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Prayer, a Hands-on Workbook

Eric Summers

How often do you pray?  Why do you pray?  What do you pray for?  When things are going well, prayer for some is little more than saying a blessing over the evening meal or joining fellow believers during the opening of a church service or Sunday School class.  For others, prayer occurs only during a crisis situation such as an illness, accident, or job loss.  Although God does expect our prayers at these times and for these reasons, He desires so much more.

God desires an intimate relationship with His children.  Think about your own family and the impact good communication has on the relationships between husband and wife and parents and children.  Just as honest, frequent communication builds a family so does a strong prayer life build the relationship between God and His children.  This is the method by which we establish and nurture our relationship with our  Heavenly Father and could be considered one of the most valuable aspects of prayer.

It is my desire to assist you, by providing various Bible verses and examples of walking with our Heavenly Father, so you can have a more intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe and to help you become a more mature believer.   Prayer should be an integral ingredient in the life of a Christian.  To enhance your prayer life, take a step-by-step journey through the scriptures God has provided for our instruction, and follow the suggestions for prayer I provide in this article.

In Times of Catastrophe

A prayer that God expects us to lift up to Him is to pray for yourself, friends and family when undergoing some kind of catastrophe, and this type of prayer is very important  to God and to us.  This could be losing a job, having a serious accident, someone has been diagnosed with cancer or some other serious disease, a child gets in trouble with the law and so forth.  An even larger catastrophe we should pray for is when the people of a country encounter a serious natural event such as a hurricane, an earthquake or a tsunami.  The people of the country of Japan come to mind with the devastating earthquake, tsunami and the radioactivity that several of their nuclear reactors released in spring of 2011.  The people of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee experienced several powerful tornadoes and many people lost their lives and had their homes, businesses and schools damaged or even destroyed.  In both circumstances people are having to make do with whatever support the  local churches, Red Cross, state and federal governments can provide.

At this moment, lift up in prayer to God the people of Japan, the government of Japan and those volunteers and organizations that are assisting in helping those families that have lost loved ones, that have lost homes, schools and businesses.

Pray to The Lord for the people in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee that were injured and perhaps lost everything in their homes during the Tornado outbreak in April, 2011.  Pray for those families that had members that lost their lives or were injured.  Pray for those people that lost their businesses and pray for those communities that had their schools damaged during the storms.

Many people have lost their lives, have been injured, have had their home or businesses or schools destroyed in the midwest part of the USA, and in particular Joplin, Missouri because of severe tornadoes.  Please get on your knees and pray for the families that have experienced these terrible storms in late May, 2011.

You may know of a specific individual or a specific family that has experienced some kind of serious disease or injury or a death in the family.  Lift up to The Lord a request for help and comfort for them.  You may want to let them know that you are praying for them.

When catastrophes occur, pray for the people of the Red Cross, local and national governments, rescue squads, fire fighters, local churches and people of the community that volunteer to help out those that have encountered floods, fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Sometimes we have to Suffer

We do sometimes have to suffer, because it is God's will.  The story of Job in the Old Testament is an example; he suffered perhaps more than anyone in the Old Testament era suffered.  He lost everything--his wealth, his family and his health.  We know that Job was later restored to good health and received again a family and many riches.  Job is also mentioned as being among His most faithful several times later in the Holy Bible.  The suffering of God's prophets, apostles and missionaries of the entire Church Age is well known, but this suffering happens because God wants to increase our Heavenly rewards.   Here is the verse:

If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: (KJV)

If we endure, we shall also reign with him: if we shall deny him, he also will deny us: (ASV)

Pray to God and give thanks for the trials, difficulties and suffering we must go through so He can increase our faith.  Remember, we need to also be faithful to God when things are going well for us.  We should also be faithful to God when we are persecuted for being faithful to Jesus Christ.  Ask for God to overcome any difficulties and suffering that you may have to endure to demonstrate your faith in Him.  Remember, that we will have an adverse judgment at the Judgment Seat of Christ if we deny that we are believers in Jesus Christ when we are persecuted and if we deny obeying the Holy Spirit when you know God wants you to do something for Him.

