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SeanHobson
Member



Joined: 2005/12/9
Posts: 150
Cleveland, OH

 Re:

I have read E.M. Bounds power through prayer book twice, and he has a chapter especially on this subject, which I think was quoted twice. What once sparked a zeal in me to do likewise only adds guilt now.


But I am astonished brethern. I literally just posted this [i]last night[/i] and look wealth of profitable responses! Give me time to digest these things, and I will respond shortly.

Until then, thank you all for stopping in and sharing,

Sean M. Hobson


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Sean Hobson

 2007/8/7 17:58Profile
Spitfire
Member



Joined: 2004/8/3
Posts: 633


 Re: A Word For Sean

Hi Sean. I have a word for you and I have decided to post it here, publicly, because I believe it is what the Lord has instructed me to do.

I awoke very early this morning and you immediately came to my mind. I wasn't praying for you, I was just thinking about you and this thread that you started a few days ago with a question to the saints here on SI.

As I lay there, God spoke to me. He told me to share with you publicly, here on this thread, something which I believe is a huge revelation in God's word that is overlooked quite often.

Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."

Love what? Death or life. You, Sean, love life. You, Sean, are seeking God. You, Sean, want to eat the fruit of life, so you need to understand where that life is hidden. It's in your tongue.

About 3 years ago, I had already come to SI, but God had really turned up the heat in showing me how far I was from his kingdom, so much of my time spent listening to the sermons I found here sent me to the dust. I had become quite agonized and had begun to arise as early as I could drag myself out of bed to pray. Then, I had a revelation which changed my life forever. I already knew that I was far, far from what God wanted me to be. I could see it quite clearly and I was feeling a bit hopeless that things could ever really change, because I had tried to change, but nothing was happening. Then, I had this revelation.

Somehow, and I guess it was God's mercy, I began to realize that I had the power to call those things that are not as though they were. Romans 4:17 says that God "calls those things which be not as though they were."

One thing I started to do was tell the Lord in prayer that I love him more than anything. I did it prophetically. I was calling it forth with my own tongue. I knew in my heart that it wasn't the present fact, but I wanted it to become the fact, so I said it, out loud, in prayer. As I proceeded in this way, over time, a ferver began in me. I began to wail when I would pray. I would scream and cry and tell God, "I love you more than anything! You are my life! My breath! I can't breath without you God! I would rather be dead than not know you! If I can't know you, Lord, then kill me now! Just let me love you, Lord! I love you more than anything! Help me, Oh God!"

Sean, it's working. I'm beginning to really love God, and strangely enough, I'm beginning to love other people ;-) . You are one of them. Dian.

 2007/8/10 6:30Profile
SeanHobson
Member



Joined: 2005/12/9
Posts: 150
Cleveland, OH

 Re:

Brethren,

I want to thank you all again for the wisdom that was given from your experiences in this area of walking with Christ. All of you were completely honest and blunt when necessary, and I appreciate that. I created this thread only two days before I had to depart for a trip to Phoenix, Arizona, so that’s [i]partly[/i] why I’ve yet to respond till now.

Brother Iron Man: I admire your self-searching; God should not have to follow a ‘scheduled’ time to have his children get up and intercede. He ought to have the right to dictate when and why his servants pray. However, he demands from me individually that my mornings be a set time for prayer and reading the scriptures. Thank you for the wisdom concerning intentions.

Brother PaulWest: I agree with your words, but I find no strength to perform them. It is true that those who rely on old manna won’t last long, and that I cannot get the same refreshment from a secondary source. But I am pathetically weak when it comes to killing my flesh. I can check it here and there, but it as if when I battle to stay awake I don’t think reasonably. I thank you for the admonishment and will attempt to apply it.

Brother Mike: I really appreciate the analogies Mike. I also entertained the thought of going to a gym first and then doing devotions, but I ran into the problem that my school’s gym doesn’t open till 6am. But in a way I did try this; when I was in phoenix I woke up early and hiked with friends before I prayed—and I was no longer sleepy. I also, however, couldn’t focus when I attempted prayer afterwards. I will try to listen to a sermon or audio scriptures first tomorrow and see how that helps. But it just goes to show there are no specific rules with this type of thing, but I hope to consistency follow a unique regimen as soon as possible. Thank you for the practical tips.

