Thursday, January 9, 2014

Some labor of love is simply far more constructive and beneficial that other types of it

They labor well who choose to intercede for others with their pressing needs; cuz it's on two knees and it ain't always a breeze when true love is expressed. Some may view such a habit as a quirk to ditch, but it's a rigor the godly will pitch and not shirk.

May I ask you some questions about your spiritual temperature? Looking at your daily calendar of events over the last year and months, was prayer times injected in there in between all those other meetings and work commitments? Ain't judgin' anyone. It's just a question I like to ask myself. Did it come before all those other big things that were imperative to get done?

"If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for."  ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

"It is because of the hasty and superficial conversation with God that the sense of sin is so weak and that no motives have power to help you to hate and flee from sin as you should." ~ A.W. Tozer

Do you find that you pray more after you've been talking about prayer, or reading about it, or have been hearing someone else talk and give you some good thoughts on prayer? I do. We all reap what we sow huh, and listening to sound messages on prayer will not only benefit you and your faith, but it will benefit others as well.   
"Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. Gods voice in response to mine is its most essential part." ~ Andrew Murray

"Don't pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees." ~ Corrie Ten Boom

Ever been locked away in a prison of sorts, real or perhaps at some workplace and God was your only means of escape? And then, like He did with Corrie Ten Boom, He liberated you from it? Read her book again, "The Hiding Place" and check out her family's prayer life and faith. It was all about a two way friendship of love, not some working of beads or earning the blessings. 

"Prayer is the acid test of devotion." ~ Samuel Chadwick

"Prayer—secret, fervent, believing prayer—lies at the root of all personal godliness."  ~ Williams Carey

How good are you really? Want God to make you better as His representative in this dark world? Ask Him to. 

Do you carry a prayer list that you've made that has people's names upon it that you like to pull out from time to time during the day so that you can lift up these loved ones before God's throne?

"Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven." Ps. 107:28-30

"Prayer is not preparation for the work, it is the work." ~ Oswald Chambers

Better than preaching on or meditating upon "prayer", though these activities can indeed be very good, is praying to the Father in Jesus mighty Name.

"As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God." Ps 42:1

Prayer should never be a have to do it kinda thang. You know how it is when people get real thirsty for h2o, they'll stop what they are doing..no matter how important it is to few or to many people..and they'll go seek after, go search for, and go find water to drink and quaff it down until they are satisfied.

And when people get real thirsty for God, they also stop all the other things that they've been doing..no matter how important those things are to few or to many people..and they go seek after, go search for, and find living water to drink.. from Him until they are totally satisfied. And He really satisfies the most.

"And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." Matt. 21:22

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mk. 11:24 

What do you really want in this life? What do you desire to see happen? It's good not to instruct God how to do what He does, but when do you want to see Him bless? It never hurts to let Him know your full request. 

"Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan." ~ John Bunyan

"The fewer the words the better prayer."  ~ Martin Luther

"Prayer is an effort of will." ~ Oswald Chambers

H E L P!  That's a good prayer sometimes. Remember when Peter was sinking into the water and he simply cried out to the Lord for help. Did Jesus let him go under and perish? I like that kind of prayer. It's non-religious and to the point. Sure. And God doesn't mind that one at all. I just love to see the Lord work. When I leave off defending myself and pray, He defends me. No one could do better. 

"But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, 'Tabitha, arise.' And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up." Acts 9:40

"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." Jam. 5:14-16

Is what you are asking for in keeping with God's holy character and purpose? Would it mean that anyone compromise or do even a little bit of wrong to see it fulfilled?...or is it in His Name that you ask? 

"Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it." Jn. 14:13-14

The Apostle Paul once wrote an uplifting letter to believers located in Colosse. Why did He do it? Well, the Holy Spirit inspired him to. He really wanted to encourage and assure them that he was praying always for them (Col. 1:3,9) cuz that's what real love does. When he ended his brief, he mentioned Epaphras, the founder of the church of Colossian, who was "always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God" (4:12). Yes, Paul prioritized believing prayer ahead of so many other constructive Christian disciplines—shouldn't we as well?

"Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.." Eph. 6:18

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6-7

On the really practical level, what is the bridge if ya will between your goals and real accomplishment? Discipline that's bathed in prayer.. the kind that's coupled with biblical faith and godly character. 

Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.. or to more failure. We must choose to trust and obey, for there is no other way and this means we pray. See Romans 8:28 and Job 19.5. 

Just say it straight. Be plain and simple when it comes to prayer. There's really no need to get all fancy-schmanzy. Yes, when you've had more than you can stand.. kneel. Jesus did it and He talked about it a lot... 

"And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words." Matt. 6.7-9

When life not only looks impossible, but actually is impossible....it's time to pray. Ceasing to fret or to worry or to gripe is good.. ceasing to hate men or women, or to be lethargic, apathetic, or un-alert spiritually is also good.. ceasing to be passive, dull, dim, asleep in the night or in the light..that's good.. ceasing to remain indifferent, or lukewarm, or worldly, or crass, or vulgar, or carnally minded..is way good.. ceasing to be unconcerned about the plight of lost people in their sins, or about others who are lonely, or guilty, or afraid or stuck with their needs that they can't solve ...is such a good thing in every case.. especially when it means we get pro-active in turning to the Lord in fervent prayer for them. Do you only pray for yourself or your own family. Be enlarged in your heart for people. Be like the Lord who loved to get away to pray. We all can do this today.  

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