We Don't Always Have to Suffer

I believe that there is suffering that God sometimes allows to happen in the life of a Christian because prayer has been neglected as part of their daily life.  God very much wants to have a day-by-day, moment-by-moment interaction with His children.  He wants to hear from you more than just asking Him for something,  He wants to be part of the very fabric of your life.  He very much wants to hear from you how much you love Him and to let Him know how important that  He is to you. 

If this communication is neglected, He will sometimes cause serious difficulties in your life so you will reach out to Him.  When you do, your prayer to ask Him for help is always listened to by Him.  He will sometimes allow a sickness or injury or other difficulty to continue because you are then in a dialogue with Him.  A daily dialogue is what He very much wants between Himself and you.  Sometimes this suffering will happen over many years, perhaps even to death.  During this time most Christians will then pray daily for relief from their suffering.  Sometimes He answers yes to requests for healing of body and mind.  My daughter is a teacher in an elementary school and she requested prayer for a student of hers that had brain cancer.  In our Thursday Bible study time, we prayed for him and several weeks later, his cancer was in remission; this was indeed a miracle!  Praise be to God! He doesn't always heal once a person has a disease, but sometimes He does.  We don't know if He will say yes, but we should ask Him for this healing.  Sometimes He rewards your persistance with healing of the body and mind.

Wouldn't it be better if we would reach out to God and pray to Him for more than relief from our pain?  We should continually pray to Him, especially when things are going well in our life.  This will show to God that fellowship with Him is priceless.

Ask for forgiveness from God because you pray very infrequently to Him or only pray when you seek to have Him remove your suffering.  If you decide now in your heart to pray daily  to God, especially for fellowship with Him, give thanks to Him for the opportunity to pray to Him.  Today, begin a time when you simply fellowship with God.  Give thanks to Him for the many blessings that you receive from Him.  Give thanks to Him because one day you will be in Heaven with Him and will enjoy being in His presence. Remember, that God is the creator of the Universe.  Go outside and find something in nature that is beautiful and tell Him that He is a wonderful artist and creator.   Finally, tell Him that you love Him and that He is the most important person in your life.  If you pray daily to God and establish this time of fellowship with Him, you will have joy in your life that is priceless.

Could the Christians in the USA use a Revival?

If you read the newspapers or the news on the Internet or watch much  television, you probably feel sick inside at times at all of the violence, abortions, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual immorality, gang violence, bullying in schools, crime, dishonesty in business, and other evil that is happening in the United States.  There's a solution to this problem of national sin:

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ASV 1901)  If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

The "people" in this verse are all of the Christians that reside in the USA and by obeying this verse God could start a great revival in the United States.   All are blood bought  from Jesus dying on the cross and Jesus saving those He calls (Doctrine of Election).  All have faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation but unfortunately, there are  too many Christians that are simply not living the sanctified life that God expects all to follow after they become a believer.  This is why sin is destroying this country.  If we are willing to follow this verse, then yes, there can be a revival in this country and it can start with you and me.  Again, note that God is talking about "my people" and not the unsaved.

Go to a quiet place and get down on your knees.  If you are not living for God, but mainly for yourself admit to God that you have sin in your life and be specific about each sin (I John 1:9 ASV 1901): If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.).  Pray to Him for forgiveness of your various sins and ask Him to help you overcome your sins.  Make a commitment to The Lord that with His help you will try very hard to avoid all of the sins that you are currently committing.  This prayer should not be done just one time, but you should pray the prayer for Revival periodically in your life, even daily.  God will hear your prayer and be very pleased with you being humble.  If enough Christians that are now failing God by the way they live their lives will pray, humble themselves and repent of their sins, God will send a great revival in the USA and heal the country of its many problems.  For a more in-depth article on how to live for God and not yourselves, read: How to Crucify Self.

There are two kinds of sins:  evil we commit, such as lying, gossiping and adultery.  There are also the sins of omission: there are good deeds that God has shown you in some fashion that He wants you to do; however, you refuse to accomplish a good deed He has prepared for you to do.  If God has placed on your heart one or more good deeds that He wants you to accomplish, but you have not responded, then pray for forgiveness from our Heavenly Father.  You should then go and start working on these good deeds you know you should accomplish.  Let the Holy Spirit lead you when working on any good deed God wants you to accomplish. Again, go to a quiet place and lift up this prayer to God.

