How many times have you been listening to a song, hearing a message in church, reading scripture, tuning into the Christian radio station, or reading a blog post and heard the same topic speaking to you? This same topic comes at you various ways, through various friends, family, or speakers, and even through social media. It comes over and over again. This is what is meant in Hebrews 4:12 that God’s word is living. It seeks you out. The Holy Spirit speaks directly to you and God’s word delivers messages from the Father to you. How special is that? How amazing is that? To ignore it or not follow it feels like disobedience. It almost feels like going up a one-way street, if you don’t take in the message it’s giving to you.
We can all acknowledge how important prayer is in the life of us believers, yet we don’t place priority on it. Guilty! I’m changing that this year. In fact, this month. I have heard various sermons on prayer within the last 3 months, saw the movie “War Room”, read scriptures and devotions on prayer, and praised the Lord through songs that are lyrical prayers. The message cannot be any clearer for me. So let me share with you what I’ve learned and how I’m going to be obedient to God hitting me over the head with the importance of prayer (so many many times, in such a short period of time). Oh and He gets louder with His messages and will impact your life until you listen! So it’s better just to follow and be obedient. Amen?
- Everything goes from God, through God, and back to God. All creation, our salvation, our lives, and our prayers go in that order. Starts in heaven, comes down to earth, goes through Christ, and goes back to heaven. There is a Divine Triangle that Adrian Rogers taught me that makes this so clear (see image below). Our prayers need to model this triangle.
- Our prayers need to start in heaven: They need to be in God’s will. Is it something God would want for us? Is it something after God’s own heart and His desires for people? Does is seek to make God proud?
- Our prayers need to go through Christ: When we prayer “In Jesus name” that isn’t just a sign off message or closing. That means, what I’m praying is with Jesus’ approval. So, does it follow what Christ taught me? Would Jesus approve this message? Would He give His signature and authority on this? Does it follow His message? In Jesus name means: By Jesus’ authority. Yes God, Jesus would approve of this.
- Our prayers need to go back to God: When we pray we need to have God’s Kingdom in mind. Am I giving God glory in this message? Is my heart to glorify God or the world or myself? Have I praised Him for who He is not just what He has done, or will do? Lifting God up, praising Him, and seeking to glorify Him is sending it back to heaven.
- God has deliberately chosen this particular vehicle as the one that drives His activity in people’s lives. It’s what He allows us to use to cooperate and partner with Him in the fulfilling of His will.
- When we pray, we get to partner with God. We come along side Him to do His will. God already knows our thoughts and what we’re going to say, but it’s this partnership that grows our faith. It’s this partnership that slows our doubts and fears. This partnership builds trust that no man or enemy can break.
- Jesus has modeled for us exactly how faithful we need to be in praying consistently. “Experiencing God Day by Day” devotional helped me see:
- Jesus is God in the flesh. He knew His purpose and that He had to go to the cross. He knew which disciples were going to be picked and when. Yet Jesus still prayed ALL NIGHT LONG before it was time to choose His disciples (Luke 6:12). Come on! Isn’t that amazing and awakening? The Son of God prayed before every event, miracle, decision, and before going to the cross. And we say we follow Jesus? Are we? Are we following His prayer life? We should. I should. I will now!
- It was prayer that set the agenda for Jesus’ ministry. He did it to remain obedient to the Father. Satan tempted Jesus and the crowds could overwhelm anyone else. But Jesus was always prepared because He stayed connected through prayer to the Father and therefore obedient. Prayer always brought His encouragement at needed moments.
- Ephesians chapter 6 needs to be written out where we can see it daily. It teaches us how to arm ourselves for this world. Chapter 6 tells us to pray for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and that we need to have our weapons ready because the enemy prowls and is always looking to attack! The book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer is an awesome journey through learning the value and strategies to prayer. I want to leave you with these scriptures:
- Pray in the Spirit at ALL TIMES and on EVERY OCCASION. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18
- Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should ALWAYS pray and not give up. Luke 18:1
- Praying needs to be a daily meeting with Jesus. A daily committed time with God. We make time for things we set as a priority.
I encourage you all to pick up “Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious Specific, and Strategic Prayer” by Priscilla Shirer, click here. Listen to “Power of Effectual Prayer” podcast by Adrian Rogers, click here to listen. Grab the devotional “Experiencing God Day by Day”, click here. These resources will put you back into alignment with a good prayer life and how to follow Jesus. We must stay connected with the Father, be obedient, and working along side Him.
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