Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nuggets on Prayer

The Prayer Retreat was such a blessing. There were some great sessions where we learned insights on prayer from godly saints who had walked with the Lord for many years. There were also beautiful times of individual and group prayer, and an acute awareness of God's presence, as we practiced what we were learning.

It will be hard to narrow down the highlights to share with you, but I do want to share some of the nuggets that I gleaned.

Here are some tidbits on prayer:

  • We can either Worship or Worry -- not both.
  • Instead of fretting and trying to think our way through our troubles (which leads to evil), we need to take our problems to Jesus. (Phillipians 4:6)
  • We need to develop an attitude of gratitude! When we feel like complaining, we should think of something to be thankful for instead!
  • Pray whenever someone makes a negative comment and we feel hurt. We must never give in to self-pity or unforgiveness!
  • Pray even when we don't feel like it!
  • Prayer is not a ritual! It is a relationship.
  • Remember that our prayer time is a meeting with a Person, we must not approach it like a pilot sitting in the cock pit going through a checklist!
  • Our hope rests on Who and What He is -- not on who and what we are. We must not focus on praying the perfect prayer of faith; but focus on God, Who is always Faithful!

Tips on Praying for our Families:
  • Ask God to rebuke the devil in our family relationships.
  • Pray daily for God to keep our children from the evil one!
  • Pray a hedge of protection around our family every day!
  • Ask God to keep each one from sickness.
  • Pray that each life will bring glory to God.
  • Pray for godly spouses for each one.
  • Be sure to thank God for the good we see in our children, and not just focus on the negative aspects we see.
  • Remember that we have a responsibility to pray for our family and our church daily.

Praying for the Church:
(This session by Jerry White was my Favorite!)
  • We will not have revival in the church of America until we have a correct view of God. In America today, we have a low view of God and an exalted view of self.
  • Christians today are too me-centered.
  • Sanctification is our cooperation with the Word of God by the power of the Spirit of God to be conformed to the image of Christ. It is the process by which we become more and more dead to sin and more and more alive to Christ!
  • We won't see God move in America until we see the seriousness of sin.
  • Genesis 6:5-6 -- God's heart was grieved over sinfulness of mankind.
  • Isaiah 63:9-10 -- God hurts when we hurt, but God reached the point where the Israelites' rebellion caused Him to be vexed and grieved and He then fought against His people. (Is God so grieved and vexed with the church of America that He has withdrawn His presence and His blessing?)
  • Mark 3:1-6 -- Jesus looked at the people in anger and grief. Our sin, unbelief, and hardness of heart grieve and anger God.
  • Ephesians 4:30-32 -- We are commanded to not grieve the Holy Spirit!
  • God and Holy Spirit grieved by wickedness, rebellion, pride, unbelief, hardness of heart, bitterness, anger, wrath, clamor, unforgiveness, etc.
  • 2 Corinthians 7:10 -- only Godly sorrow over sin brings repentance! Worldly sorrow brings sorrow over being caught, exposed and shamed.
  • Godly grief comes from being sorry about what we've done to the Heart of God, not what we've brought upon ourselves!
  • Problem is God and His program are not central in the church. We and our programs are central. We want to bring God on board to bless our own agendas.

How to Deal with a Crisis:
(by Rollie Reasoner, a former missionary to Japan for many, many years.)

  • This is a way to face a crisis situation that is bleak, hopeless, and you see no way out.
  • Look at your schedule and choose a day that is "free" or "lighter" than most days, if possible.
  • Since the Jewish day begins at 6 pm, start at 6 pm one day and go to 6 pm the next day. Eat supper before 6 pm on the day you start.
  • After you eat, spend time in the Word reading and worshipping God.
  • Tell God about the crisis -- then go on and pray about other things. You can only mention the same request so many times before it becomes vain repetition!
  • Immerse yourself in the Word of God and Wait on the Lord. Just pick up wherever you have been reading.
  • Concentrate on whatever strikes you as significant as you read the Word. Take notes on whatever God shows you. (Psalm 119:49)
  • Purpose is not to try to persuade God, but to prepare your heart to respond in faith!
  • Your focus should be on Who God is, rather than on what you want! Spend much time in praise and worship!
  • Wake up the next morning, and your hunger pangs will remind you to focus on God and to lay the crisis situation before Him again.
  • The next afternoon about 3 pm, your stomach is really empty and your focus is especially sharpened. Often this is when you reach a breakthrough.
  • Conclude the fast with supper around 6 pm and a final time of praise and worship to God.
  • Your mind may be flooded with doubts when the 24 hour fast ends -- but don't listen to them!
  • The 24 hour Fast is a breakthrough point in times of crisis! God has provided some amazing answers to prayer through this technique. (Two significant testimonies were given.)

One Final Admonition:
Prayer is never easy! It is hard work! Prayer is Satan's biggest target! A primary tactic in warfare is to destroy the enemy's communication centers. (Think about the war in Iraq.) When soldiers are unable to communicate with their control centers, they are ineffective at best. Satan does the same thing -- he attacks our prayer life -- individually and in churches -- to keep us from communicating with our Commander! This renders Christians ineffective.


Martha said...

WOW :o) Thank you for sharing the helpful tips about praying, I read through them and will apply quite a few to my session with the Lord.

Thank you hon!
<3 Martha

Amy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this!

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