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by Jonathan Parnell

When We Grow Passionate in Prayer

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill.
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!
(Psalm 137:5–6)

Every Christian wants a deeper life of prayer in this new year. Who, after the close of one year, looks back over the time in his closet and thinks, “Yeah, I’d better cut back on all the praying this next twelve months”? We all want to grow, to enjoy richer fellowship with God — the question, though, comes down to how we think it will happen. Might it mean that we pray more consistently? Absolutely. Might it mean that we intercede more for others? Most likely. Might it mean that our petitions are more passionate? Maybe, depending on what we mean by passionate praying.

Passion Far and Wide

For some, passionate praying sounds like making more audacious requests. If we are really praying passionately, we are asking God to move mountains, to swing open closed doors, to bring something out of nothing. In one sense, this makes sense. Passion, boldness, and faith converge to petition God for the things that he alone can do. We are honoring the Giver by praying this way, right? We look out over our cities, over the continents of this world, and we should ask God to do mighty works. We find an unengaged, unreached people group and we pray, “Save them!” We learn about the Planned Parenthood centers in our communities and we beg God to shut them down. We think of an unprecedented high number and ask God for that many baptisms in our church the next six months.

Passion, in this sense, means we step back, look forward, and pray big. Most of us could use a little more of this God-sized dreaming in our prayers — but only if it’s not at the expense of another kind of passion.

Deeper still than praying with passion far and wide, is a passion of singular intensity. It’s a passion that starts in the beautiful posture of a heart not lifted up, eyes not raised too high, minds not occupied with things too great and marvelous for us (Psalm 131:1). It’s a passion that knows God can do whatever he pleases (Psalm 135:6), that longs for his promised kingdom of unceasing peace and praise (Psalm 135:19–21), and that prays, face to the floor in earnestness, “God, don’t let me forget you.”

Passion Fierce and Simple

This is the passionate praying that, moved mountains aside, audacity put on hold, simply wants to remember God. The passion is seen not so much in the request itself, but to the degree that the one praying desires it. If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill, the psalmist petitions God (Psalm 137:5–6), and teaches us! “Jerusalem” stands for more than any old city. The vision here is the reign of God. To remember Jerusalem is to remember the promises of God and his coming rule. Said positively, the psalmist wants to know God and have him take the lead in his life. But he wants it so badly. Consider the rawness of his asking. The psalmist is talking about losing the use of his dominant hand, and therefore his livelihood. He is talking about his tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth, and therefore starving. How in the world can he really pray this way? This seriously?

The psalmist prays this way because he cannot imagine a worse reality than what he is praying against. The worst place for the psalmist is being anywhere without God. Scariest to him is to forget God, to lose faith. And we understand what he’s getting at.

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Andrew Murray.JPG“While others still slept, He went away to pray and to renew His strength in communion with His Father. He had need of this, otherwise He would not have been ready for the new day. The holy work of delivering souls demands constant renewal through fellowship with God.”

~ Andrew Murray

Fellowship With God

A Teaching Article On Effective Prayer

Why don’t we see the will of God on earth? Does God want you to be healed? Yes. Does God want you to prosper, in every sense? Yes. Does God have good things for you? Yes! Does God have solutions to the problems you face? Yes. Then why don’t we see more of the will of God on earth? The answer varies – but one thing is sure: we can “download” heaven to earth through prayer. God put eternity in the heart of man, and the kingdom of God is within you. How do we make the kingdom of God manifest? The answer is prayer. Prayer is a key to the kingdom of God.

God is a relational being; He desires your companionship. Only He can give you the wisdom and discernment necessary to walk in the fullness of His plan. There are “defining moments” in your life that push you into His plan. You won’t see these moments unless you are in prayer and have the discernment to recognize them. You need to be in prayer so you don’t miss your moment!

God can change your situation in a second, but if we don’t recognize or discern the moment, we may miss it – and have to go around the mountain again! Don’t keep going around the same mountain…you have dwelled there long enough! Don’t settle for less than your “covenant privileges.” Get into your prayer closet and spend some time with God!

The kingdom of God is on the inside of you, because of Jesus Christ dwelling in your heart by faith and because of His Spirit living on the inside of you. Only by being a person of prayer and having fellowship with God do we activate the treasure God has placed within each of us. His presence activates the eternity He placed inside of you! That’s why you must have fellowship with the Father through prayer to know what you need to do next. When you step into your prayer closet and fellowship with Father God, you tap into His supernatural power and wisdom. You will be able to see your God-moment if you have God’s wisdom!

One of the best definitions of “fellowship” is “the state of sharing mutual interests, experiences, and activities.” Even though this is a secular definition from the World English Dictionary, it gives us a clear picture of what we are doing while in prayer with Father God – we are sharing mutual interests, experiences and activities. Let me digress for a moment: God is interested in everything that is affecting you in any way! He long for us to come to Him with every request big, or small. When we are in our prayer closet, He is adjusting our desires and attitudes by His Spirit, making us stronger and more fruitful in the kingdom.

“I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
(John 16:23-24-NIV).

While in prayer, we make specific requests of God that only He can make happen. As long as we are not asking amiss, you can rest assured that He will give you the things you’ve asked according to John 14:13: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

Spending time with God gives you an overflow of supernatural provision. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) When we fellowship with God, we share our interests with Him and release the burdens of our needs. His supernatural presence activates the kingdom of God within you.

Accepting Jesus Christ is the only way to communicate with God the Father. If we can meditate on His nature, we will be drawn to Him to pray. God is not like people – we don’t have to shrink back from Him. You can crawl up in His lap, and He will wrap His arms of love around you. He will never violate you. He will never hurt you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He doesn’t have a back door or a trap door or a booby trap. God is safe. God is secure. God is a rock, a refuge and a friend. God is our Savior.

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