fervent (4)

Prayer.jpg&h=340&w=940&zc=1I am confident that when most of us ask God for something we're very serious about it. We SO want that person to be healed, a friend's marriage to be restored or someone in our church to receive comfort. We passionately desire our children to be godly, our relationships to be whole and our unbelieving friend to know Christ.

However, there are times when in our praying we may be trying a bit too hard and we start to add some of our own extras that God really doesn't need and that won't get us extra results. Let me suggest a few cautions:

Don't talk louder. Some people even like to yell. I've heard pastors especially in their passion imply that talking to God with higher volume will get a greater response. I doubt it. If anything it just scares people and certainly isn't suggested in the Word. They may mean well or be overcome with concern but perhaps it should not be the norm. I don't want my kids yelling at me when they want something, do you?  Does God?

Don't pray longer.  Yes, we need to spend time in God's presence but I'm pretty sure that God looks at the intent and purity of our heart more than the length of our prayer.  He wants time with us, for sure, but isn't likely interested in long lengthy descriptions of the needs that He knows even before we ask HIm.

Don't use bigger words.  I've heard many pastors who literally change their vocabulary once they start to pray, focusing on five dollar words and lofty spiritual language. But I have a hunch that God views prayer as more of a conversation and won't change his response if we just step up our terms.

Don't demand from God. We love to claim, count on and cajole things from God when prayer is to be more about a conversation with the Father,  coming into agreement and fellowship with Him about what He knows is best. Does God answer specific requests?  Or course, He does, but He also gives us gifts as His children, not as union workers who require a pay raise because we were sure it was promised to us.

Don't bargain with God.   I travel overseas a good bit and know there are places where we can wheel and deal with vendors about souvenirs and gifts. It's OK, normal and expected there. But not in Heaven. God isn't in the bargaining business even though He loves us more than we can know. We're better to "make our requests known unto God," and then rest in the peace of God promised as well in Philippians 4.

Passionate about praying?  Good for you. Don't quit. Just make sure you're not trying too hard to make something happen. That's up to God.

Read more…

Fervently Praying for Perfection

...always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” Colossians 4:12

As I pray for myself and for others each day, I desire with all of my heart that my prayers to God will be within His will and not my own, so that His purposes and my prayers will not be separate from one another. I think for that reason, the verse above from Colossians caught my eye this morning as I was reading and I realized that when I pray the end product in what I am really asking God to do in all that I bring before His throne is that He perfects and completes each person and each situation I have had laid at His feet.
Yet, in a fallen world filled with sinful people, how is it that God can bring about perfection and completion? On our own we can only try our hardest to do what is right, to follow all the rules, and to flounder through the many mistakes we make hoping each mistake will teach us a lesson to make us wiser the next time around. But, God has another way for those who come to Him and who realize that seeking a perfected life will always come up empty apart from Him. Listen to what 1 Corinthians 1:30 has to say about where all righteousness, sanctification (that is the process of making us holy), and redemption come from:
...you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption...” 1 Corinthians 1:30
It is only through Jesus that we people with our sin nature can be perfected and complete. It is not in copying Jesus, it is “in” Christ Jesus that this happens and truly what we should be praying to happen within us and within those we pray for each day. Below is a quote from Oswald Chambers on how he relates sanctification to the perfected holiness of God within us:
Sanctification is not drawing from Jesus the power to be holy; it is drawing from Jesus the holiness that was manifested in Him, and He manifests in me. Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation.” Oswald Chambers
If we desire to be more merciful we do not pray that God shows us ways to be more merciful. No instead we ask Him to be mercy within us so that we can then share His mercy with others. Likewise if we want to our son to be wise in his actions we do not pray that he finds ways to overcome foolishness with wise choices but rather we pray that Jesus becomes wisdom in him so all of his choices are guided by Jesus and are wise beyond human understanding.
In every way that Jesus works in us as we pray and then allow Him to be, will, and do as He pleases within our lives we discover more fully who He is and who He can be in us and through us. The focus comes off of us and goes to Him. We learn that sanctification is not about us getting better in His sight but rather it is about us becoming less and Him becoming more.
He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
I love what Psalm 18 has to say about how God works to show Himself to us as we allow Him to work in us:
With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; with a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; with the pure You will show Yourself pure...” Psalm 18:25-26
Today, as you are praying for yourself or others, I would encourage you to pray that Jesus fills every person and situation with Himself and remove anything that is not of Him. Look to Him to supply, to work, and to heal each situation from the inside out. Do not become distracted with the sin you see when you pray, but rather purpose your heart to see all that Jesus can be and wants to be through your prayers and petitions in bringing about perfection and completion to what He is working out in this fallen world.
To see this blog and others I have written, visit me at Shedding Light On the Path
Read more…

The Power of Crying Out

“In moments of fear, anxiety, and trouble, the right step toward experiencing God's powerful deliverance and protection is to simply cry outto use our voice in fervent appeal for His help.” Quotes by Bill Gothard


Do you ever practice crying out loud to God for help? 


I think most of us have, especially when we’ve been in serious trouble. This is how our Biblical predecessors often prayed. Fervency in prayer and crying out loud is a key to breakthrough in prayer. My husband has often told people that fervent, passionate prayer is the type of prayer you would cry out if your airplane were falling from the sky. You would cry out to God in desperation, with all your heart! There would be no place for distracted, apathetic prayer under those circumstances. No way! It would be a life and death matter! 


