Saturday, April 11, 2015

How Prayer Will Increase Your Faith, Love, and Praise

by Gregory A. Johnson
How Prayer Will Increase Your Faith, Love, and Praise, by Gregory A. Johnson

One of the benefits of being a praying person is being able to look back over your life and see the answers to prayer that God has brought. If you pray, you know what I’m talking about. Reflecting on God’s goodness in answering prayer increases not only our faith, but also our love for the LORD. Out of our increased faith and love comes praise from the heart that articulates through our lips.

If you are a person of prayer, take a moment now and reflect on the answers to prayer that the LORD has brought to you. If you are not a person of prayer, there is no better time than now to begin making prayer a part of your life. Get a spiral notebook to use as a prayer journal. Make a list in the notebook of all the prayer requests that you are going to pray about and trust the LORD to answer. In the left-hand margin, put the date of when you first write the prayer request in your journal. Take time every day to enter your place of prayer with your prayer journal in hand. Pray over each request daily until you feel the Holy Spirit directing you on to the next request. In God’s timing and in God’s ways, you will begin to receive answers to your prayers. As you do, take a highlighter and highlight each prayer request that the LORD has answered. Write the date in the right-hand margin of when the LORD answered the prayer.

As time goes forward and you are faithful to pray for your requests, you will see many prayer requests that the LORD has answered highlighted in your prayer journal. Your faith and your love for the LORD will grow. As you see the many answers to prayers, praise will rise up from your heart and flow from your lips. Much of your prayer time will be consumed in thanksgiving and praise to the LORD.

Beloved, you can pray, knowing that the LORD is listening. Reflect on how the LORD has brought you out of trials and difficulties in the past, and rejoice in knowing that He will do it again. Articulate through your lips what is flooding your heart and allow thanksgiving and praise to the LORD to flow uninhibited.

 “I love the LORD, because he has heard
    my voice and my pleas for mercy.
“Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
“The snares of death encompassed me;
     the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
    I suffered distress and anguish.
“Then I called on the name of the LORD:
    ‘O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!’
“Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
    our God is merciful” (Psalms 116:1-5, ESV).

Excerpted from the book, Be Encouraged: A Daily Devotional, Volume 2 by Gregory A. Johnson. Copyright © by Gregory A. Johnson. All rights reserved.