My response to the question heading this section is: yes--Christians in the USA could use a revival.  The question I have is: Will many Christians in the USA actually follow through with a commitment to follow the verses given in 2 Chronicles 7:14 so God will send a revival?  I believe that a few of us are repenting of our sins, praying and turning from our wicked ways, watching for His return and turning to a life of service for Jesus Christ.  I hope that I am wrong, but the signs of the times shows that there are many Christians in the USA that would rather enjoy their sinful life than to live the rest of their lives in service and dedication to God. 

Sometimes You may have difficulty Praying

The Holy Spirit helps us to pray:

(ASV 1901) Romans 8:26 And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for [us] with groanings which cannot be uttered;
Romans 8:27 and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.

If you have difficulty praying at certain times in your life, don't despair--this condition happens to all of us at times.  What I do is to just think about the trials and difficulties that I am undergoing.  I then ask God to be aware of these difficulties: "Lord, please help me."  The Holy Spirit of God knows exactly what you are undergoing and will say the perfect prayer to God.  The Holy Spirit will translate your groans and pains up to God and ask for help and comforting from God to you.  God wants to be a part of your life when you are in despair and the words of prayer don't seem to come easily for you.

Communication should be Two-Way

Did you know that God also wants to communicate with you?  Today, He doesn't talk directly to us like He did through the prophets, priests, kings and shepherds of the Old Testament era and the Apostles and disciples of the New Testament era.  However, He does speak to us today through the holy scripture--the Holy Bible.  The Bible is the divinely-inspired word of God, so if we read the Bible, we are hearing from God what He wants us to hear.  The best way to hear from God is to start with chapter one of a book of the Bible and read the complete chapter and try to understand what He has to say.  Then to continue with the Book until you finish it.  If God wants you to respond to what He has to say to you through the scripture, the Holy Spirit will touch your spirit and let you know that God wants to hear from you via prayer. 

Start by opening the Book of James and reading chapter one.  If the Lord touches you, then lift up a prayer to Him regarding the verses you read. Many chapters of the Bible are discussions on how we should live a holy and righteous life for God.  Pray and ask God to help you live for Him and to obey whatever is mentioned in the holy scripture.  If you continue this reading of scripture and praying to God for understanding and for the power to obey the scripture, you will grow in your spiritual life.  Jesus said: If you love me, you will keep my commandments (Matthew 14:15 ASV 1901).

Pray for your enemies

Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy:
Matthew 5:44 but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you;
Matthew 5:45 that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.
Matthew 5:46 For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Matthew 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others?] do not even the Gentiles the same?
Matthew 5:48 Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (ASV 1901)

Because of our fallen nature, this is a very difficult set of verses to obey, but Jesus Himself commands us to follow what He teaches, even if it is very difficult to accomplish. 

Lift up a prayer for some person that may be treating you poorly or taking advantage of you and simply doesn't care about your feelings.  Ask God the Father to bless them and to even save them if they are not a Christian.  Don't just pray for them for just one time, but instead pray for them as long as the Holy Spirit is encouraging you to pray.

Genesis--the first prayers

Genesis 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth. For, [said she], God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel; for Cain slew him.

Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh. Then began men to call upon the name of Jehovah.

We have only scant information about the first prayers mentioned in the Holy Bible.  However some of the descendants of Seth prayed to Almighty God and I am sure that God somehow responded back to them in some way.  This was a very hard life, because they had very primitive means to make a living in those days. They most likely asked God to help them when toiling in the fields.  Adam and Eve probably asked for The Lord to comfort them after their son, Abel was murdered by Cain.  God's response to them was to bless them with a son, Seth.

If you have lost a loved person recently or one of your loved ones is sick or has emotional troubles or is in trouble with the law, lift prayers up to God for His comfort and His help.  If the work load you are experiencing is very heavy, also lift this up to God and ask Him to help you bear this heavy load.

Pray for Your Family

Each day, take some time to be together and read a chapter or two from the Holy Bible and then discuss what you have read.  Each day, ask a different family member to do the reading.  After the reading of the verses, just go around the room and ask each person to mention their blessings and  their difficulties for the day.  Then, ask each person in the family to lift up to God a prayer for the needs mentioned.

