Electricity is an amazing source of power. However, it is useless to us unless we tap into it. I must put the plug in the outlet in order to receive its benefits. God created us in his image so that we could live fruitful abundant meaningful lives that would bring him glory and honor as a result of our personal relationship with him. When we sinned against him our fate was sealed in death and separation from him. But his love compelled him to send his son to pay our debt and grant us a new life in him. Our free will was connected to both scenarios. We chose to sin and die and we chose to receive Christ and live. God took the initiative to save us, but he still wanted us to use our own volition to accept what he had done for us. We would die to ourselves and our own self-centeredness and be born again into his family with all of the royal benefits.
Every day we must choose to spend time with him, converse with him, wait upon him, and listen to what he has to say. Jesus told us that without him we couldn’t do a thing, but for many of us we just use our own minds to try to figure things out and go with our “gut feelings.” Some people mistakenly think that prayer is the last ditch effort we make when all else fails. This couldn’t be further from the truth. God wants us to use our various talents, but he wants to be part of the process. We were never intended to do it on our own. He wants us to PRAY! Not with rote prayers in some formula fashion, but as a result of an intimate relationship with him.
Years ago I attended a series of early morning prayer meetings conducted by Bob Bosworth at 5:00 am. He was taking his message of early morning prayer around the nation. One pastor said to him, “I can’t do this. I have too many irons in the fire right now.” Bob replied, “Prayer is not another iron in the fire. It is the fire.” Prayer is essential. Jesus taught on prayer and modeled it as a lifestyle. His disciples asked him to teach them how to pray. He gave them the model of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, which can be prayed just the way it is (as long as it’s not just a memorized sequence of words) or used as a recipe of ingredients that should be included in the order Jesus gave them: Personal relationship with the Father, meditation on his nature and character, praise and adoration, his Priorities, Provision, Repentance and forgiveness, Guidance and Protection, and ending with praise. He also taught on being persistent in prayer and not to give up. The Apostle Paul said in 1Thess. 5:17 (NIV) “Pray continually.” We are to live with a conscious presence of the Lord in all we do.
We all have needs. We all need help. We all want to help others. Faithful, believing prayer is what is needed. It’s so easy to slip out of the discipline of prayer. We know what we want and many times we think we know how to get it, but if Jesus is not part of the process it will lack what is essential. Read and meditate on the following Scriptures and make a decision to be faithful in prayer, study, and participation in the will of God.
John 16:24 (NIV) 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (NIV) (The Apostle Paul counted on others praying.) 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
James 5:13-18 (NIV) (Notice that James says that we are just like Elijah that great prophet.) 13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
I met a man this week and I was telling him to pray for his needs. He said, “Jesus already died on the cross for me, what more could I ask for?” While that sounds noble it misses the point of God delighting in our prayers. Prayer is a tangible demonstration of our relationship with him.
15 Famous Quotes on Prayer
1. “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” John Wesley
2. “Prayer is where the action is.” John Wesley
3. “The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history.” Andrew Murray 4. “Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian.” Andrew Murray
5. “We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth.” Andrew Murray
6. “Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!” Andrew Murray
7. “…True prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length.” C. H. Spurgeon
8. “If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ.” C. H. Spurgeon
9. “Prayer can never be in excess.” C. H. Spurgeon
10. “In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” John Bunyan
11. ” The word of God is the food by which prayer is nourished and made strong.” E. M. Bounds
12. “Prayer is not learned in a classroom but in the closet.” E. M. Bounds
13. “Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still.” E.M. Bounds
14. “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” Oswald Chambers.
15. “I have seen many men work without praying, though I have never seen any good come out of it; but I have never seen a man pray without working.” James Hudson Taylor
Amos 3:7 (NIV) 7 Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. (note: They had to be listening to get the message. So do we. That’s part of praying.)
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) (Jesus has all the authority and he gave it to us in our union with him.) 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
John 14:12-14 (NIV) 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
John 16:22-28 (NIV) 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
John 17:20-23 (NIV) (For those who think Jesus was just talking to the Apostles of his day.) 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
1 John 5:14-15 (NIV) 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.
Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV) (This is an Apostolic Prayer that you can receive and pray for yourself.) 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
My beliefs about God must be in keeping with what he has revealed about himself in his Word.
My beliefs about myself must be in keeping with what he has said about me in his Word.
MAKE THE FOLLOWING FAITH DECLARATION OUT LOUD!
GOD IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS.
I AM WHO GOD SAYS I AM.
I CAN DO WHAT GOD SAYS I CAN DO.
I CAN GO WHERE GOD SAYS I CAN GO.
I CAN SAY WHAT GOD SAYS I CAN SAY.
I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED ME.
I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH.
I AM AN HEIR OF GOD AND A CO-HEIR WITH CHRIST.