Submission in Prayer (Part 2)
Prayer consists of several parts. There is no set way of praying and, if you look in the Bible, you will see that there are different kinds of prayers by different ones. Some are short and some are long. It’s important to realize that if you are praying in public, not every time should you pray a long prayer. When you are praying privately, you should realize that you ALWAYS have an attitude of prayer! It is quite succinct in 1 Thess 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” At no time throughout the day should we be lacking in prayer! Let’s discuss some of the parts of prayer.
One of the ways of prayer is through meditation. As I’ve said previously, this is not contemplative mysticism. We are not thinking one word, a litany of words or even a sentence until some kind of inspiration hits us. We don’t go to the Bible for the lucky dip method and wherever we open the Bible to that’s what we think the Lord is telling us to do. We don’t see a sign in front of us and say that the Lord has given us a sign to do something. The Lord does NOT work in that manner. He no longer gives extra prophecies since His Word is completed. All we have comes from the Word of God not from visions, signs and wonders, overwhelming feelings, etc. etc. etc.! The meditation I am speaking of is meditating on God’s Word which means to murmur, speak, utter, talk, ponder, or study. It is important that we ponder God’s Word and even talk to ourselves throughout the day to remind us of what we have learned or are learning. Here are a few ways we can meditate on Scripture:
- Thinking on Scripture – Ps. 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (See also Josh. 1:8.) It is so important for us to delight in God’s law but we will not do it if we don’t keep thinking on Scripture continuously. Our minds will be filled with the filth of this world instead of keeping it on those things that are true, pure, lovely, etc. as it says in Phil. 4:8. Keep the Word of God constantly in your mind.
- Bible Memorization– Ps. 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (See also Ps. 37:31; 40:8; 119:16, 24, 47,92; 2 Cor. 3:3.) This is very important because we must needs remember the Word of God so we won’t sin against the God of the Bible! The best way of doing it is to memorize it so when you are away from any place where you would have a Bible then you can repeat it to yourself and keep yourself from sinning!
- Listening to Scripture– Ecc. 5:1, “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.” (See also Jn. 10:25-28; Acts 8:35; Rom. 4:3; 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20.) All these verses (and more) tell us by the apostles and others what the Scripture says. They heard the Scripture, memorized it, meditated on it to have known! Let us follow their example!
Do you make a regular practice of meditating on Scripture? If not, then seek to do so and delight yourself in the Lord through meditation of Scripture — God’s way!
Another part of prayer is confession. Ps. 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”
We should be willing to confess our sins as soon as they are committed or as soon as we know we’ve committed the sin. This is normally immediately! Ps. 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”
Prov. 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
Confession of sin should be continually. 1 Jn. 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Ps. 51:2-10, “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.“
Ps. 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Confession must also be done privately and within the fellowship of the church in 3 different areas:
- In thought
- In word
- In deed
Jms. 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Ps. 10:17, “LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:”
Ps. 34:15, “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.”
Pr. 15:29, “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.”
Pr. 4:3, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Mk. 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
Rom. 3:10-17 tells how we are wicked in our thoughts, words and deeds but it’s important that we keep that wickedness under control through seeking forgiveness.
“Ahh, I have you there!” you are probably thinking. “God looks on us with the righteousness of Christ covering us!” Yes, I admit that He does and I am so thankful that He does as are every true believer. However when we sin, even the Bible mentions that we once again put Christ to death so it’s important that we seek forgiveness for those sins. There is also something else that has an effect on us when we sin. Our relationship to the Father is broken and it’s important for us to seek forgiveness so that relationship would be completely restored! It’s similar to the parent/child relationship. When one of our children disobey or do something that they know is wrong, their relationship with us is no longer right. They begin doing more and more things that cause us, as parents, grief and heartache. When the situation is corrected, they have sought forgiveness, and our relationship is restored then they can look us in the eye again and truly mean it when they say they love us! Let us remember this when we have sinned and it is time to confess those sins!
To be continued…