On May 2nd our nation observed the 61st national day of prayer that commenced under President Eisenhower.
Prayer is perhaps the most under utilized resource available to the believer. Hebrews chapter four tells the believer to "come boldly to the throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Often our prayers are shallow and passionless and simply said out of rote habit, or ritual and we really do not have faith that God will answer our prayers. If the church is to impact this culture and indeed the world we must make prayer a priority in our personal lives individually and in our churches collectively. We are naive to think that we can live the Christian life successfully without a vibrant intercessory prayer life. We would do well to know that we have an "adversary the devil who as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (I Peter 5:8) The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians chapter six, "Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles (cunning devices) of the devil." Paul goes on to tell us that our warfare is not with our fellow man, but it is against the devil and his demons who are in control of this world and its system. Paul lists a number of pieces of armament that should array each believer, but when Paul concludes his list of armament he gives us the key element in defeating the forces of evil in this world. The one element that renders all of the armament of God effective is prayer. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." (Eph. 6:18)
How then should we pay?
Pastor Randy Mason
1) Pray in faith believing. Only God can move mountains, but it is faith and prayer that move the heart of God. "Therefore I say unto you, what things soever you desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." (Mk.11:24) As you see the world, national and even local events unfold, does your faith increase and your payers become more intense because you "believe that ye receive them, and shall have them," or do you become apathetic, distant and reduced to empty rhetoric that seem to be a futile attempt at communicating with God? Praying in believing faith is the key that will unlock the door to a vibrant prayer life.
2) Pray trusting God: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." (Prov. 3:5-6) Trust is the consummation of our faith. Trust means believing God will do exactly as he says in His Word and believing He will work in the here and now to meet my needs and the needs of all who will trust Him.
3) Pray fervently: Our praying must be accomplished with red hot fervor, not will cold calloused hearts that have grown distant from God. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
4) Pray ceaselessly. Pray until the answer comes. "Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (Matt. 7:7) Ask, seek and knock are like an ascending staircase that leads to successful prayer. This is a principle that is interwoven throughout the New Testament. In order to prevail in our prayer life we must perseverance in our asking, seeking, and knocking. "Pray without ceasing." (I Thes. 5:17)
5) Pray with Godly character. Character counts with God. Many have the idea that if my good deeds out weigh my bad deeds God will be satisfied. What satisfies God depends on what we do with His Son Jesus Christ. Only when we receive Him as Savior and make Him the Lord of our life is God pleased. When Christ is Lord of our life our character is changed from a life of sin to a life that reflects the very character of Christ. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Pslm. 66:18) We cannot come bolding to the throne of grace and expect God to answer our prayers if our life does not reflect Christ like conduct.
These challenging times demand a prayer life that exhibits faith, trust, fervency, ceaselessness, and Godly character.