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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Prayer is NOT the answer!!

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ceedub
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Joined: 2009/5/1
Posts: 215
Canada

 Re:

Dan 10:11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: [b]for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard[/b] , and I am come for thy words.

Theology and practice?

Encouraging that Daniel is told 'from the first day...'.

 2009/8/2 18:30Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
I hope more people will share in this thread because this is an important subject. I remember praying like a machine gun, it was just words shooting off in the air, hoping God will hear me for my much speaking. And there I was doing what was expected of me as a young Pentecostal and praying to an intelligent God. That kind of praying is not the answer.


I remember a number of years ago praying fervently with faith that God would use me like he used Smith Wigglesworth. I had no idea of what brokeness was, had no inclination of the uncrucified dynamic of self still vibrant within me. I prayed and prayed for the gifts; I wept and beat my hands against the floor in desperation for the Lord of hear my prayer. Make no mistake - I was praying with all the faith I could muster, pleading and reminding God of Jesus' promise: "Anything you ask in My Name, I will do"

I have since learnt a thing or two by the grace of God. Prayer is not just speaking to the Lord as you correctly say - that is easy to do. Just get all stirred up by listening to some music and you can get "in the flow" and the words will just come bubbling out of your mouth. But I have found that [i]hearing[/i] from God is much more profitable in prayer than speaking in fervency. Mary at the feet of Jesus was not importuning Him and interrupting Him with all sorts of requests and dialogues and questions; the Bible says she was at His feet [i]listening.[/i]

We should know how to "tell Jesus all of our troubles", and take solace in the fact that God knows what we need even before we tell Him, but more importantly we need to hear what He would tell us and speak into our hearts [i]after[/i] we've told Him all our problems and requests. We are changed by His Word [i]entering[/i] our tabernacle, and not by our word leaving. If the Lord were to enter my home tonight incorporeal, I doubt I would ask many questions or beg Him for answers and gifts. I would be at His feet listning to every single Word that came from His mouth concerning me and my walk with God. He is the Master, I am the servant. He is Eternal from above, I am a vapor, fashioned from the dust of the earth. I should let my words be very few!

99% of our dialogue should be listening. All throughout the day we can "pray without ceasing" in our hearts, silent before Him...and, as Poonen says, ceaseless prayer should be as natural as breathing. [i]Listening[/i] to God, however, is a different thing; it is a skill that must be practiced and learnt - it doesn't come as natural, yet it is indispensible if we are to grow.

I certainly do not speak as one having arrived - but I acknowledge the vital necessity of acquiring this skill. To me, it's like finding a pulse in someone's wrist. Once you detect it, you need to be careful not to move the position. Once we begin hearing God speaking into our hearts and transforming us, we should remember where we were spiritually when we first detected it. Invariably, I find these wonderful times coinciding with my conscience being right with God, being right my wife and my neighbor and walking with an inward humility and an honest desire to know God's will for my life - no matter what the cost to self is.


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Paul Frederick West

 2009/8/2 18:44Profile
JoanM
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Joined: 2008/4/7
Posts: 797


 Re: Prayer


QUOTE: “If we could just hear one word from God our lives would never be the same. Hearing God is like the red sea parting, there is no question that God hath spoken.” AMEN TO THAT! Someone asked a question at the Barnsdall conference regarding the difference between hearing God's Word, or from God, and believing/following in obedience and the hearing from God that sounds like what you are speaking about, that settles/changes/finishes everything. [b][u]Do you know more about this Deepthinker? Does anyone?[/b][/u]?

QUOTE:“I had a professor at Seminary...DS Whitney who said something like this "the most important thing you can do is not pray but rather read your bible. For it's much more important that you hear from God than it is for him to hear from you."

Learning personally the relationship between scripture and prayer and praying what is brought to mind, stands out (Holy Spirit guiding, teaching, inspiring) is like speaking His language. Communication improves. faith grows, and much else.

QUOTE: Living “ by every word that proceedeth out of of the mouth of God." You don't have to pray very long before you learn directly how God changes you (heart, mind, concerns, etc.), as your prayer life continues, grows you up in the communion of prayer.

[Addition] Thank you Paul. I consider these things as SO important. Found gold to last a lifetime. And probably carry us into eternity.

[Addition #2] I just love it! I can not resist posting on this thread a quote from a thread just above this this thread on the home page (revelation of God's Word?) QUOTE: "I'm paraphrasing I think Dwight Moody when he was asked which is more important: Reading the scriptures (objective life) or prayer (subjective life). He answered with his own question, "Which is more important to a bird, his right wing or his left wing?" The poster was making a slightly different point, but I like what Moody said.

 2009/8/2 19:39Profile









 Re: Ribbon of Blood


To Paul West:

Paul posted:

Quote:
[b] All of us are given a measure of faith; Cain had faith as did Abel. When we read the scripture carefully, we find that God rejected Cain first and as a result his offering was rejected. It was not Cain's faith or gift that was the problem - it was Cain himself. Something was wrong within, deep in the heart. It's the same principle the Lord gave with a believer going to the altar in good faith with his gift and having it rejected on the basis of not being reconciled with his brother.

[/b]

[color=990000][b]Paul, I do agree with your post, but I would hold that what was wrong within Cain, deep in his heart, was his disobedience to the requirements of God. The prophets in the Bible were given revelation and commands from God. These were messages to be preached, heeded and written down. Truths revealed to earlier prophets were building blocks which later prophecies confirmed and upon which they built. From the beginning to the end of God's revelation to mankind, a ribbon of blood runs throughout it. The theme of blood atonement is presented as the answer to sin and the way to salvation, from the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden, to the culmination in the New Testament, when Jesus Christ came as the once and for all sacrifice, to die on the cross for all of mankind.[/color][/b]

[b]ADAM & EVE[/b] (Genesis 2 and 3)
When God made Adam and Eve, he put them in a perfect garden. But Adam and Eve disobeyed God's instructions. Immediately after eating the fruit, they both realized that they were naked, "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." (Genesis 3:7)[color=990000][b] But God didn't see this as adequate. " Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21) Where did he get these from? Can an animal live without his skin? Since we know that sin brought death, it is not fair to reason that animals were killed so that the shame of Adam and Eve could be covered?[/color][/b] God also expelled them from the garden. At this time God told Adam and Eve the consequences of their actions, one of which was physical death. To the serpent, who tempted them, he said, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed (Women do not have seed, men have seed); it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15)

Here God promises that the power of Satan will be crushed through the seed of the woman. How will this happen? Has God given us further instructions concerning this? Yes, he has!

[b]CAIN AND ABEL (Genesis 4)[/b]

God begins to reveal the answer when Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to God. In (Genesis 4:3-7) it says, " And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. "

[color=990000][b]Why did God accept Abel's offering but not Cain's? In God's reply to Cain we find the answer to this question. God had obviously given clear instructions to Cain and Abel concerning what type of sacrifice needed to be offered. Abel brought the correct sacrifice which was an animal from the first-born of the flock. Cain did not bring the correct sacrifice. Cain brought a sacrifice of his own choosing instead of the sacrifice that pleased God. In the Bible it says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.." (Proverbs 14:12) "By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead." (Hebrews 11:4) A sober warning is also given to those who take the way of Cain. Because of his pride, he rejected God's authority and offered an unacceptable sacrifice.

We have learned that mankind has sinned against God and brought him shame by disobeying His commands. This sin must be paid for to satisfy God's righteous anger and uphold his justice. God says, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4b) and "The wages of sin is death . . . ." (Romans 6:23) Is sacrifice still required today? Does it still satisfy the righteous anger of God? Is there still a purpose in sacrifice? If so, what are the requirements for sacrifice, and what does it accomplish?[/color][/b]

[b]NOAH (Genesis 5:28-9:29) [/b]

After many years had passed men became very wicked and mocked God. This grieved God very much. But before God sent the flood upon the earth to destroy mankind, he told Noah,
2. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by SEVENS, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 3. Of fowls also of the air by SEVENS, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
(Genesis 7:2-3)

After Noah came out of the ark he sacrificed some of the clean animals to the LORD. "The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: 'Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done."

[color=990000][b]So we see again that animal sacrifice was a part of God's plan and was pleasing to him when the heart of the worshipper was full of reverence for God. [/color][/b]

[b]JOB[/b]

Job is described as a righteous man, " There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil" (Job 1:1) Job offered animal sacrifices to God on behalf of his sons and daughters, TO SANCTIFY THEM " and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. [u] “ This was Job's regular custom." (Job 1:5)[/u]

[color=990000][b]It is clear that this was not simply an offering showing his devotion to God, but that this was done because of an awareness of sin, and God’s requirement for an animal sacrifice to stay God's just anger against sin.[/color][/b]

ABRAHAM (Genesis 12 - 25:12)

One day God told Abraham to go up into the mountain and to sacrifice his son. When they arrived at the place of sacrifice, his son asked him where the sacrifice was. Abraham told him that God would supply the sacrifice. Then he tied his son to the altar. When he was ready to sacrifice him, the angel of the Lord called out to him and told him to stop. Abraham looked and saw a ram caught in the thicket. He took this ram and sacrificed it to the Lord. God had provided a substitute to take the place of the son that was to die. Instead the ram died and the son lived. God had sent a substitute to take the place of the condemned. ( Genesis 22).
As a result of Abraham's obedience and trust in God, God promised him, " '....through your offspring all nations on the earth will be blessed....' " (Genesis 22:18) Who is this offspring who God promised would be a blessing to all nations?

