How To Pray For One Hour – Mark Eckart

This article was taken from God’s Revivalist and Bible Advocate in the Winter 2014 Issue. Special thanks to God’s Revivalist and Bible Advocate for giving me permission to use this article in my blog.  It not only inspired me to take a closer look at my prayer life, but also a way to keep my prayer life from becoming a rut, or boring.

First let me say that we want to shy away from legalism anytime we talk about spiritual formation topics. It is so easy to fall in the trap that if I just do these ten things or follow this specific regimen, then I will certainly be in God’s favor. On the other hand, some Christians are so lackadaisical that they never make any effort to seek God earnestly. It is interesting the interaction Jesus had with His disciples about this topic: “Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’” (Mark 14:37-38).

Here is a good way to spend some time with God, whether it is for an hour or not. However, it does
work well to spend 15 minutes on each section.

 

PRAISE
About 140 times in Scripture it talks about how we should give worship and praise to God. The book of Psalms itself is full of this admonition to praise God. For example, “He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen” (Deut. 10:21). This verse alone should get us blessed. Think of scores of other admonitions throughout
the Bible encouraging us to praise God! You could take a whole hour just on this point.


REPENT

As Wesleyan-Arminians, we don’t believe you have to practice sin as a Christian. When you get
saved and sanctified, it changes you and your desires so you don’t want to sin and hurt your relationship with God. However, this does not mean that there is not room for confession

in the life of a believer. With all of the strengths of the holiness movement, this has been one of our

weaknesses. That is, to believe that once you are saved that you never need to confess anything to God or others. The practice of confession is stated clearly in James 5:16: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another….”

ASK
Often by this point in your prayer time you will be feeling great. You have spent time giving God the praise He deserves and have confessed any sin or fault that He brings to your attention. Too many of us just plop on our knees with our “wish list” to tell God all that we need and never take the time to cover these two very important before-mentioned steps. The good news is that God wants us to ask Him for our needs and even our wants. Repeatedly in Scripture we are invited to come to God and
are told that He cares about our needs and situations. A favorite reference to illustrate this is found in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, “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 seek finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matt. 7:7-11)

YIELD

Don’t make the mistake of believing that the sanctified no longer have anything to yield to Christ. Even though consecration is a major part of that work of grace in the life of a believer, the reality is there are things that come into all lives continually that we still need to be yielding to Christ. What a beautiful thing it is to finish your prayer time by just reminding God that you totally belong to
Him. Even though none of us deserve it, ask God to make you a conduit of His grace for that day to those who are hurting and need a hand. You will yield your time, treasures, and talent to Him once again. The other day I was leaving a restaurant with my wife. There was a sign in the window that said, “Prayer is the world’s greatest wireless connection!” I agree, so I invite you to P.R.A.Y.
 

Scriptures printed in article are taken from the NKJVArticle written by  Dr. Mark S.F. Eckart  (GBS BRE ’83), District Superintendent of the

Indiana South District of The Wesleyan Church, formerly served as a faculty member and Dean of Students at God’s Bible School.

Five Principles of Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:1 tells us to give thanks unto the Lord, or we call it thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is not just something we do one a day of the year or just one month of the year but is really an attitude of gratitude, that should be practiced every day of our lives. Here are five brief principles to help us in our giving of thanks to the Lord.

  1. Thanksgiving should be directed to God – If I could give you a million bucks, and did I am sure one of the first things you would say is, “Thanks you” and you would be saying that to me, the one who gave you the million bucks. So often this time of year we are hearing a lot of people say, “I am thankful for….” and that is wonderful, but the one to whom the thanks is directed is missing. The Psalmist said, Oh give thanks unto the LORD.
  2. Thanksgiving should be freewill, volunteer, cheerfully given to God – Thanksgiving is something we should enjoy doing, not simply because it is expected of us, or thought rude not to say it.
  3. Thanksgiving should include action (thanksgiving is a verb, not an adjective) – This is done by taken every opportunity to publicly thank the Lord for every thing that comes our way.
  4. Thanksgiving includes fellowship – Leviticus 7 talks about the offering of thanksgiving. In it are very detailed instructions on how they were to eat this offering as well. Thanksgiving is a feast of wonderful things that often brings the body of Christ together in a greater way than anything else.
  5. Thanksgiving Brings God’s blessing and approval. When the thanksgiving offering was done acceptably and obediently by the law given, God was very pleased. It must have touched the heart of God to see someone bring their offering to the altar without being forced to, or because they had done some terrible thing, but because they loved God, and wanted to thank Him for what he had done.
    So it is with us when we offer to God our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, God must look down in love and adoration.

    Helen Keller that lady who was both blind and deaf one said, “for three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of His Works; deep thanks that He has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to- a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”
    I can’t help but think that as Helen Keller was making such a statement or as she came daily to God with these things that the Lord would stand to His feet, while the angels would stand around wiping the tears away from their eyes. What a scene it must make in heaven when God’s people give thanks.

O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.