October 14, 2015
One of the greatest invitations to prayer ever given to anyone was spoken to Jeremiah when he was in prison for preaching the truth. God said:
“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
God mercifully spoke to him in his distress with both a command and an invitation.
Truthfully, It Is a Command
God takes the initiative: “Call unto Me.” Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray.” Paul said, “Pray without ceasing.” God says to Jeremiah, “Call Me!”
Have you ever had an important person give you a card with their unlisted number on it and say, “Call me”? If someone important gives you his private number, that’s a great privilege.
Almighty God came to Jeremiah and did just that: Jeremiah 33:3. These verses express the importance of the Person Who spoke to Jeremiah:
17Ah Lord GOD! behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great powerand stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee: 18Thou showest loving kindness unto thousands…the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is His name, 19Great in counsel, and mighty in work…. Jeremiah 32:17-19
And like Jeremiah, we have His personal number. He gave us His card, saying, “There it is. And I want you to call Me.”
There’s not one of us who cannot contact heaven. Never say in a situation, “There’s nothing I can do.” You can pray.
Every failure in our lives, when properly analyzed, is a prayer failure. There’s not a single sin in our lives that proper prayer would not have avoided, not a need prayer cannot meet. It’s our greatest source of untapped power! Our spiritual lives will not rise above our prayer lives. We must learn to pray. When we don’t pray, we deny ourselves an incredible privilege. I want to tell you ten things that help me to pray.
Ten Little Lessons I’ve Learned About Prayer
#1: Make prayer a habit. When you fail, start over, day by day by day, until prayer becomes a habit.
#2: Designate a time and place for prayer where you regularly go to pray.
#3: Make that time and place the most optimum for you. Find the time when your mind is the keenest, your attention strongest.
#4: Take some things with you: your Bible, notebook, pen and devotional materials. It would be unthinkable for me to have a quiet time without a Bible and notebook. I expect God to say something. If He does, I want to write it down. The weakest ink is better than the best memory.
#5: Begin by reading God’s Word. Don’t pray, then read the Bible. Read the Bible, then pray. What God says to you is more important than what you say to God. Your prayer will be enlivened and instructed when you get into the Word of God.
#6: Learn to pray about things all through the day. “Pray without ceasing.”
#7: Keep a record of your requests and answered prayers. I keep a journal where I enter requests. The other day I decided to look back about ten years. I was incredibly blessed to see how many prayers God has answered. A prayer journal will increase your faith.
#8: Put on the whole armor of God. Prayer is warfare. All the artillery of hell will come against you when you pray. The doorbell rings, you get sleepy, your mind wanders. You must put on the whole armor of God.
#9: If you’re by yourself, pray out loud. If your mind is like mine, it wants to wander when you pray. There’s something about vocalizing your prayers that keeps your mind from wandering.
#10: If your mind wanders, pray about that thing. Thoughts will come to you like,I must remember that; I need to do this. Here’s a secret that works wonderfully. If the thing drawing your attention away from your prayer is that important, evidently it’s really on your mind, so pray about it. The thing distracting me becomes the focal point of my prayer. Then return to your original prayer.
God can do anything He wishes. There’s no prayer too hard for God to answer, no problem too big to solve, no person too lost to save, no promise too difficult to keep. Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.
Prayer is your guided missile. It can be fired from any spot. It travels undetected at the speed of thought. It hits the target every time. And if you don’t see the answer right away, remember it can have delayed detonation. Satan has no defense against your prayers. There is no anti-prayer missile.
God promises, “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not”—things exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.