This is a guest post from my father Dr. David Teis. Dr. Teis has been the pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Las Vegas for over 30 years. His wisdom and insight is a tremendous help to me and I pray it will be to you as well. Check out his blog at davidteis.com
The best book I have ever read personally on the subject of prayer is a book by John R. Rice called Prayer Asking and Receiving. Reading that book changed my prayer life. I have read it several times and it always makes an impact on me. The main point is that prayer is asking. It is not thanksgiving. It is not worship. It is not praise. It is not adoration. Prayer is asking. That is what the word means. God wants us to come to Him and ask Him for things.
According Luke 18, prayer is the key evidence of our faith. The fact that we keep on asking God to do something, when there seems to be no answer, proves that we believe. I truly believe that prayer is asking. I also think that before we approach God in prayer we ought to make certain preparations. There are five things that I think every believer ought to do every single day of his life that will prepare him for prayer.
1. Worship the Lord by bowing before Him.
When the Wise Men came to Jesus the Bible says, “they fell down and worshipped Him.” In Nehemiah, the Bible says the people bowed their heads to the ground to worship Him. Just as the word prayer means ask, the word worship means to fall down before. Every day believers should bow before the Lord. If you are unable to get down on your knees you should at least bow you head before Him. This recognizes Him as your Master and you as a servant.
2. Thank God for His goodness and your salvation.
Psalm 100:4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Every one of us has so much to be thankful for before we ask God for more we should take time to thank Him for what He has given to us.
3. Praise the Lord for who He is.
This same passage tells us that we are to enter, “into his courts with praise…and bless” that is, “speak well,” of His name. God wants us to tell Him how wonderful He is. I find it difficult to come up with words to express to Him, His greatness so I have made it a habit everyday to sing to Him. Often I sing the same songs, songs that express to Him how wonderful He is, what a great Savior He is, and I recognize Him as the Kings of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Praise Him! Thanksgiving is showing appreciation for what He has done for you. Praise is telling Him how wonderful He is. Our heavenly Father desires us to do this.
4. Confess any known sin to Him.
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Be honest and open with God. Confess your failures and your deliberate sin.
5. Tell God that you love Him.
He wants to hear you say it. In John 21, after Peter had denied Jesus three times, before His crucifixion, Jesus in His resurrected state, had a conversation with Peter. Three times, He asked Peter, “Do you love me?” It always amazes me that He would care that I love Him, but He does and He wants me to tell Him I love Him. He wants you to tell Him you love Him as well.
In conclusion let me say this, I believe you ought to do all of these things out loud. The Bible tells us when we pray we are to lift up our voice to God. David said, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning.” Jesus said in Luke 11, “When ye pray, say.”
Almighty God can hear your thoughts but when we walk into our prayer closets, we are stepping into the spiritual realm. We are taking our physical, material requests into the spiritual battlefield. Demons are listening. Angels are watching. They cannot hear your thoughts. They can only watch and listen. They see you bow down before God and hear you thank Him, praise Him, confess your sin to Him, and tell Him that you love Him that brings glory to God in Heaven. Then when you began to petition Him with your prayers it shows the entire spiritual realm that is watching that you believe that your all-powerful God is able to hear and answer your prayers. May God strengthen your prayer life.