Pray for your co-workers and neighbors

Sit down with your spouse and pray for each of the neighbors that you have contact with.  Pray for any sickness or other difficulty you know that they may have.  Lift up a similar prayer for the people you work with.

Pray for Persecuted Christians across the World

Persecution of Christians across the world gets very little notice in the news media. However, many believers in Christ across the world are losing their jobs and businesses, are being beaten and harassed and some are even being murdered.  We should not forget them, but should ask our Heavenly Father for His blessings on them. 

Go to a quiet place and give thanks if the Lord allows you to live in a country where you can still worship God and attend worship services and be able to read the Holy Bible.  Lift up prayers for those Christians in parts of the world where they are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.  Ask the Lord to give these believers the spiritual strength to continue in their faith and to even be kind to those people and governments that want to intimidate them and even want to take their lives.  Ask for special blessings on the pastors, deacons and teachers in countries that are ministering to persecuting Christians.

Pray for Elected Officials and Public Workers

Our elected leaders also have their faults  but God wants us to continually pray for them.

Pray for our national leaders: the President and Vice President; the leaders of the Executive branch of the US Government; the members of the Judicial Branch.

Pray for our state leaders: the Governor and members of each of the state government branches; the principals and leaders of our schools; the state police department; and the administrative branches of state government.

Pray for our local leaders: the mayors and county executives; the county police department; the school principals and department leaders; the county administrative leaders and their staffs.

Pray for all the workers that are in the Federal, State and Local Governments.
Pray for the Military

Pray for the officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted men and women of the U.S. Military and reserves.  Pray that The Lord especially protect the military serving in harms' way.  Pray for their spouses and children.

Pray for the Nation of Israel

In Genesis (ASV 1901) said to Abraham:

Genesis 12:1 Now Jehovah said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee:
Genesis 12:2 and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make they name great; and be thou a blessing;
Genesis 12:3 and I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Pray for the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Parliament of Israel; the military leaders and other military personnel; the school teachers and children; the mayors and district leaders; college professors and students; the house wives and younger children and those that are farmers and general workers.  Ask for God's blessings upon all the descendants of Jacob, including the ten lost tribes of Israel. 

Pray for Your Pastor, Deacons and Teachers

I'm sorry to say, but my observation of pastors, deacons and teachers of churches that I have attended is that most have not directed the church members to walk closer to God; they have done little to  help their congregation understand and to walk with God by living a sanctified life.  A friend of mine once remarked "the pastor dunks them and then drops them".  My friend was talking about once a new believer is baptized, that Baptism is as far as the pastor is willing to go to help the new believer to indeed actually live a sanctified life that is dedicated to God and to avoid evil.  Evangelism is great and pastors are called to this righteous work.  They are also called to help direct the congregation to actually live a life that is crucified to this world. 

In some congregations the church members don't even know who their deacon is because the deacons never contact the members or let them know that they are there to support them in their daily walk with Jesus Christ.  Pray for your deacons so they will be even more active and so they can encourage their flock members to be more faithful to God. 

The teachers in the churches I have attended generally teach only the material in the "official" sunday school materials.  Each week I read the materials and the lessons almost always avoid the most difficult passages.  These would include for example, The Judgment Seat of Christ, Election of the Saints, Watching for Christ's return and prophecy of the end times. Pray that your teachers will be courageous and will also explain to their class members the verses in the Bible that may not be popular, and are usually skipped in the Sunday School quarterlies, but are needed because God has decided that they are needed for our spiritual growth.

This prayer will be different for most.  Some of you have pastors, deacons and teachers that lead you to live a sanctified life for Christ and to be watching for His return for the First Fruits Rapture.  Some will also talk about prophecy of the end times and preach from the Book of Revelation.  If you have those types of leaders in your church pray for them that they continue teaching all of the scripture, not just what the congregation wants to hear. 

If you do have church leadership that is not preaching and teaching all scripture, even those verses that are unpleasant to hear about, then you should pray for them.  Ask God to lay on their hearts and minds that the leaders should be preaching and teaching what God wants them to preach and teach.  Remember, that if your church leadership is not teaching all of the Bible, it is up to you to read all verses and to ask God to help you understand the scripture and to apply it to how you live your lives.  You will have no excuse at the Judgment Seat of Christ that "I didn't know that I should be watching for Your return or to be living a sanctified life for God."  Jesus expects you to read the whole Bible, to pray and then to apply the scripture to the way you live your life.

Finally, pray for each and every member of your Sunday school class or Bible study class whether at church or held in a home.  Pray for those members you know are faithful to God--ask Him to strengthen their faith even more.  Finally, pray for those members of your church that only appear at church on Christmas or Easter.  Remember, God is all-powerful and can touch the hearts of anyone He choses to; even those that rarely think about Him or rarely worship Him.

The Lord's Prayer

 9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from the evil one.'" (Matt 6:9-13 NIV)

This is the most important prayer in the Holy Bible.  Jesus gives us a brief outline of how to pray to God the Father.  We can pray this prayer directly to God as is.  However, we can also say this prayer in our own words; lifting up and giving special emphasis on different parts of the prayer as the events in our lives change.  Here are some observations about this prayer:
  1. We pray our prayers to God the Father.  I believe that we can also pray to Jesus Christ.  See the last prayer in the Bible, Revelation 22:20 where the Apostle John beckons for Jesus to return.
  2. We praise the name of God the Father, of God the Son and the Holy Spirit of God.
  3. We are watching and beckoning for God the Father to send Jesus Christ back for the First Fruits Rapture, then the seven year Tribulation, then for Jesus Christ to rule over the earth in the Millineum Kingdom.
  4. We ask God to supply our physical needs.  This could include food, clothing, shelter and employment.
  5. We are sorry for our sins and ask God for His forgiveness of our sins
  6. Similiarly, God expects us to forgive any sins that people commit against us.  We are to also pray for those that sin against us.
  7. We ask God to keep us out of the Tribulation.  This is the hour of temptation or testing that will happen to unfaithful Christians, the rebellious and unsaved of the world, the Jews, and the gentiles that God saves during the Tribulation.  If we are faithful, we will then be members of the First Fruits Rapture and miss all seven years of the Tribulation.
  8. Similarly, we ask God to deliver us from the evil one who is the Antichrist.  This is a prayer that we escape the Tribulation.
Before you pray, read and re-read the Lord's prayer and the eight observations I have listed above.  Then pray your own prayer about these ideas that Jesus has brought up in this most wonderful prayer.
Escaping the Tribulation

Our minds should  be thinking about Heavenly events and we should want very much to be in Heaven, serving Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Holy Spirit.  We should be aware that the Tribulation will begin in the very near future, perhaps even this year and Jesus wants very much that you will want to be with Him.  He gives us a very important verse that will help keep us from being in the Tribulation:

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:36 KJV)

Kneel in a quiet place and humbly tell The Lord that you don't want to be a Christian left behind after the First Fruits Rapture and then ask Him to take you to Heaven before Jesus initiates the Tribulation.  Pray like: "Lord, please let me escape the persecution and difficulties of the Tribulation and let me stand before Jesus Christ for the judgment of my works.  I pray that I am accounted worthy to escape all seven years of the Tribulation."  This is a prayer that should be lifted up to God every day of your life.  If you lift up this prayer, God will lead you to be a more faithful Christian and to be watching every day for Jesus' return for the First Fruits Rapture.

Fellowship with God the Father and God the Son

(1 John 1:7 KJV)  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  

This verse confirms that if the believer walks in the light, he will have fellowship “one with another.” This verse is not talking about fellowship with other believers (although that is very important), but fellowship with Jesus Christ. The verse also confirms that if we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse us from all sin. 

Go to a quiet place and get on your knees.  Lift up a prayer of thanks to Jesus Christ for His forgiveness and for acting as the High Priest for forgiveness and cleansing for the daily sins you may commit.  Tell Him that you are greatly enriched by His presence in your life and for Him to continue to guide you in your daily walk with Him and to praise Him for one or more blessings that you have received from Him.  Let Him know that He is the most important person in your life.

(Psalms 103:1 ASV 1901) Bless Jehovah, O my soul; And all that is within me, [bless] his holy name.

While still on your knees, lift up a prayer to praise to God our Father.  Recognize His great power and might, His infinite knowledge and wisdom, His patience with you, the holy and righteous deeds He performs and the Holy Bible He has given for you to read and apply to the way you live. 

