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Failing to pray reflects idolatry–a trust in substitutes for God.
~The Arena of Prayer, Ben Jennings
May 2012 be a great year of prayer and REVIVAL!
We read in the biographies of our forefathers, who were most successful in winning souls, that they prayed for hours in private. The question therefore arises, can we get the same results without following their example? If we can, then let us prove to the world that we have found a better way; but if not, then in God’s name let us begin to follow those who through faith and patience obtained the promise. Our forefathers wept and prayed and agonized before the Lord for sinners to be saved, and would not rest until they were slain by the Sword of the Word of God. That was the secret of their mighty success; when things were slack and would not move they wrestled in prayer till God poured out His Spirit upon the people and sinners were converted.
When the glory of the Father
Is the goal of every prayer:
When before the throne in heaven
Our High Priest presents it there;
When the Spirit prompts the asking,
When the waiting heart believes:
The we know of each petition
Everyone who asks receives
Author unknown, quoted by Arthur Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power (138)
Yesterday afternoon, after the worship service at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church on Christmas morning, I fly out of Omaha to San Diego (after changing planes in Phoenix). Every two years, my wife’s family meets at the in-laws for Christmas. I was the last to arrive. My luggage did not make it with me , but was delivered a few hours later.
In an hour or so, I plan to run around Lake Murray!
by Mark Altrogge on December 21, 2011
Christmas is the season of joy. Yeah right.
As Paul McCartney sings, “Simply having a wonderful Christmas time,” I see haggard looking parents pushing their gift-laden baskets through the aisles of stores yelling at their kids, “If you ask one more time we’re going home and never coming back ever again. And you will eat oatmeal from now on. Without sugar. And we’re never going to McDonald’s again either!” (I once threatened to never take my kids to McDonald’s again. Empty threat #302).
Would people describe you as joyful?
Would your co-workers and neighbors? Would your classmates and roommates say you’re cheerful? If your friends knew no other Christians but you what would their impression of Christianity be? Would little kids describe you as happy or fun? This quote by D Martin Lloyd Jones challenges me:
“Nothing is more important, therefore, than that we should be delivered from the condition which gives other people, looking at us, the impression that to be a Christian means to be unhappy, to be sad, to be morbid, and that the Christian is one who ‘scorns delights and lives laborious days’…..It behooves us, therefore, not only for our own sakes, but also for the sake of the Kingdom of God and the glory of the Christ in whom we believe, to represent Him and His cause, His message and His power in such a way that men and women, far from being antagonized, will be drawn and attracted as they observe us, whatever our circumstances or condition. We must so live that they will be compelled to say: would to God I could be like that, would to God I could live in this world and go through this world as that person does.”
Christians should be joy radiators. And not just at Christmas. This doesn’t mean we’re rosy-eyed Pollyannas who wear pasted on fake smiles all the time. This doesn’t even necessarily mean we feel happy. But there’s a joy in Christ that’s deep and lasting and real. And others should see something of it in us.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. (Luke 2:10)
Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)
Think about it…
Adoniram Judson sought to withdraw sought to withdraw from business and company seven times a day in order to engage in the holy work of prayer. He began at midnight and again at dawn; then at nine. twelve, three, six and nine to secret prayer.
Is prayer like breathing to us? Do we consistently have an attitude of prayer throughout the day? Some of the great saints of the past made prayer their life…
For those explorers in the frontiers of faith, prayer was no little habit tacked onto the periphery of their lives–it was their lives. It was the most serious work of their most productive years.
Every time we pray, if we do so correctly, God’s mighty power is released and made available to bring victory and breakthrough into even seemingly impossible situations. We do not need to overcome God’s reluctance when we pray. That is not the problem.
When we pray, we are breaking through resistance from the powers of darkness and taking hold of God’s willingness to do His plan in the earth. That prayer causes His power to be released on our behalf.
God’s power is in the spiritual world. We can’t always see it and sometimes we can’t feel it, but it is there nonetheless. In many cities and nations, it has been withheld for years; not because of God’s reluctance to act, but rather, because God’s people have lacked the spiritual understanding necessary to break through and use His power to see their prayers answered.
Everything we need is already paid for and created by the work of the cross. Now we must take hold of it through the heart of faith and the voice of prayer and make God’s power available in the earth. You have an active part in the Kingdom of God coming to earth as it is in heaven. Who is going to do this praying? Every believer is called to prayer. It is a gift that Jesus has given us.
God loves to hear His people pray. He always answers the call of the righteous. There’s sadness in His heart when there is prayerlessness in the earth. God is waiting for you to rise up and pray. He is longing for you to break through your flesh and the resistance over your prayer life. He is waiting to teach you and help you.
If you are a believer, you are called to prayer – bold, fervent, regular prayer! James 5:1 says the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. The Amplified Bible translates this, “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” What a great promise! God’s power is available for us today! It is not locked up in some inaccessible place far from our reach or possibility to obtain. There is a way for us to experience that power and make it available to our generation. That way is through prayer – through effective, fervent prayer. This type of prayer is a generator for the power of God that will change individual lives, cities, and nations.
What is prayer, really?