Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fitting In Prayer

Five minute prayers. That's all most of us can afford. We fit it in between the alarm clock and shower. Or perhaps it is in the shower as we try to think through our day. Maybe it's in the bus on the way to school or work. Perhaps it is while we sit in the doctor's waiting room or just before we slip into sleep. Usually a few words: "God help me", "Lord give me strength", "Jesus bless them". There is nothing wrong with this but do we really think these are relationship building or powerful moments of petition?

Let's be honest, many of us have lost the understanding of what it is to pray with purpose. Many of us do not know that these are the greatest moments of our lives, well worth getting up early or delaying going to bed. These are moments when God releases his power through us, to see great things happen in this world and in the lives of others. It is in prayer that we become the true warriors of God. Apostle Paul gave this charge:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4)

Being watchful so we know what to pray for in other people's lives and in this world. Being thankful that we are always praying in a right heart condition. Devoted to prayer. When you are devoted to something you give it priority or you soon lose your devotion. A husband who is not devoted to his wife, not making her the priority in his life, will soon lose her. When we are devoted to something we give ourselves to it. Does that describe our attitude or approach to prayer? Are we devoted prayer warriors?

Being devoted to prayer is not a "fitting it in" but having a plan and purpose. It is having a time when you shut out everything else and allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the presence of God, presenting the needs of others to him. It is when we join with him in battling for the souls of those we have encountered. It is praying strength for a brother or sister who is involved something where they need the strength of the Lord to make it through. It is in these moments that we are overwhelmed by the love and compassion of our God, where we often receive instruction and when we are empowered to do his will.

It is also out of these moments that we emerge as empowered prayer warriors who continue to pray without ceasing. We become so sensitive to the Spirit that we hear his prompting to pray for the hidden needs of the people we encounter. We are given words of knowledge to speak into their lives. We become his presence in their lives as he empowers us to act in their lives without needing to ask questions. It is when he reveals to them that he not only knows their situation but he cares as well. That doesn't happen when we are "fitting in" moments of prayer.

We are a people of purpose and power. We carry the Light of God to this world and it all ignites in us in prayer. We have to give it priority. We have to approach it with purpose. We have to give it time in our day. We have to realize what is happening in this time. We have to realize that after Paul told us to put our spiritual armour on every day he gave this charge:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18)

Prayer defies description. It is a time of intimacy with our King. It is a time of power releasing and a time of empowerment. It is like a battering ram against the enemy's forces. Without it nothing will be accomplished;  with it all things are possible because of the One who strengthens us. We need to be devoted to prayer, watchful and thankful. Come on mighty warriors, let's get in the battle.

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