[i]by Lou Sutera[/i]
Our Lord said that His Church ought to be a house of prayer. This is one of the last things that the Church seems to know anything about is what it is to be a house of prayer. We do everything else, but seemingly the spirit of prayer has left the church.
This is the kind of praying that God wants His people to do. One of the basic reasons why our prayers don't get anywhere is because our motives in prayer are not right. The answers to prayer should not be wrapped around ourselves, but that God's glory, that He deserves and He expects to get out of, that He will receive the due honour for His Name from the creatures He created for Himself.
Mark 11:22-23 "Believe that ye receive them and ye shall receive have them". Those are interesting words. Another says, "According to your faith be it unto you" James 1:6, 7. "Pray nothing wavering. For not let that man think that he should receive anything". Many of our prayers, somebody said, "Go to God's Dead Letter Office." Do you know why? Because of Insufficient Address. God's answers will be as definite as our prayers.
RA Torrey, one of the great preachers, said he was in the State of Main where he was preaching and nothing was happening. A group of Christian men got so desperate before God they said, "God, you've got to touch some of the wretched men of our city!" The group became a Praying Band. They started to pray. They prayed for the most wretched man in that town. They prayed and they prayed until God saved him. Then they went to "#2" the next most wretched man in town. They prayed together specifically for God to save that man until God saved him. Then they prayed for #3. The story is in the article that by the time one year passed by that praying band had prayed 200 men into the Kingdom of God! Maybe we need to create "The Most Wanted List".
Dr. Howard Hendrik says, "My feeling is that wherever your prayer focuses, power will fall." John Newton that great song writer wrote, "Thou art coming to a King, Large petitions with thee bring. For God's love and power are such, thou canst never ask too much." CT Studd said, "Lord, make us not nibblers, but grabbers of the impossible."
We honour God for Who He Is when we ask Him faithfully and pray specifically, but beyond everything else there is no use praying unless we pray with right relationship. If we're not in right relationship, if I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me. That means if I have compassion on the sin in my heart, if I go lightly on the sin in my heart, if I call it less than what it is, God will not hear me.
I believe God wants to raise up a mighty praying army, a mighty praying church that once again we can go from church to church and the word will be known that "My House is a House of Prayer". It's not just a few words, but praying that avails much at the throne of God, that God is alive and well, and we're seeing God perform His mighty works.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon