No question about it, the early disciples of Jesus Christ believed
that prayer makes a tremendous difference in the lives of those striving
to obey God. As James states, "The prayer of a righteous man is
powerful and effective" (James 5:16). Prayer is a "powerful and
effective" means of keeping evil thoughts from reentering the mind. As
we noted in the above discussion, it is necessary not only to drive out
an evil thought but to replace it with a good thought. Offering a silent
prayer as soon as the evil thought is driven out is one way of assuring
that the thought will not quickly return.
You may find that a pocket-size book of Psalms is helpful at such times. All you need to do is take out the book, turn to the first Psalm (or a selected Psalm), and read it, making it your prayer by applying its meaning to your life. (Of course, it's not a good idea to do this while you are driving.) Using the book of Psalms as a prayer guide is an excellent way of learning to pray.
Starting each day with prayer is also an important part of the overcomer's lifestyle. Here's how to do it: Arise a half-hour or so earlier each morning and devote that extra time to prayer. Be specific in talking to God about your weaknesses. If you tend to be quick-tempered, for example, don't let a morning go by without asking God to help you control your anger. If you have just quit smoking, ask God to give you the strength you need to make it through the day without a cigarette.
Take one day at a time. Each morning, ask God to give you the help you need for that one day. Then, before retiring for the evening, close the day with a prayer of thanksgiving for the help you received that day. Days become weeks, weeks become months, and months become years. To put years between the sins of the old, sinful self and the new person in Christ, you have no choice but to take one day at a time.
Resolve to go daily before the Throne of Grace.
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