Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Lk.21:36 - Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

obering words from the lips of our Master. If there ever was a time in which on any given day we might awake to world wide catastrophe, it is these days. The cares of this present world continue to choke the spiritual lives of so many believers. How can a follower and supposed imitator of the Jesus in the gospels watch and listen to carnal men like Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh? It can be summed up in one word - deception.
The church has become enamored with all sorts of glittering idols, from nationalism to politics, and from favorite preachers to sports heroes. But while believers spend their time and money on the temporal, the world rushes to divine judgment. I say this with humility because I know only too well that I deserve that same judgment, but Christ took it in my place. Halleluiah, what a Savior! But our calling in these dark days is much more profound than just professing Christ in the abstract. Jesus must be manifested in observable and remarkable ways in our lives.
We must be the light that shines through this spiritual quagmire, and we must be the salt that creates a thirst for Him. But a life that reveals Jesus can only come forth through prayer. Notice the phrase “and pray always” in the verse. One of the greatest deceptions in the modern church is the ambivalence toward its power and the paultry ways in which it is "observed". Until we pursue prayer with vigor and brokenness we will continue to be emaciated and powerless. When the spiritual connection between a believer and His Father is lost, or even marginalized, the power is gone.
When a piece of machinery begins to malfunction or runs sluggishly, then cleaning and lubrication is necessary. The same is true for our spiritual lives. When we have nestled into a comfortable and convenient spiritual life we cannot make any progress unless we clean the clutter and seek the lubrication of the Spirit. Oh how have we scorned the precious Holy Spirit by both a cultural lifestyle and a pitiful exhibition of prayer. It is one aspect of His ministry that aids us in prayer and yet we deny Him His very purpose by perfunctory, if any, prayer lives.

I Tim.2:1 - I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

Rom.8: 26-27 - 26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

The Spirit of God exhorts us to make intercession for all men, and He teaches us that He Himself is indispensable in that spiritual endeavor. But let us not deceive ourselves into believing that God’s Spirit will bless and use careless and tepid prayers that are convenient asides and exhibit no tears and no brokenness. The average prayer of some evangelicals are an affront and in fact undermine the entire ministry of prayer itself. And in a shocking revelation, many professing believers do not pray at all. We stand in a desperate need of an awakening.

Mk.11:15-17 - 15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
16And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
17And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Jn.2:13-15 - 13And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

Two times in the life of Jesus we see Him cleansing the temple in Jerusalem. One was early in His ministry, while the other was at the end. It is quite astonishing that the one thing that elicited anger from the Lord Jesus was profiteering in the church. Many people use these texts to prove that anger is of God and should be a part of our lives. They over amplify God’s anger until it becomes the prominent aspect of God’s character, and many times they allow that to give them license to exhibit anger themselves. But they have completely missed the point of these events and the words of Jesus.
Of course Jesus was displaying anger over the way some used the church for their own profit, but as He drove them out He made a statement that has been ignored and forgotten in today’s fast paced ecclesiastical atmosphere. Jesus said His house was a house of prayer. Now in the New Testament there is no “house” made with hands in the strictest sense, but we are all God’s house. And Jesus emphatically labeled His house as one of prayer.
The church itself was born when men and women where praying in the upper room. The disciples of Jesus did not ask Him to teach them to preach; they asked Him “Teach us to pray”. They knew where the power of God could be touched. But if we are going to move forward in prayer, there are several thing which must change.

* We must forfeit much time watching television. In some ways television has become the scourge of the Christian life.

* We must devote specific times during the day to pray. And these times cannot be small increments squeezed between pressing duties of this world.

* We must approach our praying as if we are learning all over again what it means to touch heaven.

* We must repent of our indifference to prayer and beseech God to instill us with an urgent unction to pray.

* We must once again worship the August Redeemer both as a divine friend as well as a consuming fire.

* We must completely forgive every single person with whom we may have had issues and even begin to pray for them.

* We must view our prayer times as sacred and holy times of communion with our Savior and Lord. We must be prepared to fight for those times.

* We must allow God, indeed beg God, to break us, refine us with His fire, and remake us in the image of God’s Son.

* We must, along with a renewed vitality in prayer, consume God’s Word as if it meant our very lives. Be prepared for God’s Spirit to open new and glorious understandings of Scriptures that had become dormant.

* We must practice some form of fasting. Perhaps one day a month along with a fasting of all forms of entertainment or information on that particular day. (Or other constructs, all of which should not be legalism.)

But to even begin to enter into a deep and sincere journey of prayer we must admit we are in need of one. Desperately in need of one. To continue as we are is to continue as we are. One day we will stand before the King of all the Universe and give an account. Of course there may well be fear when we see His glory and power and have to admit to a lifestyle that was centered upon us and the world and had relegated His kingdom into a subordinate status. But there will also be another phenomenon when we stand before our Redeemer King. We will experience a consuming love that cannot be known in this present world. And before God wipes away all tears, we will experience a grief and sorrow that also is unknown here in its depth.

I exhort all of us to begin anew to pray with such desire and labor that we will be changed from glory to glory in His presence, and as people see a profound change in our outward lives because of a profound change in our inward lives, God will be glorified.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this article!
I needed it myself but also a friend of mine, who I sent it to, needed it as well.
God bless...