You lust and do not have, so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend what you request on your pleasures. – James 4:2-3
Someone once said that a church will never grow beyond its corporate prayer life. To this I might add that the church’s corporate prayer life is simply a direct reflection of the personal prayer lives of its members, and dare I say, its leadership.
The Bible provides some pretty clear instruction concerning the activity of prayer. For someone looking to grow in this area, I would recommend The Disciple’s Prayer Life by Dr. T. W. Hunt. It is a great study that will challenge the serious Christ-follower to greater obedience in intercession and, let’s face it, this is one place where we could all be a little more obedient.
Two principles, if applied, should assist anyone who desires to grow in this area of their spiritual disciplines. First, always be sure to make your requests known to God (yes, He already knows your needs, but He wants you to ask) and second, always ask with pure motives (that God’s desires be met before your own).
Remember that nothing of eternal significance happens apart from God’s intervention and the ultimate goal of all our requests must truly be His glory.
Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid. – Edward McKendree Bounds