Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Resurrectin Prayer Once Again

Resurrecting Prayer Once Again

There is much spirituality lacking in the western church. Commitment to the Word as well as separation from the world and all its allures have suffered greatly. Professing believers by the tens of millions waddle through life with nary a thought about things of the Spirit. Those same people are active in temporal things while paying precious little attention to the realm of the eternal. And so the western expression of the faith called Christianity is a redundant and predicable religious practice that is light years more pronounced on Sunday mornings than it is during the week. It is hollow indeed.

But the life of a disciple should give important attention to Bible study and meditation, witnessing to the lost including supporting foreign missions, and fellowship among the brethren. Those three areas are usually given some attention even though it could not be called passionate. But the most neglected area of a western believer’s spiritual life, as well as the church as a whole, is prayer. It is not hyperbole to suggest that the prayer life of the church is embarrassing and reveals a profound level of unbelief.

Even the gatherings are constructed to accommodate unbelievers, carnal believers, and a western schedule. So when the “service” must adhere to the clock, certain issues must make way for others. Music is extremely prominent, and the sermon also is given much time on the clock. Yes, those two things are important and spiritually beneficial. But included on the docket are announcements, official greeting time, time reserved to “take up” the offering, and the acknowledgment of guests.

And tucked away in a tiny little place in the ecclesiastical Day-Timer is prayer. There is usually one prayer led by a church leader which is nebulous and usually follows the structure that we all have come to expect. Some churches allow people to come to the altar, but after the entire time for prayer is over it usually amounts to no more than five minutes. That is an affront to the teachings of Christ, and a slap in the face to the very nature and power of prayer itself.

In fact, the time and importance given to prayer by the church as a whole and by the average western believer is actually more in line with agnosticism rather than an exhibition of a passionate faith in an all powerful God. Over the decades the church has lost any real passion for prayer, and the time that should be reserved for prayer has been given to earthly pursuits or Christian activities. The unvarnished truth is that church no longer understands the power of prayer, and that can be accurately described as unbelief.

No authentic revival has ever taken place without a deep commitment to prayer. But when prayer has become such a practice of the past, then the kind of prayer that moves mountains will not be realized on the first day of a reawakening. It will not change things by a tepid commitment to pray during lunch. It will not be enough to spend fifteen minutes a day rehearsing your laundry list of petitions and “bless me’s”. To seek the face and heart of God through prayer in these days of hedonism, entertainment, and quick fixes will require an initial grace of the Spirit of God.

Lk.19:45 - And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;
46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Do we need to be convinced of the importance the Lord Himself placed upon prayer? The disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them to preach or to do miracles. What did they ask the Lord to teach them?

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray.”

And when the disciples could not cast out certain demons, what did Jesus say was the reason?

Matt.17:20 - And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Mk.9:28 - And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

Jesus elevated the power of prayer even to reveal that the strongest demonic forces could not withstand a praying and fasting disciple of Jesus Christ. Now consider the reverse of that. So often we believe that the devil comes like the little girl in the exorcist, but in reality he comes as an angel of light most often. So hordes of demons have flooded the western church with all kinds of carnal promises and false doctrines and feel good religion. And what is one the main reasons that they have gained access? A prayer less church.

Eph.6:18 - Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

I Pet.3:12 - For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

But consider what revelation has revealed to us.

Rev.8:3 - And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.

In a mystery, the prayers of the saints are offered up before the throne of God. What an eternal glory. But how many prayers are offered up to God in this fast paced world? How paltry are the prayers in heaven today? Are we not ashamed at how we treat the majesty of the Risen Christ, and how dismissive we are to the power in prayer He has granted unto His saints?

Brethren, the end is upon us whether we embrace that as life changing truth or just an entertaining piece of eschatology. The entire world has been deceived and imprisoned by the evil one, and the church has lent herself to the same deception. But the Spirit is speaking expressly in these last days.

I Pet.4:7 - But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.


Kim said...

I thanked God for your heart as I have read your blog the last few days. You are ministering to my heart, sir. May God bless you for it. May you be lifted up in His presence and shown wonderful things that eye has not seen nor ear heard that await those who overcome so that your hope of glory becomes a living, breathing, thing-to-be-possessed as you ponder them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it will require a fresh impartation of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of prayer. There is such a blockage, such a resistance that has built up strength against praying. I must commit to simply go into the closet and shut the door; He is waiting there. Andrew Murray's classic "With Christ in the School of Prayer" has helped re-build my faith to apply myself once again. You have encouraged me, challenged me, smitten me, comforted me, and edified me: thank you and thank the Lord for you.

Marc said...

How is it possible now to pray in a church? First remove the demonic rock / pop / electric music and electric guitars that are an ABOMINATION. The churches have hurt and evicted the skilled musicians that played holy spiritual music and invited the sons of Satan that scratch electric guitar, strike electric keyboards and drums, and let peoples that never took any singing lessons to scream in the microphone like the worst type of evil entertainment. All this for the false excuse to attract young people to the church, but for the unconfessed purpose to increase the church revenue!
Now the true christians have already left the evil entairtainment churches in response to Revelation 18:4

"Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues".