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In my continuing study on prayer, I thought I’d share what I gleaned from a video that I happened upon. I found an excellent video on my YouTube feed with Paul Washer speaking about prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit of Christ. As best I can tell, he was speaking here at a past G3 conference (There are a few that I found but here is the link to the specific video on which I’m writing: The Importance of Prayer).
He brings out many points, but two were very helpful to me:
- There may be seasons where your prayers are longer and more fervent than others.
- Your prayer life does not have to look like the prayer life of another saint.
I feel guilty about the length of my prayers lately. I am concerned that I am not as fervent as I have been in the past. There have been some occasions in the past when I prayed longer upon first getting up in the morning. Mr Washer speaks of a season where he would pray all night and where his prayers were especially fervent. While he doesn’t give any excuse for not spending time with God in daily prayer, he says that he hasn’t had a season like that since then. The Holy Spirit guides and directs our time with Him. The Lord enabled him to pray like that before special times in his ministry. It was helpful to know that it’s okay that we don’t always pray for three hours at a time with tears flowing!
Mr. Washer also cautions against measuring our prayer life according to the standard of another man and points out that some saints may simply be more gifted in their prayer life. He gave the example that while every Christian should evangelize, not everyone evangelizes like Ray Comfort. (Ray Comfort – Living Waters ) He mentioned that there are many preachers, but not all are like Dr. Steven Lawson. ( Steven Lawson – OnePassion Ministries ) Perhaps it’s the same with prayer. We each have our own gifting from the Holy Spirit. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV)
I’m also reminded that since God is sovereign and good and merciful to His children, we can pray *for* the ability to pray longer and more fervently. We can ask that the Lord would give us more of a heart of prayer and that He would allow us to feel more of His presence as we pray. As for feeling more of His presence: I know that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7); however, we also have not because we ask not (James 4:2b), so I’ll be asking the Lord to help transform my affections and emotions!
I borrowed a book from our church library titled “LORD Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days” by Kay Arthur.
In an effort to get back into regular blog posting, I decided to post what I glean from reading through the book. Like many of Kay’s book, this one is designed for either personal or group study, with daily Scripture reading and exercises.
The book starts out by reminding us of how prayer should be one of the most important activities in the life of a Christian.The author points that out than when the early church encountered a problem, the apostles refused to be sidetracked from their priorities.
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.1
The solution for the apostles was not to ignore the problem or engage in food distribution themselves but rather to delegate tasks to other men:
Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.2
As we are told elsewhere to be praying continually 3, we can be sure that all followers of Christ are to consider prayer to be of utmost importance. The example from the book of Acts is given as an illustration of that principle, not to suggest that only church leaders should be engage in prayer!
Some key items of which I was reminded as I read the first few chapters and exercises:
- Jesus wants us to learn how to pray4
- If we pray according to His will, then we can be assured of having our requests granted5
- Be persistent! Don’t stop asking!6
I am encouraged and excited about this study. None of these principles are new to me; how wonderful it is to be reminded of these precious commands.
1 Acts 6:1
2 Acts 6:3-4 (bold emphasis added)
3 1 Thessalonians 5:17
4 Matthew 6:9a
5 1 John 5:14-15
6 Luke 11:5-8
All of the above verses can be read on this web page: Verses on Bible Gateway – NIV
You can order the book on Amazon here: Purchase on Amazon (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).
In the rush and urgency of getting all my prayer requests before the throne of God, sometimes it’s helpful to stop, be still, and just be thankful.
I’m thankful for:
- Rescue from the wrath of God (His just wrath due to my sin)
- Access to a heavenly Father by Christ the Lord
- The Holy Spirit who prays for me, as I don’t know best how to pray
- The Holy Spirit’s empowering me to obey and follow Christ
- The Scriptures — the truth and the lamp for my feet (to know what to believe and what how to live)
- Being chosen for an eternal relationship with God
- Provision for this life — food, clothing, shelter, and loving relationships
- Answer to prayer — for a church home, husband, job, wisdom
- A mom and a husband who believe
- Friends like Barbara, Vera, and my Sunday school ladies
- Rest when I need it
- Discipline when I need it
- Faithful pastors and teachers to help us know God better
- My health and abilities
- Favor among my various relationships (landlord, employers, coworkers, neighbors)
- Verses like “Be anxious for nothing…” and “Cast your cares upon the Lord…”
I’m amazed to look back and remember the thoughtless, ignorant statements I used to heartily believe and repeat. I would proudly proclaim to be a thoughtful person, one who was not easily fooled, but I remember how I would hear statements about evolution and the age of the Earth and readily accept them as fact without any question.
Folks repeat statements like “I’ll believe it when I see it” when asked about their beliefs in a Divine Power; however, the same folks will readily lap up statements from scientific journals without question, without seeing, without understanding, and without debate.
If I told you that the device upon which you were reading this article had appeared naturally after millions of years, after time and temperature and earthly elements came together to make the technological marvel before you, without any intervention from an intelligent being, you would say I was mad. Yet, how readily do we believe statements about an explosion (“Big Bang”) creating order and a life-sustaining planet?
Check this out and let me know what you think: Evolution vs God
Are you open to truth, even if it means you may have to change your mind, your actions, and endure criticism from those who have closed their minds?
One of my intentions had been to start a category on this blog whereby I make notes of the sermons of my church. We have a new Pastor at my church and I’ve heard several weeks of sermons now. I’ve made notes, asked questions, but hesitated to make any posts.
The reason is that I’ve found that the man who has been called to pastor our church is not qualified to preach the Scriptures. An example of this claim is as follows: upon asking him his position on women being pastors and teaching over men in the church, he stated that the scriptures that deal with that issue were about a cultural issue that the apostle Paul was addressing. He admitted that the qualifications for an elder do not permit a woman to lead as pastor but that the forbidding of teaching and speaking in church was a cultural problem and not a command for today.
There’s a problem with his interpretation of Scripture, however, as Paul mentions Adam and Eve following his admonition that “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. ” 1 Timothy 2:11-12 NIV
In mentioning Adam and Eve, we see that Paul is setting a precedent of God’s appointed order of how things should run, rather than addressing some local, cultural issue. The full passage is as follows:
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. [1 Timothy 2:11-14 NIV]
I am saddened that this is far from the only example I have of how the man has failed to properly teach the Scriptures.
So as not to cause disruption and agitation at my church, and to keep from the temptation to be a source of division in that church, I have prayerfully decided to start looking elsewhere for Sunday worship. I’ve found some churches in my area noted on the 9Marks website (church search section is here: 9Marks Church Search ) and, Lord willing, will be visiting those places in the coming Sundays.
I’ve been thinking of some ways to organize this blog and basically wondering about the direction that I want to take with it. As I’ve reserved another website in my name (Patricia Grace), I think it’s best to post personal, journal type entries there and keep this site for more general Bible study topics.
So, with that in mind, I plan to make notes as I read through the Bible, with either a category or tag made for the chapter(s) and verse(s) under review, for ease of searching specific passages later.
I’m writing what I’m learning, either directly from the Holy Spirit through His enlightenment, searching through other Scriptures that shed light on a passage, or from other commentaries to which I will give proper credit. All of these methods, of course, if they yield proper and truthful information and are useful to understand and apply the Scriptures, are from the ministry of the Spirit of Christ. May the Lord keep me faithful and grant discernment and all spiritual wisdom as I seek to understand and apply His good Word and share what I learn with others.
If there are any explanations or interpretations which my readers feel are in error, please don’t hesitate to comment or send me a message ASAP!