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The Joy of Believing PrayerDeepen Your Friendship with God
By Joyce Meyer
Harrison HouseCopyright © 2001 Joyce Meyer
All right reserved.
Chapter OneGod's Word For You
And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking. [I Kings 18:25-29.]
SIMPLE, BELIEVING PRAYER
For many years I was dissatisfied with my prayer life. I was committed to praying every morning, but I always felt something was missing. I finally asked God what was wrong, and He responded in my heart by, saying, "Joyce, you don't feel that your prayers are good enough." I was not enjoying prayer because I had no confidence that my prayers were acceptable.
Too often we yet caught up in our own works concerning prayer. Sometimes we try to pray so long, loud, or fancy that we lose sight of the tact that prayer is simply conversation with God. The length or loudness or eloquence of our prayer is not the issue. It is the sincerity of our heart and the confidence that God hears and will answer us that is important.
We must develop the confidence that even if we simply say, "God help me," He hears and will answer. We can depend on God to he faithful to do what we have asked Him to do as long as our request is in accordance with His will. We should know that He wants to help us because He is our Helper (Hebrews 13:6).
Simple, believing prayer comes straight out of the heart and goes straight to the heart of God.
God's Word For You
Two men went up into the temple [enclosure] to pray, the one a Pharisee and the. other a tax collector.
The Pharisee took his stand ostentatiously and began to pray thus before and with himself: God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men-extortioners (robbers), swindlers [unrighteous in heart and life], adulterers-or even like this tax collector here.
I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I gain.
But the tax collector, [merely] standing at a distance, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, O God, be favorable (be gracious, be merciful) to me, the especially wicked sinner that I am!
I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God), rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.
For prayer to be sincere, it must come from a humble heart. In this lesson on prayer taught by Jesus Himself, we see that the Pharisee prayed "ostentatiously," meaning that he prayed pretentiouslv, making an extravagant outward show. There was nothing secret or even sincere about his prayer. It even says that he prayed "before and with himself." In other words, his prayers never got two inches away from himself; he was all caught up in what he was doing.
The second man in the story, a despised tax collector and a "wicked sinner" in most people's eyes, humbled himself, bowed his head, and quietly, with humility, asked God to help him. In response to his sincere, humble prayer, a lifetime of sin was wiped away in a moment. This is the power of simple, believing prayer.
Build your faith on the fact that humble, believing prayer is powerful. Believe that you can pray anywhere, anytime, about anything. Believe that your prayers don't have to be perfect or eloquent or long. Keep them simple and full of faith.
We receive the grace of God by humbling ourselves before Him, casting all our cares upon Him, and trusting Him to take care of them as He has promised in His Word.
Excerpted from The Joy of Believing Prayer by Joyce Meyer Copyright © 2001 by Joyce Meyer. Excerpted by permission.
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