Rather in times of temptation, we must establish the discipline of looking away from self to our Redeemer in His holiness and power. (Hebrew 12:2).



*VICTORY THROUGH THE CROSS

But why then must we look unto the cross? Well, this takes us to the heart of the Gospel, 'Christ died for our sin' and this makes the difference to the way Christians must be saved. Calvary was a battlefield, there our Lord Jesus fought with all the hosts of darkness on the cross, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them (Col 2:15).

The cross is a complete victory, and triumph and the power of evil have been defeated and overthrown. Christians then are not to struggle to win a victory over evil, if that was the case, then Christ died for nothing.(Galatians 2:21). And now Christians are to portray a victory already won. The reason for our defeat is that we do not believe, we do not receive, we do not trust.

We need to receive Jesus and trust in His redeeming blood and by discipline, abide in Him at all time, looking unto Jesus in times of temptation. 'For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world' (1 John 5:4).

A story has it that a warrior went into battle and fought with a ferocity that no one could resist, killing masses of the enemies. Eventually, he met with one stronger than himself, and in the struggle, his head was cut off; but he kept on fighting that even when his head was cut off, his body was still fighting. This way, he killed several more soldiers until someone shouted out to him 'look your head's off '. at that point, he collapsed and died.

The head of Sin has been cut off on Calvary by the Son of God, but the evil goes on injuring and killing people because they don't tell him so. Sin has no power except to unbelievers. Christians must lift up their eyes to the cross and see the word 'Conquer' so as to win every temptation. 


*ACCEPTING JESUS

The scripture (Matthew 12:43-45) says  'But when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through dry places in search of rest, but it does not fine any. Then it says I will go back to my house from which I came out. And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, put in order, and decorated. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirit more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first.

In this description, it shows a human heart which has undergone cleaning and is subsequently left clean but empty. Unless a man invites new tenants into his house, the old demon will return with seven others. John the Baptist had cast out certain evils and demons, but they had refused to accept Jesus positively, by inviting Him into their empty heart, nor had they responded to his purpose.

Evil can never be driven out by a direct attempt to elude it, but by taking in the good which is the power of a new affection. 

Grow yourself with the word meditating and reading the scripture, accepting Jesus into your life to occupy and stay, creating no room for evil demons and so on, will help in overcoming temptation. 
           

      

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