Following is an outline by Dr. Dowell Flatt, for a class given at a spiritual growth retreat sponsored through Freed-Hardeman University in February 1979.

The retreat was one of the first events Vicki and I attended as a newly engaged couple.

Text in brackets [ ] indicate additional notes of mine made during Dr. Flatt’s presentation.

Suggestions for a Better Prayer Life

Dr. Dowell Flatt

  1. All Christian readily see importance of prayer.
  2. Luke 18:1;  Acts 2:42;  1 Thess. 5:17;  [Lk 11:1]
  3. Too many have received little help in improving their prayer lives.

I. Preparation

A. Time [patten of time] Eph. 5:16 = Col. 4:5  [Dan. 6:10, three times a day]

Ill. Have to study Greek daily

B.  Place (Set place valuable) Jn. 18:2

C. Privacy —  Matt. 14:23; Lk. 5:16 [Matt. 6:6]

II. Meditation

A. Not

  1. Daydreaming
  2. Non-Christian experience

B. Is

  1. What I am Vs. What I ought and will be with His help.
  2. Reaching for a higher plane.
  3. Thinking on spiritual things. Ps. 37:7; 46:10 –  Lk 2:19

III. Submission [absolute, ultimate, total surrender]

A. Following will of Son  Jn 14:13-14;  Mat. 26:39-44

  1. “In Jesus name” more than a sign-off, magical formula.
  2. “In Jesus name” is according to character of Jesus.

B. Abiding in Son
Note: Greek indicates constant abiding.

C. Bearing Fruit in Son –  Jn. 15:8, 16
Note: Asking that ends in talking likely is just talking.

D. Knowing Father and Son –  Jn. 17:3
Ill. Too many have only slight acquaintance with God.
They might reply concerning their knowledge of Him, “Yes, I know Him, but not personally.”

IV. Trust –  Heb. 11:6; Jn 11:41-42; Titus 1:2

Conclusion:

  1. It takes real effort to develop a life of prayer.
  2. The effort will be rewarded both here and in the hereafter.

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