LIVING SUCCESSFULLY AS A CHRISTIAN
NOW THAT YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, WHAT NEXT?
To live a successful and victorious life as a Christians, there are certain foundations you have to lay early on as a new convert. These activities will help you to become a Solid Christian. They form the foundation for your relationship with God.
WHAT IS PRAYER
Prayer simply means talking to God. The whole Bible is filled with the command to pray.
17 pray at all times, ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 GNB)
Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. (Philippians 4:6 GNB)
Every relationship is as strong as its communication and so it is with God. You can talk to God whenever you want, wherever you are, about anything you like but it is important to remember that every relationship is a two way thing. So where there is talking there must also be a time to listen.
Prayer is the ability to communicate with your Heavenly Father and hear back from Him! Some think of it as a duty. Others think of it as a quick fix or last resort. Prayer is none of these things. It is actually the greatest privilege of a Christian. Think about your relationship with your best friend: you talk to him/her, listen to what he has to say, and enjoy spending time together. This is the essence of prayer, building a relationship with your Heavenly Father. He loves you so much, He wants to hear what is on your mind and give you direction. God says,
"Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvelous things that you know nothing about. (Jeremiah 33:3 GNB)
Your prayers do not have to be anything fancy. In fact, God prefers honesty over babbling on and on. Just start today by telling God what is on you mind and asking Him to speak to you. You will be amazed at His response.
WHEN AND HOW TO PRAY
The beauty of prayer is that you can do it anytime and anywhere!
But how much should you pray? Should you pray every hour on the hour or just once a week? The Bible does not give a specific amount to pray. Instead, it tells us to pray continually. Paul said, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything, give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Think of prayer like water. Health experts tell us to drink water continually. This doesn’t mean you have to drink water at all moments of the day; the point is to stay hydrated by frequently drinking water. It’s the same with prayer. You can keep spiritually hydrated by communicating with God throughout the day, telling Him your needs, asking him for guidance, and thanking Him for all of His many blessings. You can talk to Him at work, while you drive in the car, even when you are talking with other people! Practice close communication with God today and see the difference that it makes.
Prayer should never be for show to people. It is between you and God, Jesus said, But when you pray, go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you. "When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long.
(Matthew 6:6-7 GNB)
Is there a right way to pray? Jesus’ disciples were wondering this when they said, “Lord, teach us how to pray” (Luke 11:1).
Upon being asked, Jesus gave His disciples—us—a model prayer.
“Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us for our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13).
Jesus didn’t mean that this would be the only words you could pray. Otherwise He wouldn’t have prayed other things He did in the Bible. Instead, this prayer guides us on how we should pray.
Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be your name:
You can praise God for His great name and who He is.
Your kingdom come your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven:
You can ask God to take control of your circumstances. Pray that his will be done in your life.
Give us this day our daily bread:
You can ask God for whatever you need.
Forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors:
You can receive forgiveness from God for your sins and forgive those who have hurt you.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
You can ask for God’s protection against Satan, sin and temptation.
For yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen:
You can get an eternal perspective and rely on God for everything.
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22
When you pray, you need to do it with faith.
Faith is the substance of prayer. You can add in all the ingredients of the Lord’s Prayer, but if you don’t have faith in God, they won’t do much good. Jesus said,
“Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him” (Mark 11:22-23).
How do you have faith in God? Basically, you just believe what God says in the Bible is true Whatever He has promised in the Bible you can trust He will do. Why don’t you take some time today and pray.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words can not express." Romans 8:26