Sister Talkn2u: I can’t imagine what it must have been like trying to raise children and maintain an early morning devotional life. I could study the bible for hours when I had no other responsibilities, but now that school and other things abound I find my devotional time for Jesus challenged, and for some reason my desire to know him has withered away. I also am awakened every morning, but because I don’t desire to know him as you do—I stay in bed. But I covet the express joy that permeates your post, and hopefully reading it multiple times will drive me to the love for Christ’s presence you have. Thank you for the testimony.


_________________
Sean Hobson

 2007/8/26 15:03Profile
SeanHobson
Member



Joined: 2005/12/9
Posts: 150
Cleveland, OH

 Re:

Brother Deathtoself: If I may, I will from hence answer your words in the order you answered mine.

Quote:
For a season, the Lord allowed me to return to bed so I would spend a couple of hours in prayer and the scriptures and then take a short nap before I had to go work. It was a wonderful season of time. Those days are behind me and if I don't pray and read the scriptures when He directs it, there's no time to do it. The walk is progressive and Jesus has been extraordinarily kind to me but has forced me to become more disciplined.



May I purpose a question? How do you stay awake? Even in prayer (as you mentioned) I am so sleepy I just repeat myself and when I read I understand nothing. Eventually I get tired of fighting and just go back to sleep. How did you prevent this? I’ve already tried splashing water on my face or taking a shower.

Quote:
There have been times when I've been lax and the Lord has made life so dry and barren that I can't live without time in prayer and the scriptures. Whenever I've tried to make it about how I feel, it's been difficult but the Lord wants my eyes to be upon Him.



I know what you mean brother! I am indescribably dry and barren and I wonder how I continue to live on spiritually. But are you submitting that to remain disciplined is to fear the leanness God sends in his children’s soul when they forsake his company?

Quote:
It means that you go to bed when the Lord orders and don't have visitors over unless He directs. If my life is no longer my own, I can't be the decision-maker and the controller of my life.



Very, Very good advice brother. Thank you for sharing this. I often feel as if I’ve sinned if I don’t entertain the visitors company. I now know I was mistaken, and God has the right to demand my time even if it conflicts with another’s.

Quote:
It's been a real blessing. Without my daily manna, it doesn't take long to starve. It was not some great accomplishment because the Holy Spirit orders it and gives me the strength to make it through oftentimes in the midst of weakness. Blessings to you Sean, the Lord Jesus loves to order our time with Him. He is faithful to do in your heart. I'm excited to see what Jesus is going to do...



I covet your humble disposition and walk with the Lord right now. I also am excited about what The Holy Spirit would do if only I might spend time with him. He is able to keep me, and of a truth, he wakes me up every morning, but I suppose the problem lies (as before) in my willing to stay up. Thank you for the experienced advice brother.


_________________
Sean Hobson

 2007/8/26 15:06Profile
SeanHobson
Member



Joined: 2005/12/9
Posts: 150
Cleveland, OH

 Re:

Sister Diane: I knew not that ye had responded with another post. It wasn’t until Linn notified me that I got a chance to read it. I sincerely thank you for the encouragement. I also have experiences where I wake up in the middle of the night, but I never “feel” the Holy Spirit moving me to pray—I just feel sleepy. If I do pray, I do it because I know I ought to, and they are very short and lifeless prayers.

I am speechless concerning your most recent response sister. To be honest, I don’t quite know the exact meaning of the verse you quoted. I have heard so many misuse it to support the doctrine of ‘speaking things into existence’ (usually prosperity or good events in their lives) that I have serious doubts concerning speaking myself into greater love for Christ. Yea and what’s worse is that I’ve done as you have sister. I’ve made vows to God about my life, career goals, dress, and especially devotional time and broke them ALL. Its just lip service with me and I don’t want to add to my condemnation. But I know you mean only the best and I don’t have words sufficient to thank you equal to the loving help you’ve offered me. If I ever do get victory over this sin—you will be the first to get a PM. Thank you for the beautiful song.