Yet many of us are facing impossible circumstances where the "crying out" type of prayer is needed for spiritual breakthrough. Crying out loud seems to be a key to a powerful prayer life that influences heaven and sees tremendous answers to prayer. Often we are urged by the Spirit to cry an impassioned declaration of God’s powerful ability. That demonstrates our total dependence on God to accomplish the victory. We need to catch hold of this truth and apply it to our prayer lives. We read in Psalm 86:7, “In the day of trouble I will call upon you, for you will answer me.” When we cry out to God, we experience His all-sufficient, supernatural power to answer us.


God often arranges our circumstances so there seems to be no way out. 


Haven’t you been there? The problem doesn't seem to go away. But in response to our crying out to Him, He answers. He may bring healing, protection, or direction. He wants to show us that He is our sole saving power when we are at the end of all our known resources. In the Bible there is a consistent pattern of God's people crying out to Him and His answering in His power. David often cried aloud to God with deep emotion when in desperate situations, and God answered his cry. He says in Psalm 61:1, "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their trouble." Bill Gothard in his book, The Power of Crying Out states:


“Many believers today seem unaware of this consistent pattern in God's Word. It could even be said that the most significant difference between the prayers of God's saints in Scripture (so powerfully effective) and our prayers today (so seemingly ineffective) is this: There was a fervency in the prayers of biblical saints - a fervency that is inherent in crying out.”


Crying out to God is not something we do mechanically, but it flows out of our relationship with Him. Do we really know that God actually hears us and longs to hear our cry? He is our father and loves to hear our voice. We have the authority and right as His children to call fervently to our Father. Do we realize that there is power in the spoken word? When it is spoken fervently, sincerely and with all our heart, it is even more powerful. Do we realize that as we cry out to God aloud, He sees that we are seriously and boldly coming to His throne of grace? Do we not comprehend that when we cry out to God in our distress He will answer? 


We will see that crying out in prayer is the very turning point that brings His deliverance. It happened often in the Bible and can happen for us as well. Notice in Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, and 28 how God loves to answer those with a sincere heart in their need. "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.” Crying out triggers God's deliverance. Many of you are facing desperate situations in your life. Learn to cry aloud to God with all your heart. Trust Himyour delivererto undertake in your behalf.


“Days of trouble. Hours of crisis. Moments of urgent and fearful need. They come to us all unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. How can we prepare for such times? We can prepare by being ready to cry aloud to the Lord for His saving help, boldly expecting His deliverance. God invites and expects His beloved ones to do exactly that: ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble,’ He tells us; ‘I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.’”


For many years we live on a ship called Doulos. This ship was our moving home that sailed from country to country, spreading the Good News of Jesus and selling Christian and educational books. During one of our voyageswith over 300 persons from 40 nations aboardwe were sailing down the coast of South America and were about to enter the Straits of Magellan. This is a narrow, long passage of quite some distance off the coast of Chile. Our next port of ministry was the southernmost city at the tip of Chile. You could consider this area of the world the “ends of the earth.” The straits are known for their treacherous and dangerous seas. 


The weather at the time was stormy, and the waves were choppy and unsafe which would make it very difficult for our old ship to pass through safely. This ship, built in 1914 and in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest floating passenger ship in the world, caused many of us even more concern as we anticipated this dangerous journey. 


In light of our situation, the captain made an urgent request over the loud speaker. He said that we must all gather together immediately and pray for God to calm the seas. We must cry out to God to give us a safe passage through the Straits of Magellan so that we could arrive on time at our next port. 


With no time to waste, the entire staff and crew gathered together in our main lounge to pray. Imagine the thoughts that raced through our minds and the level of anxiety many of us felt as we hurried to the main lounge. After all, we were on a tiny, old ship anticipating tossing around in treacherous seas. We felt dependent at that moment on a supernatural God who could turn our situation around by His power and might. 


We began to pray and cry out to God to calm the seas for His glory. Perhaps you can guess what happened next. Yes! God answered prayerthe seas became stilland the ship passed peacefully through the narrow passage.


My future husband and I sat on deck and admired the beauty of God’s creation in that gorgeous part of the world. We had met each other on board, and this was our first date and one we would always remember. During that voyage we saw many shipwrecks along the way right in the midst of all the natural beauty of massive rocks and clear blue seas. This was a vivid reminder of God’s powerful answer to our desperate prayers.


Is crying out to God effective? 


It certainly isOur ship was able to reach its destination safelyWe were able to continue our conferences and evangelistic programs right on schedule. God used such a situation to build our faith as we cried out to Him and lived His answer. He wants to break through in extreme situations. He will do the same for you as He did for us on this voyage. I recommend that you read and pray through some of the heartfelt prayers of David. Psalms 16, 25, 31, 51, and 63 are excellent Psalms that you can pray out loud for yourself and others.


You may be passing through dangerous or difficult waters. God hears your cry and wants to take you deeper in passionate, fervent prayer. And remember when He answers your prayers, be sure to give thanks to Him for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds on your behalf. Crying out to God for help is a wonderful way to live. We not only should do it during times of trouble but as we pray for revival in our city and nation. God loves it when we pray with fervency and passion. 


"Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men" (Psalm 107:28-31).


 Intercessors Arise News:

Debbie Przybylski

Intercessors Arise International

International House of Prayer KC Staff




Read more…