Archive for January 21st, 2009

Prayer – Part 1

prayer-31I have come to realize that the greatest gift that Jesus left for His disciples was prayer! We see in the beginning of the book of Acts that Jesus tells His disciples to wait from power on high. They spend their time waiting and then Pentecost comes and the Church begins with power that results in many conversions. As we go beyond the day of Pentecost we see the Church at work. One of the most prominent things that is clear to anyone is that the Church continued to pray and received from God the power, direction, and strength to fulfill their call. For those of us who spend regular time in the Word the book of Acts and the New Testament passages that talk about prayer can seem average to us. That is perhaps the biggest problem with our calling upon God with faith that He is working.

Perhaps we have tried to pray and did not see the results we wanted so it has now become some type of basic routine in a routine Christian life. But why would God give us this gift if it was not meant to have greater results? Perhaps one of our problems with prayer is that we not only give up easily, but we don’t pray in a way that lines up with the Will of God. If you would read through the book of Acts in one setting and look at the different types of prayers going on you will discover that the Church prayed the Will of God. Put more simply they prayed to accomplish something for the Kingdom. How often does the Church today pray about its Sunday Service through the week? How often do we pray for healing, revival, conviction for sin in our lives, power from the Spirit to be greater witnesses, and a greater desire to see the Great Commission fulfilled through our local assembly. Maybe the biggest problem with prayer is that we are not seeking God’s Will, but our own. When we don’t get what we want we just let it become some ritual or routine we go through and think that we are pleasing God on some level.

As I read the New Testament I see all the wonderful passages on prayer and believe that God wants us to pray with a greater expectation than I see in the Church. It could be that we have become so result driven that when things do not immediately change we think that prayer really does not do anything at all. I do know that through the centuries individual Christians, Churches, and Mission Organizations have been radically transformed by prayer. I do not want to miss out on what God has for me and my Church by not seeking God as much as I possibly can. What would become of our Churches, families, and lives if all of us prayed several times a day for only 15 minutes each time to start off with? I believe with everything in me that radical transformation would happen. The Church has been stepping backward for far too long not to seek God and wait for Him to move. Are you praying? Are you willing to let God begin to transform you in new ways? Are you wanting greater power from on high? Get on your knees and start praying. It is not a routine, it is a privilege!

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