Addicted to Prayer

typorama

Prayer must not be our chance work, but our daily business, our habit and vocation. As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer.   Spurgeon

 In his book entitled Prayer, Timothy Keller describes a conversation he had with his wife during a particularly challenging time in their lives. His wife Kathy urged him to pray with her every night, and she used the following illustration to convince Him:

Imagine you were diagnosed with such a lethal condition that the doctor told you that you would die within hours unless you took a particular medicine – a pill every night before going to sleep. Imagine that you were told that you could never miss or you would die. Would you forget? Would you not get around to it for some nights? No – it would be so crucial that you wouldn’t forget, you would never miss. Well, if we don’t pray together to God, we’re not going to make it because of all we are facing. I’m certainly not. We have to pray, we can’t let it just slip our minds.

Now please don’t think legalistically here. You are not going to die if you miss a time of prayer each day. Yet Kathy recognized her desperate need to go to the Father for everything in her life. Do we have that same kind of desperation in our own hearts? Last week I read through the book of Daniel and was inspired by his courage and faith, but more than that, I was moved by his commitment to prayer. Think about it, Daniel prayed even when the public policy was against him, and he faced the lion’s den.

If Daniel took life-risking measures to pray three times a day, then why am I not willing to get up a little earlier and spend time with the Father. Great work happens on our knees. God gives us insight on our knees. We grow more in love with Him, on our knees. Let’s make this a week of casting our cares on Him.

Here’s one of Daniel’s prayers of praise after God:

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.
I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
    You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
    you have made known to us the dream of the king.

Daniel 2:20-23

Why wouldn’t we want to pray to such a great and mighty Father?

Check out my chapter on being Pray-pared for Every Day in:

958042: Becoming a Woman of the Word: Knowing, Loving, and  Living the Bible Becoming a Woman of the Word: Knowing, Loving, and Living the Bible

 

 

Will God Answer My Prayers?

March

The following is an excerpt from Becoming a Woman of the Word.

Do you want to know how to pray more effectively? Silly question, right? Who doesn’t want to see their prayers answered? A Newsweek poll titled “Is God Listening?” showed that of those who do pray, 87 percent believed that God answers their prayers at least some of the time. We have all had times when we prayed for something and didn’t seem to get the answer that we were hoping for, making us question, did I pray the right way? Is God mad at me? Did He really hear me? Why does He answer some of my prayers and not others?

The Bible is our guidebook for prayer. In His Word we not only see powerful examples of answered prayer, but we also find the teachings of Jesus on how to pray effectively. In the Scriptures we discover God’s invitation to prayer and His desire for us to cast our cares on Him. We also learn some of the reasons why prayers may not be answered exactly how we had wished. We learn to view prayer from a heavenly perspective, not an earthly one. I find it humbling to think that Almighty God invites us to pray. He loves us and cares about the details of our lives. From Genesis to Revelation we find examples of God listening to His people and answering their prayers.

The apostle John wrote, “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” How do we know we are praying according to God’s will? His will is revealed in His Word, so if we are going to pray according to His will, we must pray according to His Word. Certainly we don’t find a listing of His will for every detail or every circumstance of our lives, yet the more we know of His Word, the more we come to understand His heart of love. We learn who He is and how He works. We want to approach God’s throne with confidence, and we can do that as we get to know His heart through His Word.

Honestly, I can look back at my life and thank the Lord for the prayers He didn’t answer exactly as I asked. Why does God answer some prayers and seemingly leave others unanswered? Because He loves us and sees things from an eternal perspective. Can we trust the God of love, the God who sees all things, the God who sees the beginning and the end? In His time and in His way, He is at work beyond what we can see. As the apostle Paul wrote,   For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Watch this video for a brief word from Karol about prayer.

How has prayer changed your life?

 

 

 

Wake Up

Lately, in sort of a random way, I’ve been noticing verses in the Bible that mention the term, “Wake Up.”

Isaiah 51:9 “Awake, awake! Clothe yourself with strength.”

I Corinthians 15:34 “Awake to righteousness and do not sin.”

Revelation 3:2 “Wake up! Strengthen what remains.”

Personally, I believe God is telling us as believers that this is the time to wake up from our slumber – to be watchful and alert. As evil continues to thrive in a variety of ways in our culture today, there has never been a more important time for God’s people to wake up and grow stronger and deeper in our relationship with Christ. As believers, it’s easy to push the snooze button, happily resting in our comfy Christianity while a spiritual battle is raging around us.

So how do we wake up? What does it really mean to “awaken and clothe ourselves with strength?” Well, perhaps our first step is found in the phrase itself, “Wake up!” In other words, let’s deliberately wake up earlier, so we can spend time on our knees in prayer. This is where the battle is won!

The recent movie War Room, reminded us that our prayer time is our equipping room for battle. God prepares His army on their knees and adorns them with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). It is in the secret place, that we are reminded of His love, power and mercy. As we devote ourselves to prayer, we become grounded in our faith, and comforted in our pain and strengthened in our inner-being.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a weak and sleepy follower of Christ. I want to be alive, awake, strengthened by God and useful for His Kingdom. Will you join me in becoming more committed to prayer? Let’s wake up earlier (which may mean going to bed earlier) in order to shine His light more brightly in an ever-darkening world.

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  Isaiah 60:1