It's been said many times before but bears repeating in view of todays message and that is "No one is ever Greater than his prayer life" !
A great QUOTE AND line and one that i personally never get tired of hearing myself. Because it Bears witness and resonates with my spirit (Amen)!
Now Prayer is as necessary to spiritual Life
As breath is - to the Physical life.
It has also been well said that more things are wrought By prayer than this world ever dreamed or imagined. But prayer is work! And prayer is blood, sweat, and tears. Prayer is travail! And this is well portrayed in the the account of Jesus sweating great DROPS of blood in Gethsemene's garden.
But prayer moves mountains, obtains promises, changes outcomes, curses fig trees, multiplies fishes, breaks drought and ends famines. PRAYER shuts the mouths of lions! The EFFECTUAL fervent prayer of a righteous man ~~ avails much!
Therefore For a man not to seek communion with his creator - Is like a man that leaves home in the morning not properly attired, or fit to go out in public.
Now ive been previledged over the years to read many classic works on prayer such as "Power with God through prayer" E.M Bounds " Praying Hyde's" (classic work) Prayer that moves mountains" by Gordon Lindsay and other related works on prayer such as "experiencing the depths of Jesus Christ" By Madame Guyon and Oswald J Sanders book on "enjoying intimacy with God" and many other treatises!
Incidently for the modern charismatic movement to suggest the theme of "extravagant love" and "extravagant worship" is a NEW revelation is simply untrue.
A.W Tozer taught on the "pursuit of God" and Guyon presented her work on "experiencing the depths" and Oswald gave us the book on "Enjoying intimacy" And bro lawrence on "practising the presence of God" just to name 4 examples! In essence this theme has been around since Miriam and the timbrel! And the days of David the great worshipping warrior.
Granted the terminologies are unique and different "Extravant love and worship" But the message of (intimacy with God and enjoying his presence) has been the quest of Christians down through the time and on into the present church age!
Why David setting the tone for all true worshippers when he uttered words like " My soul follows hard after thee! Early in the morning i will rise up and meet thee"
" A day in thy courts is better than ten thousand with the wicked"
" What is man that thou art mindful of him "
" The Lord is my shepherd i shall not want"
No the charismatics didn't invent the theme of (Extravagant worship) sorry to dissapoint and burst the bubble! But David and many notable authors have gone before (the charismatic movement) blazing the trail of "extravagant love" Long before the P&C movement ever brought it to the table.
P.s The next time somebody says have you heard the theme on extravagant love? Say yes it's been around since the days of Tozer (pursuit of God) and guyons treatise on (The depths of Jesus Christ)! With david setting the bar and precinct on "true worship" 1100 years B.C. I say that because many claim they had the message of "intimacy and extravagance" before anyone else did.
People sometimes claim a message is uniquely special to them! But Chances are it's been around for a long time before, and is being recycled! Or worse plaguarized!
NOW THEIR HAVE BEEN MANY GREAT PRAYERS UTTERED IN THE BIBLE FROM ABRAHAM TO CHRIST - FROM CHRIST TO THE APOSTLES AND DOWN TO THE FOUNDING FATHERS!
What are some of the great ones uttered though?
The Prayer of Hannah in Distress!
This one has been used in many sermons over time to illustrate biblical principles and profound Spiritual truths!
It's a classic! And straight from the heart with both sincerity and spontanaiety! Over the barren condition she suffered. And the taunts and reproach of an adversary.
" Hannah vowed a prayer requesting a man child"
She got her petition answered and gave him straight back to the Lord - as being lent!
"Then sang Hannah's soul greatly"
" Mine heart rejoices greatly in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the lord: My mouth is enlarged, there is none holy as the Lord! Who is the Rock beside our God? Talk no more exceedingly proudly and let not arrogancy come out of the mouth. For the Lord is a God of knowledge ...and... by him actions are WEIGHED"
Hannah's cry was one of desperation before God and God remembered his handmaid and looked upon her! Granting her request and petition...
"David's song of thanksgiving"
Another timely classic offered up to God by David after he finally knew rest from war and from the hand of king Saul his nemesis!
" The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliver. The God of my rock; in him will i trust: He is my shield and and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour"
He goes on in song to say many incredible things!
" Then the earth shook and trembled, there went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth. He bowed the heavens and came down and rode upon a cherub and did fly. The Lord thunderd from heaven and the most high uttered his voice! The channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils" ! Whoa
" Nehemiah prays for Israel "
Nehemiah was a great statesman and warrior for the God of Israel and upon the realization of her captivity, affliction, and her reproach and how the city lay in ruins with the gates burning! Nehemiah Was moved into mourning and embarked on a fast before the God of heaven! And prayed accordingly "I bessech thee, O God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and OBSERVE his commands. Let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, that you may hear the prayer of your servant ... which i pray before you"!
