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How to Pray



Some people’s prayers need to be cut short at both ends and set on fire in the middle.



Often we pray with our minds on hold and our mouths on automatic.



”In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”—John Bunyan


Prayer by Asking in Jesus’ Name

A father took his children to the county fair one day. Since they were obviously not interested in the prize pig or calf, the father bought a whole roll of tickets for the various rides at the fair. As each of the children approached a ride, they would hold out a hand to get a ticket from their father. At one ride, after all his children had received tickets, a strange boy whom the father had never seen came up and held out his hand, obviously expecting a ticket.

        The father drew back his roll of tickets. He wasn’t about to give this boy a ticket. Upon seeing this, the man’s son Stephen turned and said to his dad, “It’s okay, Dad, this is my friend. I told him you would give him a ticket.”

        Do you know what the father did? He gave the boy a ticket in Stephen’s name. That boy had no right to a ticket, but since his son had said he would do it, the father honored the name of his son by giving that strange boy a ticket.


Guidance Through Prayer

         An aircraft pilot was following a major highway and observing the traffic below. One particular car caught his attention. The driver was attempting to pass a large truck, but because of oncoming traffic and no-passing zones, he was not able to pass safely. Over and over again, just as he would pull out, an oncoming vehicle would force him to retreat. The pilot, being able to see several miles down the highway, thought to himself, “If I could only talk to the driver, I could tell when and where it is safe to pass.”

         God, of course, is the ultimate Pilot and his perfect knowledge is exactly what we need to guide our life. Prayer is how we talk to God, and as we learn to listen to his responses, we will find the guidance we seek.


Perseverance in Prayer

         A woman left her diamond brooch in a hotel. When she got home she remembered her brooch and called the hotel. She told the manager what happened and he went to look for it. He found it, put it in the safe, and returned to the phone to tell her the good news, but she had hung up.

   So many of us are like this. We aren’t willing to wait on the Lord.


Perseverance in Prayer

         When Edmund Gravely died at the controls of his small plane while on the way to Statesboro, Georgia, from the Rocky Mount-Wilson Airport in North Carolina, his wife, Janice, kept the plane aloft for two hours. As the plane crossed the South Carolina/North Carolina border, she radioed for help: “Help, help, won’t someone help me? My pilot is unconscious.” Authorities who picked up her distress signal were not able to reach her by radio during the flight because she kept changing channels. Eventually Mrs. Gravely made a rough landing and had to crawl for forty-five minutes to a farmhouse for help.

         How often God’s people cry out to him for help but switch channels before his message comes through! They turn to other sources for help, looking for human guidance. When you cry out to God for his intervention, don’t switch channels!


Perseverance in Prayer

         A father related that during their family time each person was going to pray for one person. His son prayed to ask God to help his friend Eddie be better at school because he was so bad. When they got together the next week, the father asked his son if he was going to pray for Eddie again. “No,” the son replied, “I prayed for Eddie last week and he is still bad.”


Perseverance in Prayer

         A young man, who was obviously worried, stepped into an elevator to go to the second floor of a hospital where his father was in the intensive care unit. Although the button labeled “2” was already lighted, he pushed it again and again. A doctor standing behind him said, “Pushing the button someone has already pushed is like reminding God you’re still there when he hasn’t answered your prayer immediately.”

   As the man thought of his father in intensive care, it was comforting to know that God does encourage believers to continue to pray the same prayers until he answers (Matt. 7:7~8).


Perseverance in Prayer

         In Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, Christiana (the hero’s wife), Mercy (a young pilgrim), and the children are graphically pictured knocking on the Wicker Gate. They knock and knock, but no one answers. Meanwhile, a ferocious dog comes and begins to bark-making the women and children very afraid. They simply do not know what to do. If they continue to knock, they must fear the dog. If they turn away, they fear the gatekeeper will be offended. They determine to knock again, ever so fervently. Finally they hear the voice of the gatekeeper asking, “Who is there?” And the dog ceases barking.

         What dogs are barking in your life that the Lord can silence?


Perseverance in Prayer

         For your desire is your prayer; and your desire is without ceasing; your prayer will also be without ceasing.—St. Augustine


Perseverance in Prayer

         The story is told of a long-ago couple who said farewell to their home church as they were about to leave for an African mission field known as “The White Man’s Grave.” The husband said, “My wife and I have a strange dread in going. We feel much as if we were going down into a pit. We are willing to take the risk and go if you, our home church, will promise to hold the ropes.” One and all promised to do so.

         Less than two years had passed when the wife and the little one God had given the couple succumbed to the dreaded fever. Soon the husband realized his days were also numbered. Not waiting to send word of his coming, he started back home at once and arrived at the time of the Wednesday prayer meeting. He slipped in unnoticed, taking a back set. At the close of the meeting, he went forward. An awe came over the people, for death was written on his face.

         He said, “I am your missionary. My wife and child are buried in Africa and I have come home to die. This evening I listened anxiously as you prayed for some mention of your missionary to see if you were keeping your promise, but in vain! You prayed for everything connected with yourselves and your home circle, but you forgot your missionary. I see now why I am a failure as a missionary. It is because you have failed to hold the ropes.”