by Ken Spink

Wave a magic wand! It worked for Cinderella. In our fairy-tale world, we all want a fairy godmother to wave her magic wand and instantly create beauty, produce desired life accessories, and deliver once-in-a-lifetime encounters. Giving requests to a fairy godmother—that’s what prayer is like, isn’t it? At least that’s the way some people seem to treat prayer.

Those who seriously want help to grow in this area must first abandon the easy formula notions about how to cultivate a meaningful prayer life. There are no prayer genies or fairy godmothers. Prayer giants do not just magically appear. A strong prayer life does not develop quickly or accidentally.

How, then, can a believer’s prayer life truly advance? How can it improve and become what God wants? A brief look at Jesus and His disciples will produce a few important clues. Luke 11:1 says, “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

Notice four vital issues from this text.

Ken Spink has been pastor of Berea (Ohio) Baptist Church for 38 years. He is a longtime member of the GARBC Council of Eighteen.