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Written by Louis Roth
Last time we stated that a productive relationship with God could happen through prayer. We also noted that the worship of the Lord must be intentional. When you stop praying, you become a “functional deist.”  by this author Paul Miller means that you believe in God, but you live with God at a distance. Your frozen in your Christian walk, like the Corinthian in 1 Cor. 3 who are still taking in milk when they should be on solid food. You may think that since God knows everything, prayer unnecessary.  Miller also cites a class of people who are afraid that if they pray, and nothing happens, they will doubt. A regular, steady prayer routine goes a long way toward trusting our Lord and establishing a track record of answered prayers. Wayne Cordeiro has promoted keeping a journal for your prayer life. For this, we introduce S.O.A.P.
We introduce a technique called S.O.A.P. as an aid to developing quiet time with the Lord. Also, this method ties your prayer life to your Bible. Here is the description:
‘S’ is for Scripture. Find a reading plan for the Bible. It can be one from a website or your own. Find the verse(s) that speak to you. Write those verses in your journal. I suggest you chose a version that easy to read — the Christian Standard Bible is my favorite. The reading plan should entail reading the Bible book by book. I don’t like bouncing around the Bible like a Yo-Yo. The books are letters written as a self-contained unit. Readers should then read the books in their entirety so that the reader gets the context of the whole message, paragraph, chapter; you get the picture.
‘O’ is for observation — Write what you think the Lord is saying in the Scripture. Here is the part where 1 Cor. 2 plays a role. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truths about the passage. When a person reads Scripture and gets nothing out of the passage is odd. The next two steps may not have meaning unless you do this. This step is what makes believers different from non-believers: you have access to the wisdom of God through the agency of the Holy Spirit.
‘A’ is for Application — Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this Scripture can apply to you today.
‘P’ is for Prayer — This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture or even a prayer for a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out. On the website, I have listed some Bible reading plans. All these are on the Youversion Bible App. You can access them with your web browser, or you can download the App on your mobile device and grab the plans in the App.
If you are a new believer, then choose the “New Believer” plan first.
That should make sense.
Ephesians talks about the changes that should occur with salvation. We should not live as we did in our former life. Activities we used to do must set aside, ‘put away’ as we mature in our Christian walk. In that same passage, Paul speaks about not “grieving” the Holy Spirit. If we have an active prayer life, i.e., constant communication with the Lord, then our odds of grieving the Holy Spirit diminishes.
Should I be perfect before coming to the Lord?
Author Paul Miller states the exact opposite. The chances are that the Lord not hesitate to show you were you are messy. Procrastination indicates that you still don’t get why we pray. Sure we pray for our families, church, city, orphans, etc.
Key passage about prayer
Matthew 6:5–15. This passage follows the warnings Jesus gives for serving with the result of looking ‘good’ on the outside to others. Jesus says their reward will be earthly, not eternal. Remember the account of Ananias and Sapphira? They saw Joseph gave the proceeds from the sale of his field (Acts 4:31). They decide to do the same for appearance’s sake. It’s not known if they even cared about who got the proceeds from the sale of their property. God removed them from the congregation because of the damage they could do to fellow members. In this thread, we should regard those who pray for their gain as hypocrites.
Why do I emphasize prayer so much?
I get friend requests on FaceBook and LinkedIn. At first, people are all friendly. They will ask me, at some point, to send money for their orphans and widows — almost 100 percent. I don’t mean to be heartless, but you can’t expect me to help if that person does not pray. I can’t tell who is running a scam. I tell them I will pray for them — they state that not enough.
For this reason, we go through U.S. agencies. Having said that, if you believe in the Lord, and that Jesus Christ died for your sins, why are you not asking Him! Do you want help with your Christian ministry? Then the onus is on you to pray for your ministry and those in your sphere of influence.
Remember earlier when we mentioned ‘functional deist?’ Don’t be one of those and expect help from the Lord.
1. Miller, Paul E. A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World (p. 10). The Navigators. Kindle Edition.
4. pastorway: Fruit or Fluff. https://pastorway.blogspot.com/2007/02/fruit-or-fluff.html
5. The Glory of the New Covenant, Part 7 — GTY. https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/47-21/the-glory-of-the-new-covenant-part-7
6. Cordeiro, W. (2007). The Divine Mentor: Growing Your Faith as You Sit at the Feet of the Savior (p. 101–112). Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers.