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If  there was ever a key to heaven, I think prayer would be it.  When we pray God smiles.  You are actually taking time to focus on something other than yourself or your busy schedule.  You are taking time to talk to your Father.
Consider how we respond to our children when they talk to us.  Remember  when your children spoke their first word, Mama or Daddy.  These tiny creations that had been entrusted to us were communicating. As infants, their communications were cry's, a way to let you know they had a need.  They were either hungry, needed a diaper change or just want their mommy or daddy to cuddle and love them.
Our communications with God are somewhat the same.  We first learn to pray to Him, or talk to Him, for our needs or wants.  When we hurt we want to be hugged and coddled.  God actually does that too, you know.  He can actually put his arms around your entire being.  He emits love, mercy and forgiveness just like you do to your children.
As you begin to grow in your Christian walk, your prayers will begin to change.  You are growing up and are no longer an infant needing to have your needs met.  God is taking you to a higher level.  You will begin to see others needs and God will guide you into a prayer life to pray and intercede for others. This is so awesome because when you begin to see your prayers answered for someone you have prayed for, you know you are living in Gods will.  This is his promise to you and He has to answer.
Personally, I find it more rewarding to pray for the needs of others.  I have to say there have been times in my early prayer life that I prayed but, my prayers were so vague I don't think they got past the ceiling.  God knows what we are in need of even before we pray.  He wants us to trust in him and depend on Him to fulfill our requests and needs as well as our desires.  Psalm 37:4 says "Delight they self in the Lord and He will give thee the desires of thine heart.
This brings to mind the years I call my desert years.  I was wondering and had been in prayer for oh so long for the Lord to bring a Christian man into my life. It got to be a joke.  Then one night in a camp meeting held by Kenneth Hagen Sr. he turned and pointed to where I was sitting and said, "God is going to send you a Christian mate".  I looked at my friend and laughed and said, "Do you think he is talking to me"?  Well within a month I had become acquainted with Dr Charles Ritchie an evangelist of 40 years at the time.  And within 4 months I was married to him.  At first I was scared and I was afraid of what was to come. Had I made a mistake?  Well, it has now been 8 years and if I had not married him I wouldn't be writing these lessons today.  God had a plan and Dr Charles Ritchie was part of that plan.  Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord...plans to give you hope and a future...You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart".  It took a long while but I kept praying and believing that God was going to give me the desires of my heart.  And he did.
One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 7:7 "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you". Wow what a promise.  There is only one catch.  You see, we have to make the first move.  If we ask, and believe in Jesus name and we are in Gods will,  we will receive.  If we seek, we shall find, and if we knock the door will be opened.
I am so blessed!  At my place of employment I have been given permission to pray, on company time mind you, with anyone that comes to my office and requests prayer.  This has been a real blessing  to me.  This is where praying specifically is so important.  When we, God and I, first stated doing this there were times when I couldn't find the words, but God helped me. Overtime I have grown in my prayer life to where I am confident that what I ask in Jesus name is heard and God will answer.
I know he is the God of the impossible.  We can do nothing within ourselves, but He is all.  He is the Alpha and the Omega, The Beginning and The End, HE is the I AM.  So why are we to worry when we have him on our side.  He can take care of every need, we just have to ask and believe.
God gave us a prayer to pray when we are so burdened we cant pray.  See Matthew 6-1-13 These first nine verses will tell you how to pray, Verse 10-13 is the Lords Prayer.  Our Father in Heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.  Lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil, for thine is the power and the glory forever.  Amen
Our next lesson will be a continuation on prayer. Remember to read your bible daily, pray and stay close to God.


In Christ
Sister Connie Ritchie


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