Jonathan Falwell knows the power of prayer. When he took the position of senior pastor at Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC), his prayer was, “God, please do it (whatever God wanted to accomplish) today.” Jonathan didn’t know what he was doing or what to pray for. He was totally dependent on God. Today, he still prays that prayer with the knowledge that he can’t do it, but God can. He says the simple prayer, “God I can’t do it, you can,” is a prayer that can be said in good times and bad. We should never lose the feeling of being dependent on God.
Oftentimes a Christian feels selfish to pray for him or herself, but Jonathan says that is untrue. The first thing Jesus did in Gethsemane was to pray for Himself. “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You” (John 17:1). Before we can rightly pray for others, we need to pray for ourselves and get our hearts in tune with God. After Jesus prayer for Himself, he prayed for His disciples. He prayed four specific requests for His friends that day: (1) He prayed for protection. He prayed for His disciples’ protection in the days ahead. (2) He prayed for unity. He prayed His disciples’ would be one – the kind of oneness that the Father and Son experienced. (3) He prayed for safekeeping. He prayed that His friends would be kept, held on to, not lost. (4) He prayed for joy. Jesus asked the Father that His own joy would be fulfilled in His friends.
AN EFFECTIVE PRAYER LIFE
Jonathan offers some keys that will help you during your personal prayer time. It is taken from one of the most familiar portions of God’s Word – The Lord’s Prayer:
- Reverence – In the prayer pattern Jesus gave His disciples [The Lord’s Prayer] He urges us to begin with a focus of worship. Focus our entire beings on the wonders of who God is. Do not ask God for anything. Give Him glory and honor in a spirit of biblical and heart-felt worship. For example, read the Psalms. Focus on listings of the names of God, attributes of God, etc.
- Response – Yield control to the Holy Spirit. Surrender to God’s will for our lives.
- Requests – Pray about personal requests and the concerns of others. Pray for the lost. Keep a prayer journal to keep track of needs and a record of God’s answers to prayer.
- Readiness – This is a time of meditation and memorization of God’s Word to prepare ourselves for personal temptation and spiritual attack.
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