Avoid Pretense when you Pray

An important prayer to understand is the prayer of the Pharisee and the Publican:

Luke 18:9 And he spake also this parable unto certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at nought:
Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get.
Luke 18:13 But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me a sinner.
Luke 18:14 I say unto you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

To God, our attitude when we pray is just important as what we pray about.  We should be very humble when we pray and not to even attempt to glorify ourselves when we pray.  Lift up a prayer to God for Him to have mercy on you because you are not perfect in your thought, word and deed.  Ask Him to continue to remind you of your weaknesses and to help you improve in the way you think and behave.  Ask Him to remind you of His greatness, not your greatness. 

Walking with God

I mentioned at the beginning of this article is that having fellowship with God is one of the most important reasons for prayer.  Enoch had a very close and personal walk with God and is described in Genesis:

Genesis 5:18 And Jared lived a hundred sixty and two years, and begat Enoch:
Genesis 5:19 and Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
Genesis 5:20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
Genesis 5:21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
Genesis 5:22 and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
Genesis 5:23 and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
Genesis 5:24 and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (ASV 1901)

Enoch is one of the most faithful of God's saints before the flood.  He was called by God to a walk with Him and Enoch responded by praying with God as he was doing his work in the fields or was tending to his sheep and cattle or was on his knees before he went to bed at night.  Enoch spent a considerable amount of time with God, so he knew of the immense value of this personal contact with Him.  God appreciated Enoch's love for Him and simply removed him from this earth.  We are not told if God took Enoch to Heaven to be with Him or not.  I suspect that He did just this, because Enoch did not die like all of the rest of the pre-flood saints did (of course, Noah and his family did survive the great flood).  The only other saint that did not die was Elijah, who was also taken to be with God and serve Him in Heaven.  The important truth about Enoch is that he greatly valued his time with God and the fellowship they had in conversation together.  God also valued this conversation they had together.  Since the walk is recorded in the Holy Scripture, perhaps we can learn something--that a walk with God, a fellowship with God is something that we should pursue. 

Do you want to start a walk with God and to let Him be a part of your daily life, in addition to your walk with Him when in your church building?  If so, start tonight with this walk.  Before you go to bed, get down on your knees and pray to God and let Him know that you want to fellowship with Him at several times during the day.  When you get up the next morning, pray to Him and give thanks to Him for the many blessings He gives you.  Ask Him to remind you during the day to pray and fellowship with Him.  When driving to work notice something beautiful on the way and recognize that He created all of the beauty in the world.  Please don't close your eyes when doing this prayer.  When you get to work, ask Him to help you do a good job. 

At lunch time, give Him thanks for the food you eat and for giving you the employment that you now have.  On the way home, praise Him for listening patiently to your prayers. Keep your eyes open when driving home. When you get home, read a few chapters of the Holy Bible and ask Him to help you understand the scripture.  If you have an especially difficult time letting go of some bad habit (such as swearing or impatience with your children) ask Him to give you the strength to overcome these bad habits.  After dinner, don't spend the whole evening watching television.  Instead, read a few more chapters of the Bible and then pray your own version of the Lord's prayer.  At the end of the day, thank Him for the honor of talking with Him during the day and helping you to live your life for Him, not just for yourself.

I believe that Enoch serves as a prototype for the Church of Philadelphia.  Members of this church will miss all seven years of the Tribulation and be taken through the open door to Heaven just before the Tribulation begins (Revelation chp 3 and chp 4).  So, to be a member of the First Fruits Rapture and to miss all seven years of the Tribulation you need to be the most faithful of Jesus' saints during these last few days of the Church Age.  I believe that the most faithful will be obeying the truth found in the Bible and will be  having fellowship with God on a continuous basis, especially with prayer.


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Gen 1:1)

Sometimes, even many times we just take God for granted.  We get caught up in the affairs of the day and sometimes neglect our appreciation of God and what He has created.  If you do something for someone, say you buy your wife a present or your children something that they have asked for, don't you want them to appreciate what you have done for them?  Well, God also wants to be appreciated for the many things He has done for us and continues to do for us.  We certainly appreciate the gift God has given us, the gift of  salvation through Jesus' death on the cross, and His burial and resurrection.  Let's go a little further, reaching upwards to God for an even deeper experience with your relationship with Him.  Do you appreciation His infinite wisdom,  intelligence, power and design and creation of the universe?  In my opinion, this is an extremely important event and we should think about His creation of the sun, moon and stars and the earth He has given us to live on and that He has keep us safe from all the dangers that could effect the earth.

