Essential Christian Instruction, Part Two

BY PGF
4 months ago

Part One

In subsequent posts, we’ll discuss Bible reading and study, serving within His church, and seeking those that Holy God would save by His grace. Here in Part Two, we’ll briefly examine prayer.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” – James 1:22

Doers of the word bring glory to the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. Hearers only will fall into deception, and worse, self-deception. There is no worse place to be than living in a lie and thinking that you’re alright. God didn’t call you and choose you for you to be a spectator.

As a believer, geometric growth in Christ is experienced when you do these four things simultaneously. Personal prayer; praying like you mean it. Personal, self-motivated daily reading and study of the Bible. Assembling together to not only hear preaching but to minister and serve each other in a group of Bible believers (church). And sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with lost souls outside the body.

Prayer is simply talking to Holy God. Don’t forget that He is Holy, but you can and should speak to Him about everything. Here are just a few verses about prayer.

“Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.” – Psalms 54:2

“I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.” – Psalms 3:4

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalms 34:4

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” – John 15:7

In John 15:7, Jesus starts with the word if. If you abide in Christ and His words abide in you.

It’s not possible to explain prayer to you in a way that would adequately convince you that God answers prayers. Prayer is one of the things that you have to do for yourself to see the work of God in and all around you. The excuse that God will work His sovereign will and His great purposes will be accomplished anyway is a lame excuse for not praying. Prayer is about bringing a change in you, brothers and sisters, by the power of God. Prayer will change you from somebody who occasionally sees glimpses of God’s kingdom into somebody who sees the work of God in action. This happens by prayer and actively seeking to effect the bringing in of God’s holy kingdom to glorify the Father through prayer, study, and service. You can see so much more of the workings of God when you do the works of God. Don’t show up before the throne of God slack.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33

God knows what things you have need of; what God wants is you! God wants all of you.

All we can say is pray. Pray seriously. If you’ve never prayed for more than five minutes continuously, then you’re not serious about knowing God. After about five minutes of prayer, all the fluff is gone, all the rudiments of daily desires and needs evaporates, and you’re left only with what God actually desires to hear from you; your helplessness, depravity, sinfulness, desire to live in His righteousness, your deep moral conflicts in a world beset by sin and wickedness, how very thankful you are to Him for His grace and mercy, and much more.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” – Psalms 51:17

Once you arrive at a broken spirit and contrite heart, then can Holy God make of you a vessel worthy of the name; Christian, learning to grow in Christ and serve by building His kingdom while we anticipate the fullness of His glory starts with prayer.

When seeking to be fully immersed in the Kingdom of God, you can see the answers to prayer in real-time as you serve; if that is, you are serious about serving in the kingdom. In that case, God will give you specific charge of, probably informal at first, ministries to teach, comfort and encourage the saints, and to seek the lost that God would make His own. This only happens through doers of the word. Not to get sidetracked about the apostate Church in America, but the informal is where most of the actual work of God is getting done today anyway.

There is, of course, the incorrectly labeled “Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6. Start reading in Matthew 6 verses 5 through 15 to get a more complete context. You can pray in this model if you choose, and nothing is wrong with that. Vain and mindless repetition of these verses, however, is as the heathen do. If you want to know the actual Lord’s Prayer, read and study John 17. It’s the Lord’s prayer for His disciples. Everything spoken of in John 17 by our Lord can be directly applied to you today. But he didn’t pray that prayer for them, or you, to be useless pew sitters. That prayer in John 17 is for those who would risk their necks in service of our King as He brings in His kingdom. John 17 is not just a great prayer by Jesus; it’s a teaching tool about righteous prayer in the will of God and a life of dedicated service to bring glory to the Father through His Son.

You’re losing your civilization because you won’t work the works of God to confront the sin all around us, being filled with the Holy Spirit through prayer. It’s that simple. Christians are surrendering the field to the enemy. It’s a real battle that starts with prayer.

James 5:16 says in part: “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” If your prayers aren’t being answered, carefully look at that “righteous man” part. Shed any unrepentant sin. Recall to mind the tasks God called you to that you put away or never pursued and set about to serve in them. Prayer avails much for them that are in the will of the Father.


Comments

  1. On March 2, 2022 at 2:28 am, Matthew said:

    Not as many comments here as on the Ukrainian war posts, but this is much better and much more important (and that’s no slight against your other posts, which despite my critiques are better than anything else I’ve read on the war).

    Thank you for this series. Your approach to your faith has served as a reminder and a model in my own life since I first found your blog about four years ago.

  2. On March 2, 2022 at 11:14 am, blake said:

    Thank you for this.

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