Many thanks to all who responded hitherto. I am still sleeping over, but I’m going to try the alarm clock again, as well as listening to a sermon first.

God help us all


_________________
Sean Hobson

 2007/8/26 15:09Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
But it just goes to show there are no specific rules with this type of thing...

I’ve made vows to God about my life, career goals, dress, and especially devotional time and broke them ALL. Its just lip service with me and I don’t want to add to my condemnation.



You know, often in the forum here we do our best to give only the information and testimonies we believe has led to our successes, discarding anything that has led to failure. It's an unconscious filter we apply to our testimonies, but one that perhaps leaves out the information that would be most helpful.

The bottom line is that discipline, for me at least, is not an effortless habit but a battle of gaining ground, losing ground, and then surging forward again. If we are honest...we are ever balancing ratios in our lives. For instance, we might notice spiritual areas that need tending to and so we surge forward in prayer, bible study, and the like...but soon find our work duties need increased focus. So we turn our attention to learn more about project management, take on a second job, or spend extra time getting our heads around some new piece of software for a couple of weeks, all the while still mindful of holding ground on our spiritual fronts. Perhaps it's not too long afterwards we begin to notice that all of this intellectual and spiritual activity is leaving our bodies flabby and unenergetic so we begin a program of physical fitness. Perhaps with enough discipline and focus you manage to achieve results in all three of these areas, but to your dismay you realize your valient efforts have made you a totally self-absorbed person, working from morning to night on self-maintenance...leaving nothing for other people, including your own family.

Arrggg! Brother, I've learned to see God's grace reflected in the seasons. Not every day offers the same ratio of warm sunshine, and not everyday offers the same volume of refreshing rain. Indeed, if it weren't for the biting cold to come around every year, the old deseases and germs wouldn't be killed off and spring wouldn't be fresh but stagnant. Seasons take time to work through...they do not cycle every single day but over periods of time. Once you are in summer you may feel tempted to believe you will always be in summer, and to become quite intolerant of those who are in winter. Yet I believe the seasons reflect the Lord's patient renewal, just as all of creation reflects something about the Creator.

What I am saying is to not get caught up in daily regiment, which requires more then character, but also fortunate cirucumstance. Financial instability, extra duties, and sickness are only a few of the external factors that can bring winter upon you...do not imagine the Lord will leave you in these times! Daily regiment is not the greatest evidence of maturity, but growing in love perhaps is.

And if you feel compelled to seek God just to avoid condemnation, then prepare yourself for a long loveless road of failure and frustration. In my experience, Christians who feel they must be in summer all their lives are not under grace, but under the law...and under a heavy burdensome misconception.

Another analogy: to avoid mistakes and reduce inefficiencies, our small business is beginning a process documentation project, to help distribute the best processes and procedures. So, in my typical fashion, I began by trying to find the best examples of Operations Manuals to learn from. I asked a trusted friend "Have you ever come across an operations manual that was so complete and well written that it anticipated every possible mistake and helped the employees all work from the same perspective consistently?" He answered without hesitation, "Yes. It's called the bible and even it is full of grace." Point taken...business can be boiled down to processes buttoned together by people with vaying personalities and dispositions...success is not just the processes themselves. Relationships, whether business, or spiritual, human or divine, are still based on trust. Yet, we saints can sometimes emphasize spiritual principles and processes to the point where we have a hard time simply trusting the Lord.

I'm not discouraging your "Prayer Process Implementation Procedure"...I am only reminding you that Jesus promised he will never forsake you or leave you. Sure, if there is something in your character that needs work, he is working on your behalf...you can trust in him. And if you miss your morning devotionals and prayer because you were were up all night studying or meeting a deadline, then feel free to look for time elsewhere to meet with the Lord.

I know some here may be wary of my advice...but I give such grace to my own spouse and children, because I know they still need my support even when their duties keep them from spending regular family time. I do not expect the relationship I have with any of them to be the same 10 years from now. At times we luxeriate in hours of fellowship, and at other times we chat briefly to each other before heading out the door in the morning. Yet never once do they feel my condemnation...I know they are all working hard! How is it that the Lord would have less grace towards his children and bride then me?

