[b]In this manner, therefore, pray...[/b]
by Greg Gordon
I would like to take a look into three vital principles on prayer that have been lost in our generation and it is necessary to see them revived into our prayer life's with God. The three principles are as follows:
We are to pray with a sense urgency
We are to pray believing that it is effectual
We are to pray persisitenly
We are to pray with a sense urgency - God has reminded me of an quote from a book by Chuck Smith which says: "Today, we are living in desperate times. Yet, the Church is not desperate before God in prayer." If anyone looks at the state of the world and of our lives in the light of scripture and church history there definetly is something wrong. We are not living with a sense of urgency for the lost, for our lifes to be radically devoted to God, and for God's kingdom to come to this earth. When our Lord Jesus prayed the words: "Thy Kingdom come." They were not words that were placid but rather they were a fervent desiring of this thing to actually happen and for the words just prayed to actually move that reality closer.
Prior to the welsh revival outbreak in 1904 God was moving and speaking to many hearts. One of those hearts was of mr Jenkins in Wales. Here is an account of this preacher: "The Rev. Joseph Jenkins had been deeply concerned about the lack of annointing in his own preaching, which compelled him to desperately seek a deeper life in Christ. Andrew Murray's book, 'With Christ in the School of Prayer' came into his possession and moved him greatly at this time. He became increasingly burdened by the indifference among the Christians around him and the apathy of the young people in his own church. He exhorted them earnestly to obey the Spirit." This preacher caught the urgency of the hour and condition of the church. This burden and urgency needs to have its outlet in prayer, praying earnestly for the moving of God's spirit.
This hunger to pray for God's working in our hearts and in the life's of others really needs to be practiced. Personally the Lord has given me these two prayers as my own heart's cry for this reality to happen: "Teach us to be praying men." and the prayer, "Kindle the altar of prayer again Lord." Oh for a praying church, urgent to see God move on behalf of man. "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." (Ezekiel 22:30) Do you sense the urgency of the hour?
We are to pray believing that it is effectual - "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that dilgently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6). Does that smart? are you seeing answers to prayer? or are you not "dilgently" seeking Him? Jesus gives the edict out to his disciples, seek, knock, ask and ye shall! Not you might, but "ye shall." What comfort that gives us that we serve a God that if we call out to Him; He will hear and answer. God is waiting for His church to call upon Him with faith, believing that He will answer and effectual work on behalf of the prayers of the church. God has not left the church to work on its own but rather that we are to depend wholly on Him and that dependence is to be through the agent of prayer in the life of the church.
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. and he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit." (James 5:16-18). In simple venacular it was said that Elijah was just like us in every aspect and if we pray we can have the same results as Elijah. Notice that the prayers of the righteous man availath much, not the prayers of the backslidden Christian or the unbeliever. Praying "fervently" shows to God that the prayers and things prayed for matter to us and that we believe they can be answered. To show affection and emotion in prayer is somewhat required if we are looking to this text as our guidemap to effect, effectual prayer. Ah for one hundred praying elijah's again to shake a city and for God to be glorified. Are we just seeking for prayer that avails or avails much? Aren't we criminal brethren having such a small conception of what God can and wants to do in our generation. Oh Lord allow our praying to be effectual!
We are to pray persisitenly - The radically sold out brother Singh in india declared many years ago to an sleepy church: "Some people become tired at the end of ten minutes or half an hour of prayer. What will they do when they have to spend Eternity in the prescence of God? We must begin the habit here and become used to being with God." And Herein is where the reading stops and we "go forward on our knees." May God give each one that reads this an sense of the divine responsibility to pray aright and fully as which pleases God.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon