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As Jesus taught us to pray

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Sunday School and believer's training

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Think of the audacious ways people pray and claim God will answer their prayer. Then, if they do not get an answer, they raltionalize that it was not God's timing or for Him to say, "No" is also an answer. Let's face facts. After 2,000 years most Christian believers do not know how to pray. Instead, they have wrapped themselves with the instructions of preachers who ramp up the congregation's emotions and the pastor complements them for their sacrifical giving. Later the prayer was never answered. These requests were not slight. They asked for healing from cancer or for enough food to get by in the coming few days or for a winter coat so their children do not have to freeze on the way to school. Forget what the preachers said! Just read the Bible. Much can be learned in a few scriptures.

Who better could remind us how to pray than the Christ who in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 gave a simple outline like this:

1. Recognize and worship the Lord God of Heaven and Earth. Give Him praise and admiration

2. Adjust our thinking to that of the holiness of God so much that the very mention of His name is magnificent.

3. Demonstrate your love so grounded in Jesus that you can't wait to see Him return again to earth.

4. Declare a genuine concern for God's will to be seen throughout the world as it is so naturally in heaven.

5. Tell God that you know everything that you have is directly and specifically from Him because of His love for you.

6. Practice forgiveness whenever asked and for whatever reason so that you can appreciate God's forgiveness for you.

7. Strenthen yourself against sin and ask God to not let you be in a position that sin likely will overcome you.

8. Declare loudly that God is the owner of all, has all power and authority, and is most glorious than anything.

This is the design and attitude of praying. Go to John 14: 13 and do not leave it alone without also considering John 15: 7 because they help us to understand that our prayer requests are not just a list of wants and wishes. They must be based on the confidence that as we ask so will Christ hear and respond. However, our will must be buried in God's will so that when we pray we are actually praying in the matter and for the issues that God would want us to ask. How can our prayers not be answered when they originated in the heart of God. Pray then as a humble child receiving what he knowingly in advance will have because he knows his father. Together they enjoy a grand love between them.

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