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Saul - who was viciously persecuting Christ's followers - was on his way to Damaskus to catch the Christians of that city and take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. However As he neared Damascus... suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.

He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you Lord?" Saul asked.

"I am Jesus, who you are persecuting," he replied.

At that point Saul realized that Jesus truly was the Son of God, accepted him as his Savior, totally yielded himself to him, and received a new name. Jesus, in turn, told him to go to a specific house in Damaskus and stay there till he receives further instructions.

Ha was waiting for three days, when the Lord told Ananias: "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man... named Saul, for he is praying." (Acts 9:1-11, NIV ) Thus, what did Saul do while he was waiting? He was already praying.

I believe all of us - who became God's children by faith in Christ - said the first real, sincere prayer, when we invited Jesus into our heart. Oh, it is possible that we asked for some favors beforehand too; especially when we were in trouble. But true worship, pleading for guidance, and seeking his will-type prayer we only uttered at that moment and ever since. Not before.

In that case - after receiving Jesus - what should our prayers include?

- You may ask. They may include the following Questions:
1 - Saul started out with a question. As soon as he believed in Jesus as the Son of God, he asked: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (KJV) To which he got a specific answer. For, the Lord gladly guides his own. He will show us also what our next step should be; if we ask him.

2 - Worship, glory, and praise. "Worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." "Give unto the Lord glory due to his name..." "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit..." "Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary:..." - Recommends the Bible. (Revelation 14:7, Psalms 29:2, 1 Corinthians 6:20, Psalms 150:1, respectively KJV).

3 - Thanksgiving. "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good..." "Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving... for the Lord is a great God..." "...with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." - Says the Word. (Psalms 107:1, 95:2, Philippians 4:6, KJV.)

After all, we teach our children early to say "thank you," any time they receive something. Then, when they get to the point where they automatically thank us, we are happy. How much happier will be our Heavenly Father, when we thank him also for what he has done for us? May we never forget to thank him!

4 - Of course our prayers may include requests as well. Jesus said: "Ask, and it shall be given to you..." "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do..." (Matthew 7:7, John 14:13, KJV.) I guess, we don't need to encourage Christians to ask, for most of our prayers consist of requests, to begin with. But Jesus doesn't mind. He wants us to ask in his name, anything that is Scriptural.
Of course lost people can ask too. That doesn't take much learning. As mentioned earlier; when trouble hits, they automatically cry out to God. Even if they didn't believe in him before. For - as the saying goes: "In the trenches there are no atheists." In other words, when people's life is threatened, they suddenly turn to God; regardless of their previous beliefs. The same holds true in the midst of any other type of great suffering or pain. Why then, wouldn't we - who through receiving Jesus - became God's children already; ask for more and more?

5 - In addition, our prayers may include intercession also. Although intercession is a form of request, yet it is different in that it is uttered on behalf of someone other than ourselves. We may intercede for our leaders, country, institutions, the world, loved ones, friends, neighbors, etc., even for our enemies.

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." "...pray one for another, that ye may be healed." "But I say unto you, Love your enemies... pray for them, which despitefully use you..." - We read in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, James 5:16, and Matthew 5:44. (KJV.)

6 - Then, crying before, or confiding in and/or pouring out our heart before God can also be part of our prayers. "Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord..." Says Lamentations 2:19. (KJV.) Personally, I remember several occasions when - in great distress - I cried out to God in the darkness of the night. Sometimes even repeatedly. Thus, I can say that sharing my problems with, and wailing before God helped me to deal with the pain. For, pouring out our heart before someone who understands, is therapeutic to our human soul. And God is always and everywhere available.

7 - Finally, when facing sudden danger, our prayers may include but a desperate cry for help, and/or pleading for deliverance. "In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears." - Confessed David in 2 Samuel 22:7 (KJV.) Then in Hebrews 5:7 (KJV) we read about Jesus that: "... in the days of his flesh... he... offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard..." Thus, we too may cry out for help, in time of need. There are still more things we may include in our prayers. But the beforementioned list is enough to prove to us the great value and importance of regular, earnest prayer. For, if it's true that one may "ask and ... receive," than the opposite is true also. Namely, that those of us who do not ask or pray, will not receive all those special blessings God may want to grant us; if only we would ask.

About Saul, who became Paul, the apostle; we read that immediately after he received Jesus he not only became an obedient child of God, but also a man of prayer. May we also use the great privilege and opportunity of prayer to the fullest to find out God's will for us; to praise and glorify his name; to give thanks unto him; to ask anything scriptural; to intercede for others; to lament about, and/or share our problems with the Lord; and to cry out for his help in times of sudden distress. Then Jesus may take notice of you and me, like he did of Paul, saying "... for he (she) is praying..."


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