[color=990000][b]What was lacking in Cain? His obedience and trust in God![/color][/b]

Sincerely,

Walter


 2009/8/2 22:52









 Re:

This thread was going very well until "someone" got off topic. Please stay on topic. Thank you.

 2009/8/3 21:20
Lordoitagain
Member



Joined: 2008/5/23
Posts: 600
Monroe, LA - USA

 Re: Prayer is NOT the answer!!

Quote:
Prayer is NOT the answer!!



Hmmmm . . . how deeply are we thinking here?

If something is not needed from God, then truly, prayer is not the answer.

If you need money, work is the answer.

If you need education, school is the answer.

If you need a good social club, good organization is the answer.

If you need something that man cannot do . . .

Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Mat 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.


Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the reason that the phrase "Prayer IS the answer" came into being is that it is usually at the bottom of the list of priorities for most people?

I agree wholeheartedly with much of what has been written in this thread. Many other things can be missing within an individual that can make "fervent" prayer as useless as the reading of prayers that so offended John Bunyan and others throughout church history.

If faith is missing, faith must accompany prayer.
If obedience is missing, obedience must accompany prayer.
If listening to God is missing, listening must accompany prayer.

The trouble with most of our watered-down Christianity is that genuine prayer is missing. Most of us have not lived through situations where continuously, ONLY a supernatural act of God will work in that which perplexes us; therefore, prayer ends up taking a lower rung on our ladder of priorities.

Paul exorted that it is the FIRST priority:

1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.


If all of the unreached people groups on the planet have been reached with the gospel, then don't worry about

"...The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." Mat 9:37-38


In that case, "Prayer is NOT the answer!! . . . the harvest is already reached and reaped. There is no need for labourers to be sent out.


I don't know how it is where you live, but if all of your neighbors and family members have already come under heavy conviction for sin and truly repented, then truly "Prayer is NOT the answer!!"

If our focus is on ourselves, and OUR personal needs . . .


Quote:
We should know how to "tell Jesus all of our troubles", and take solace in the fact that God knows what we need even before we tell Him, but more importantly we need to hear what He would tell us and speak into our hearts after we've told Him all our problems and requests.




Quote:
You see, What are my words? "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." God is still speaking today. Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear let him hear". Hearing is far better than me talking. God knows what I have need of before I even utter a word, but I don't know what God knows before He speaks to me, thus It's more important to hear than it is to speak. If we could just hear one word from God our lives would never be the same. Hearing God is like the red sea parting, there is no question that God hath spoken.



God longs for his children to mature to the place where our own personal spiritual livlihood is NOT the focus of our prayers, but we are crying out to Him because of the needs in the lives of OTHER PEOPLE!

If the purpose of prayer is self-centered, then truly "Prayer is NOT the answer!!"

If in our hearts, "the end of all being is the glory of God", and our hearts ache within us because He is not glorified by ALL of his creation, then Prayer IS the answer!! And that kind of praying brings glory to God and pleases Him greatly:

Psa 107:8 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psa 107:15 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psa 107:21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psa 107:31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!


Can you feel that yearning within yourself for all men to glorify our God who is SO worthy? Can that yearning within keep you before God's throne petitioning for others?


_________________
Michael Strickland

 2009/8/4 1:15Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4496


 Re:

Quote:

DeepThinker wrote:
This thread was going very well until "someone" got off topic. Please stay on topic. Thank you.



How's this?

In a world that is rapidly going to Hell with a population that is increasingly forgetting about the Creator of all things, prayer is much-needed.

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2009/8/4 1:31Profile
Lordoitagain
Member



Joined: 2008/5/23
Posts: 600
Monroe, LA - USA

 Re:

Quote:
The trouble with most of our watered-down Christianity is that genuine prayer is missing. Most of us have not lived through situations where continuously, ONLY a supernatural act of God will work in that which perplexes us; therefore, prayer ends up taking a lower rung on our ladder of priorities.



The reason that I wrote this is that for a little over a year now, I have had the privilege of laboring for the Lord amongst people whose entire lives have been filled with obstacles where ONLY a supernatural work of God could move their situations. They have lived in extreme poverty most of their lives, and when they simply pray “give us this day our daily bread”, they realize that it will only be an act of God that brings that about. They testify over and over again of dangerous situations of thieves, murderers, kidnappers etc., and of narrow escapes from death where they HAD TO HAVE a miracle.

Moving beyond their need for an act of God in their personal lives, the places where they came from are often filled with witchcraft and satan worship, and the ONLY way to evangelize people is to pray until the “spiritual wickedness in high places” is cast down, and the hearts of people can be touched by the gospel.