And one day, after passing through the fire or through the flood of trials, you find a rich prayer life, don't become tempted to believe you have mastered yourself, and start writing new laws for other weaker saints to follow. Just be thankful that the Lord has brought you to a wealthy place and luxeriate in His fellowship.

Blessings,

MC




_________________
Mike Compton

 2007/8/26 16:51Profile
BeYeDoers
Member



Joined: 2005/11/17
Posts: 370
Bloomington, IN

 Re:

David Wilkerson tells the story of when he was younger, he would wrestle with this issue often. All the great men of faith always seemed to pray in the morning, but he was a night owl as well, as often a full day's worth of preaching would keep him up till midnight or 2am. While fighting God in prayer between these hours asking why he couldn't seem to wake up early and pray, he heard God say, "How much earlier do you want it? It's 2am!!"

I must confess, however, that I too have struggled for several years to pray early. Bro. Wilkerson apparently had better control over the flesh than I do, and seems to me that I could avoid much folly and trouble if I would only start the day with prayer. My flesh and the devil always seem to get the better of me. Either my mind wanders to the end of the earth and back, or I succomb to sleep. This indeed has been one of the biggest struggles of my Christian life. I too, Sean, have tried many "methods" to get up, but alas, I fail. God help me!


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Denver McDaniel

 2007/8/26 16:56Profile









 Re: And in the morning, rising up a great while before day…


Good morning, Sean,

I have one word for you with regard to your sense of failure in the task you have set yourself... and that is [i]don't wallow[/i] in your failure when you fail.

Take a soldierly attitude to the command you feel in your spirit, and if you only get out of bed for a few minutes, and present yourself in God's presence for His ministrations [i]immediately[/i] your alarm goes off, it is all good practice for a more gruelling war. You will grow. God will see to it.

Now, you need to invite God to work His death in you more actively, and gird up the loins of your mind like a man, and [i]practise[/i] getting up.

 2007/8/27 8:47
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
don't wallow in your failure when you fail



Amen




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Mike Compton

 2007/8/27 10:08Profile
death2self
Member



Joined: 2006/9/28
Posts: 192
Washington DC area

 Re:

Quote:
May I purpose a question? How do you stay awake? Even in prayer (as you mentioned) I am so sleepy I just repeat myself and when I read I understand nothing. Eventually I get tired of fighting and just go back to sleep. How did you prevent this?

Hi Sean, great to hear from you. How does one stay awake? I don't have a pat answer for you. When I started out, I felt weird and helpless, and oftentimes (and sometimes still do) fell asleep. It seemed as if nothing was happening.

I would encourage you to press on regardless of how you may feel and to simply be honest with the Lord, as you have been here. Lord I'm in your presence but it seems as if nothing is happening and your word is dry. What will it take to change this in my heart and have your word quicken in my heart?

I would honestly confess this and ask the Lord to do whatever He needs to do to change this. If you don't know what to pray, simply acknowledge that. I know that reading the scriptures in the presence of God is precious and oftentimes I read the Psalms aloud in my closet. It's a good place to start.

The first lie that Satan will tell you when you begin to seek Jesus in the prayer closet is that nothing is happening, so why don't you just back to bed. I believed that lie for a time, so I would encourage you to keep pressing in...

Quote:
I know what you mean brother! I am indescribably dry and barren and I wonder how I continue to live on spiritually. But are you submitting that to remain disciplined is to fear the leanness God sends in his children’s soul when they forsake his company?

There are many scriptures that show God pulls away to see what is in our hearts. Jesus wants to us to seek Him with wholeheartedly. I don't fear the leanness but it's quite painful but don't want to grieve his Holy Spirit. The leanness comes so that we will seek Jesus with a wholeheartedness.

Blessings to you brother, I'm excited to see what Jesus is orchestrating in your heart and life. He is with you my friend...


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Ed Pugh

 2007/8/27 13:53Profile





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