Today we will finish our look at the proper types of prayer that we must have.
Psa 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Praising prayer is key in our relationship to God. Psalms tells us that when we enter into the gates of Heaven we must do it bearing thanks to God for all He has done for us and all He will do for us. Why were we created? Revelation 4:11 tells us that we were created for the pleasure of God. So why does God answer our prayers and give us all “good and perfect gifts”? God does everything good for us because He loves us and, like any parent, wants His children to be grateful for the things that He does for us. When God answers our prayers He is looking for us to acknowledge Him, to praise and thank Him for the answer. He wants us to acknowledge Him to other Christians for their encouragement, and to the unsaved, so that they will see that He does care for His people.
Luk 11:5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
Jam 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.
The Bible word for persistence is “importunity”. The story that Luke gives us is of a man in need that goes to his friend to meet that need but His friend does not meet the need right away. The man, Jesus said, would not meet the need because it was his friend asking but he would meet the need because the man would not leave him alone. What Jesus was teaching is that we need to be persistent when we pray. The motto of the youth group at the church I used to attend is PUSH “Pray Until Something Happens”. We persist in prayer, not because God hates us and is bothered by us making requests, we persist in prayer to prove to God and ourselves that we really are serious about the thing that we are asking for. We can say that a relatives salvation is very important to us, but if you only pray for them once or twice how important to you is it really?
Jam 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Dr. Jack Schaap once said: “We do not pray specifically to ask for things, we pray to acknowledge the One who gives us all things.” I believe that statement is very true. God already knows are needs, even before we ask Him, but still Jesus told us to ask God to provide our “daily bread”. When we come to God petitioning Him, asking Him to meet our needs we are not informing God, we are demonstrating to God that we know that He is the one that give those things to us. We ask Him as a sign of humility and acknowledgement, the same reason that we give tithe. James says that the reason that we don’t have is because we don’t ask for it.