Their faith CAUSES THEM to pray! Because they KNOW that God will answer prayer, they spend hours in His presence appealing for his grace to be manifested one more time. Again and again they see God work! One such brother is a little short Honduran who is constantly in prayer. He has told me of such situations where in Guatemala he attended a church where groups of people are praying and fasting 24/7. A group from the church attended a funeral where they gathered around the casket and prayed for about 30 minutes, and the dead lady came alive.

The man telling about this didn’t even know how to read in Spanish until after God saved him (around age 20), and he started trying to read the Bible. Most of those people are very poor, unlearned, almost “primitive” people, but they pray . . . and God moves.


_________________
Michael Strickland

 2009/8/4 1:53Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
God longs for his children to mature to the place where our own personal spiritual livlihood is NOT the focus of our prayers, but we are crying out to Him because of the needs in the lives of OTHER PEOPLE!


Intercession is another topic altogether. "Prayer" is comprised of multiple aspects, and one of them is certainly intercession...but intercession is not the only thing. Before we interceed for others, we need to know God, we need to know how to enter into the presence of God. There are things in our lives, burdens, unconfessed sins, hinderances that need to be be removed before effectual intercession can commence.

It is like being in an airplane. In the case of an emergency landing, oxygen masks will descend from the panel above your head. Adults should put their own masks on [i]first[/i] - and then help the children with theirs. The same with our walk with God. What good are we in prayer to a dying world and lost loved ones if our own lives are in distress? Peter says that husbands' and wives' prayers are hindered when they are unreconciled with each other.

The first thing, therefore, is to make sure [i]I'm[/i] right with God. This is not being selfish; it is doing what is entirely needful. God already knows whom we have burdens for, and whom we wish to see saved, for He put those very burdens in us. God can birth a desire in anyone to interceed for anyone He chooses, but He requires clean hands and pure hearts in those whom He has implanted the desire.
Quote:
God longs for his children to mature to the place where our own personal spiritual livlihood is NOT the focus of our prayers, but we are crying out to Him because of the needs in the lives of OTHER PEOPLE!


The focus of our prayers should be for God to transform us more and more into the image of Christ, to give us an ever-increasing knowledge of the grace of the New Covenant, and that we would be filled with virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity. Only then can be be mighty soul-winners in intercession. I've seen people with a noble obsession for soul-intercession who really had no understanding of God's ways and the New Covenant. When not praying, their lives were filled with all kinds of unrest, strife, love of money and vain worldliness. But when they get together they want to pray for the city, pray for the homeless, pray for the college kids, pray for global revival. But why is there no burden to [i]pray for ourselves,[/i] that God would kill the ungodliness in us, so we can be able vessels, meet for the Master's use in intercession, worship, etc?

Brethren, this is what's needed, and not the other way around. Intercession always for [i]self[/i] first. Paradoxically, even intercession can be selfish if you're praying for what you're wanting to see done in others, yet neglecting what God would do in you first.


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2009/8/4 9:44Profile









 Re:

Quote:
If faith is missing, faith must accompany prayer.

Indeed!

My friends do not think for a moment that I think that prayer is not important, it is. The theme of this thread is to show us that prayer alone is not the answer because we have thousands of groups worldwide that pray. Buddist Monks pray all day to what? Their prayers are in vain. Is their praying the answer for them? Certainly not. Jews pray constantly in front of a wall thinking that their prayers are heard, they are not, because they reject the only name that can save them. Is their praying the answer for them? Again no.

Prayer is still not the answer to even those that supposed to know Christ who pray through form and say the same prayers over and over again. Is their praying the answer for them? Again no, because there is no faith being exercised. Do the Buddist Monks have faith, I think they have faith but they don't have thee faith. So their prayers are always in vain.

This is what I mean by prayer not being the answer, because the faith that God requires is not being exercised.
Quote:
Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him

Jesus also said, When you pray, believe. Speaking out words is not enough, we have to believe in the God who answers prayer, otherwise it's just words being uttered in the wind.

Push away the idea if you think that I am being critical of prayer, nay I establish it. It is a holy and righteous thing to do. I am pushing back traditional thinking about prayer being the answer when in fact, it's faith in God that carries our prayer to the Father.

Faith in God is the answer. I am not a sensationalist when it comes to believing that these are the "end times" I do not believe such things, however because the majority of people do, I will say this, "When the Son of Man cometh will He find faith on the Earth?". He doesn't say, those that pray, but those that have faith, will He find it. Because when you have thee faith (which most of us do) we will pray.


Thank you PaulWest for that excellent insight in your last post. Man that was right on, it was like honey dripping down nourishment.

 2009/8/4 16:18





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