Friday, October 9, 2020

Where is your prayer?

Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jude 20 NLT 

Note the grand characteristic of true prayer: in the power of the Holy Spirit. The seed of acceptable devotion must come from heaven’s storehouse. Only the prayer that comes from God can go to God. We must shoot the Lord’s arrows back to Him. The desire that He writes on our heart will move His heart and bring down a blessing—but the desires of our flesh have no power with Him. Praying in the Holy Spirit is praying fervently. Cold prayers basically ask the Lord not to hear them. Those who plead without fervency don’t plead at all. And we might as well speak of “lukewarm fire” as we do of “lukewarm prayer”—it is essential that prayer be red hot. Praying in the Holy Spirit is praying with perseverance. True petitioners gather force as they proceed, and grow more fervent when God delays His answer. The longer the gate is closed, the more vehemently they knock—and the longer the angel waits, the more resolved they are never to let him go without a blessing (see Genesis 32:22–29). Tearful, agonizing, unconquerable importunity is beautiful in God’s sight. Praying in the Holy Spirit means praying humbly, for the Spirit never puffs us up with pride. It is His duty to convince of sin, so He makes us bow with a broken and contrite spirit. We will never behold glory in the highest unless we pray to God de profundis—out of the depths. Praying in the Holy Spirit is loving prayer. Prayer should be perfumed and saturated with love—love toward our fellow saints and love toward Christ. Moreover, praying in the Holy Spirit must be a prayer full of faith. People prevail only as they believe. The Holy Spirit is the author of faith and strengthens it, so that we pray believing God’s promises. Oh, that this blessed combination of excellent graces—priceless and sweet as the spices of the biblical merchants—would be fragrant in us, because the Holy Spirit is in our hearts! Most blessed Comforter, exert your mighty power inside us and help our weakness in prayer. -C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

James 5:16 "Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."

That verse from James came to mind after reading several devotionals and my Bible reading this morning. 

Another thought from reading the first chapter of Colossians and reflecting on the other letters to Churches such as Philippians, Ephesians, Galatians, Thessalonians and the letters to the Churches in Revelation, makes me wonder: what kind of letters would be written by Paul or Jesus to each one claiming to be a Church today?  How would it read?  Would those so-called Churches receive those letters in the right spirit? 

Prayer and praying opens up many of Paul's letters.  Praying in thanks. Praying in concern.  Always in prayer. 

How's your prayer life?  Is your texts, Facebook posts, Messenger texts, Facetime, Instagram posts, Twitter posts more involved, interesting, passionate, than your prayers?  Are you more passionate about your political views, sports teams etc, than you are about the Lord's business?  To be honest, I have observed both in myself, and in the hundreds of people throughout my life, who claim to be Christians, more fervent love for a sports team or their political party than they do Jesus.  There's a significant reason why I no longer wear sports themed clothes or hats. There is a reason why I don't do the same with characters from movies or television.  I was putting them higher in my heart than God. I was more passionate about them than my life with Christ. That was me being honest about me.

I have been blessed to have been around a great many Godly men.  Been blessed to have been around many a God fearing people.  Yet have still seen a great many Godly people put an idol right next to God in their hearts and not realize they have done so.

The only way the prayers of a righteous man can do much is if that man has a right heart before Jesus. 

It's often said of the United States that those who believe in Christ should pray for the nation.  Satan obviously has influenced the Church enough to weaken their ability to fervently pray for the nation. In all the years of supposed prayer...abortions still happen. Evil people have more rights than the innocent. 

I confess my prayer life isn't as strong as it could be.  I am constantly distracted by a great many things.  Prayer is our primary weapon in Spiritual warfare.  How sad it is that so few know how to wield it!

A strong prayer life was evident in people like Billy Graham.  The stronger that prayer life is the stronger the walk with Jesus is. 

I am by no means saying that I have arrived in this.  As one quote says, there's a difference in knowing the path and walking it.  I know a great many things, but get distracted oh so quickly. I know the peace that can come from prayer.  I know the frustration from not doing so.

What is your prayer life like?  

The worst kind of thought is that of "I can't say anything, I was just as bad" or "I used to do that too" or "I  have the same problem so I can't say anything".  Lies, lies, lies. Listening to the sin nature you are. 

Just because we can do something doesn't follow that we must do it when it comes to thoughts and things in life. 

Anything man made is a tool of man. Any tool can be used for honorable or dishonorable use. Same with your thoughts and actions. You always have a choice. There undoubtedly will be consequences but you always have a choice.

You choose to talk to God or at God. 
To walk with Jesus or apart from Him. Living your way or His way. 

Look at who is ruling in your heart. 

Look at who you value the most. 

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