I am interrupting the series covering Gratitude at God's leading to talk about the critical importance of and my heart's and mind's bend toward prayer."Have you ever noticed that Jesus launched the Christian church, not while someone was preaching, but while people were praying? In the first two chapters of Acts, the disciples were doing nothing but waiting on God. As they were just sitting there...worshiping, communing with God, letting God shape them and cleanse their spirits and do those heart operations that only the Holy Spirit can do...the church was born. The Holy Spirit was poured out."
What does it say about our churches today that God birthed the church in a prayer meeting, and prayer meetings today are almost extinct.
Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire
I was listening to Pastor Colin Smith ( http://www.unlockingthebible.org/ ) on Praise 940 AM radio while I drove to Ames to work yesterday. His message also covered prayer. Do you think God is speaking to me? I do.
Pastor Smith pointed out that you can tell what you believe about God by what you pray about. Do you pray for friends' and family members' salvation? Then you acknowledge God's power over that. Do you pray for healings? Then you know God's in control over those situations, etc. Our prayers are a measure of our faith. Understand, these are FANTASTIC topics to cover in prayer. Pastor Smith suggested we broaden our prayer requests to the world!
That spurs me on to pray MORE, BIGGER and with more FERVENCE for Mexico, where I know people who live in a squatter's village along the border there. It spurs me on to pray MORE, BIGGER and more FERVENTLY for Guatemala where my sponsor child lives.
It spurs me on to pray MORE, BIGGER and with more passion for HAITI. A friend and I, sneaking in on a youth group event, wept as we held photos of children whose limbs had been amputated, looked at pictures of tent cities, and listened to a nurse who had returned from serving there after the devastating earthquake.
The call to intercede reminds me of the women who stand in miles-long prostitution lines in Kolkata, India, and helps me remember to pray for them, too, their physical rescue and sure salvation in Jesus Christ (as with my other examples), and for the organization that reaches out to the women Freeset, www.freesetglobal.com.
It spurs me to pray for our country. That America would honor God. That He would set godly leaders up in our day. That we would protect the unborn, live as models of fairness, give openly, freely pray about everything, wherever we happen to be at the moment, and experience new life in Christ.
It spurs me to pray for holy fire and faith in my own life. God has been nudging me for awhile in this area, to return to prayer practices I took a break from for a season (journaling, ACTS, following personal prayer lists). Mind you, the season of spontaneity has been good in many ways, and refreshing. But I think He's leading me back, that I would walk even more closely with my Him. Could I walk as closely as Enoch? I desire my Lord so very deeply.
And I desire an impassioned prayer life for my church, Prairie Ridge (www.ridgelife.org). So many people there set wonderful examples, not to please people, but responding to the Spirit in prayer. I want us all to live that way. No stone unturned, hearts set toward God, talking to him continually, praising Him always.
Praise God, as He works in all of us and completes what He set out to do.
©Helene Bergren. All Rights Reserved.