The rest is history and very well documented!
Nehemiah in spite of sanballat's and tobiah's constant opposition prevailed to finish the work of God with both the wall and the gates rebuilt and constructed (Blessed be the God Of heaven)! Is there not a God in heaven? And who can stay his hand! Who can resist his mighty power! Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord
"The Song Of Moses"
A classic of classics uttered in response to victory over King pharaoh and his egyptian army!
Then sang Moses and children of Israel this song
"I will sing unto the lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: The horse and rider hath he thrown into the sea" The Lord is a man of War: THE LORD IS HIS NAME! And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered and the floods stood upright - in the heart of the sea. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? The Lord shall reign for ever and ever. The rest is well known and recorded in history!
Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron took a timbel in hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. Wow!
"Daniel's prayer of confession"
Daniel was very contemplative before the Lord of hosts one day and understood by books the number of the years, whereof of the word of the Lord came by the mouth of Jeremiah the prophet saying he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jersusalem. And so set his face to seek the Lord God by prayer in supplications, and fastings, with sackcloth, and ashes! He confesses Sin and iniquity, and acknowledges they have done wickedly and rebelled in departing from precepts and Judgments. He goes on to say further "We have failed to listen to the prophets which spoke in his name - to the kings and princes, the fathers, and to all the people of the land! and He goes on to say many things in his prayer! But in verse 13 he says " As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil has come upon us, yet made we NOT our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from iniquities, and UNDERSTAND Thy truth! therefore has the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us! You can read the rest of the prayer in it's entirety in Daniel chapter ten. But one thing is for sure and that is These men knew how to lay hold of God in prayer! and to lay hold of "The horns of the altar" - like Jacob saying "I will NOT let you GO until you give me a blessing!
There are many other such like great prayers contained in the Word of God! Such as Ezra and Elijah when he prayed that Israel had forsaken the Lord (and he alone) stood as faithful! To John's disciples being such men of prayer that it prompted Christ's disciples to say Lord teach us to pray like John's disciples...
To the great (prayer dedication) offered by Solomon when the temple was complete. To the many psalmists' and authors down through the church ages! Which are too numerous to catalogue! To the master himself (Jesus) who prayed the most compelling and revealing prayer of all! Giving us a wonderful glimpse and insight into his OWN prayer life! Being one that retreated to mountains and wilderness areas. In order to spend "all night" in prayer - to the father!
Finally i would like to finish with a prayer God gave to me this morning! And this is, to be in no way sounding my "own trumpet" I write down prayers to guide me when struggling to pray. Or lacking utterance or given to distraction. It helps keep the mind centred! And i share this as a model prayer (And that is all) Jesus gave the Lord's prayer as a model prayer to help "kick start" (as it were) the disciples in their own "prayer life" with the father. I do not consider myself to be a great prayer! That is compared to other (prayers prayed) on platforms, stages and podiums. So having said that i hope you understand where im coming from. Now i found these words "coming to me" this morning and so i took pen to paper and wrote! "Father in the name of your Son Jesus i approach you this day through the vail entering in - by the holy of holies...to petition and make request. For so an entrance has been given unto me. I thank you father of heaven that you know our needs ... before i ask! And if we ask anything according to your will, we know we have the petitions desired of you. Righteous father it is your good pleasure to give us the kingdom and make good on all your promises! Magnifying your word above all thy name!
I count you faithful this day and trust in your eternal providence. Forgive us Lord! forgive us our tresspasses - wash us clean - wash us clean by the washing of water, by the word. We commit ourselves to you as unto a faithful creator and trust in the everlasting arms. Go before us, as a shield and a buckler! With a strong hand and an outstretched arm. Direct our hearts in all will-of-God. That we might know the unsearchable riches of Christ being partakers of the divine nature And of the inheritance of the saints in the light. We wait in hope and promise of the resurrection and full redemption of the body! Quicken us Lord by the word of truth that we should be a firstfruits of your creatures! knowing every good gift and every perfect gift proceeds from ABOVE according to the good pleasures which you have purposed in yourself! We hold fast to the integrity of your word in full assurance of Faith - until the day dawn, and the day star arise in our hearts! Amen!
In closing here are some well known texts to stir up our minds by way of remembrance brethren!
~~ Men ought always to pray and faint not
~~ WATCH AND PRAY, LEST YOU FALL INTO TEMPTAION
~~ Be instant in prayers
~~ PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
~~ Brethren PRAY for us
~~ Pray that the word would have free course
~~ I will that men pray everywhere
~~ Effectual prayers prevail much
~~ CONFESS YOUR FAULTS AND PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER
~~ I exhort therefore first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men, for kings and for all that are in authority, that we might live a quiet and peacable life in all godliness and honesty.