Revelation 4:11 Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created. (KJV)

Go to a quiet place and read the first few chapters of Genesis and then think about the universe that God has created.  Praise God for all of the things that He created during the six days of creation.  Recognize and tell Him that He created the Universe and all living beings--animals, birds, sea creatures and mankind.  Let Him know you truly believe that mankind was created by Him and that we did not evolve from lower forms of life.

Malachi 3:6 For I, Jehovah, change not; therefore ye, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. (ASV 1901)

God's character is so pure, holy and righteous.  We should understand that He never changes; He is the same today as He was before He created the universe.  Because He never changes, we can absolutely rely on Him because of His perfect character.  God's patience with me is so great, I am amazed that before now He has just not zapped me and forgotten about me, but He has not.  He continues to tap me on the shoulder and to communicate the following kinds of spiritual thoughts to me:

"I'm here and I want to fellowship with you. I appreciate your company and your time with me and very much do I want you to tell Me that you love Me.  I want you to ask Me for wisdom so you can understand the Holy Scripture even better.  I'm now commanding you to work on improving the way you live your life for Me, so I'm going to describe several faults that I want you to work on so your character will look more and more like the character of my precious son, Jesus." 

Now, I don't actually hear any words, but somehow God the Father communicates with me via the Holy Spirit and I know when He wants to fellowship with me and what He wants me to do to serve Him and how I should live my life in a righteous manner for Him.

Get down on your knees and give thanks to God for being so patient with you.  Let Him know that you have great admiration for His Holy and flawless character.  Tell Him that you appreciate that He never changes and that He always fulfills His promises.  Thank Him that He has chosen you to be a member of His eternal family.

We should continue to appreciate His gifts to us: good health, employment, our family, homes, cars, vacations and so on.  We  should also appreciate  Him giving us difficulties and testing to overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit.  He always helps us through the tough times and if we walk with Him during these eras of our life, our character is improved and can  even more appreciate His presence in our lives. 

Go to a quite place and give thanks to God for the many gifts He has given to you, especially His presence in your life.  Thank Him for the tests, even the difficult ones, that occur in your life.  Thank Him for moulding your character by the Holy Scripture and by the presence of the Holy Spirit.  He does this testing because He wants you to have the character of His Son, Jesus Christ.

The Last Prayer in the Bible: the Beckoning

In Revelation we have the following invitation:

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely.

The Holy Spirit and the Bride of Christ, His most faithful followers, invite the readers of the last chapter of Revelation to beckon for Jesus to return for the First Fruits Rapture.

If you want Jesus to return and to take you to Heaven in the First Fruits Rapture and miss all seven years of the Tribulation, then lift your own prayer for this blessed event up to God the Father. The First Fruits Ministry staff has prepared a beckoning for the return of Jesus: The Beckoning.  If you beckon for His return, this shows that you are indeed watching as He commanded: (Mark 13:33 KJV) Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 

Note how John the Apostle responds to this invitation:

Revelation 22:20 (ASV 1901) He who testifieth these things saith, Yea: I come quickly. Amen: come, Lord Jesus.

Final Exercise

Check out from your church library a copy of Strong's Concordance of the Holy Bible.  Find and write down the Bible verses associated with the words: pray, prayed, prayer, prayers, and praying.  Slowly, read each of these verses from your Bible (there will be over a hundred) and as the Holy Spirit leads you, pray to God your own prayer of thanksgiving, adoration and praise.  It will probably take several days or even weeks to complete the reading of all of these verses but you will be greatly blessed by knowing that God places a great deal of importance upon praying to Him for all your needs and giving thanks for all of His blessings.


God bless you for reading this article and for lifting up these prayers to God and I hope that you will continue with daily prayer to our Heavenly Father for the rest of your life.  In this article I have only shown you the very first steps in a prayer life.  You need to read the whole Bible and then to decide for yourself what you should pray for.  If you do, God will bless you with His presence and His agape love.