Now, when it comes to this subject of prayer, there are two errors that we are in danger of: 1) Knowing the Bible intellectually without being concerned with application and experience. 2) Striving after the experience in prayer without knowing how to intellectually and Biblically pray. These are opposite errors which should be avoided. You can have an excellent knowledge of Bible doctrine, and at the same time be blind to its Divine privileges such as prayer. In studying doctrine something more than mental consent is needed. For many individuals when they come to the subject of prayer this error is generally reversed. In prayer, many people look for the Spirit to illuminate them with some message, some vision, or some emotion. This can result in our thoughts becoming scattered and thinking that we are accomplishing nothing; then we become weary, disappointed, and discouraged. This is what happens when our prayer life becomes forced and unnatural. Our whole being must be involved with prayer: the mind, the heart, and the will.
The mind must be at work as the apostle Paul stated in 1CO 14:15“I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also.”
The heart must be at work as David said in PSA 9:1“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart;”
The will must be at work as Jacob said in GEN 32:26“I will not let you go unless You bless me.”
So the principle is that we must have a mental basis for prayer, so that we don't become weary and enter into failure. Do you realize that the most important thing you can do every day is to have your soul filled with happiness from the Lord? The first thing to be concerned about is not how much you should do for the Lord or how you should serve Him, but how to fill your soul with happiness by learning and appreciating what He has done for you. If the soul is filled with happiness our inner man will be nourished. We might then seek to present the truth to unbelievers, to benefit and help other believers. We may even desire to relieve the distressed. However, if our soul is not filled with happiness and contentment, then we do not have the proper motivation. This is what the Jews were warned about in Deuteronomy 28. They were serving God and following Him, but there was a problem and they were under a curse. DEU 28:45-47 gives us the reason, So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. And they shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever. Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;
Many believers try to serve God without first receiving strength through doctrine and prayer, while meditating on the Word to receive comfort, encouragement, reproof, and instruction. They do not take advantage of the secret weapon called prayer. Prayer is the secret weapon for the Christian that secretly destroys and undermines satanic plans and schemes against us.
One of the goals and purposes of prayer is to cause a person to attend upon the Lord without distraction. 1CO 7:35“And this I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly, and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.” Prayer is a time of extreme concentration and worship toward the Lord. Prayer is not a time for concentrating on problems unless God places those problems on your heart.
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