29 Sep 2013
A. Prayer has different expressions such as intimacy with God (includes prayer-reading the Word and fellowshipping with the Spirit), interceding for revival, justice, or social transformation (also referred to as contending prayer), providing prayer covering for individuals, and praying for the sick. In this way, we encounter God, do the works of the kingdom, and change the world.
B. A consistent prayer life is essential to the Christian life––only through a lifestyle of prayer can we receive the fullness of what God has provided for us.
C. What is prayer? It is talking to God. It is at the same time a great privilege, a fierce struggle, and a powerful miracle of the Spirit who helps us in our weakness in prayer.
D. Prayer is a place of abiding in Christ or connecting with the Spirit that energizes us to love God (first commandment) which causes us to overflow in love for others (second commandment).
He who abides in Me…bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (Jn. 15:5)
E. Prayer was never meant to be duty-based or merely results-oriented. Rather, it is the place of encounter with God where our spirit is energized as we grow to love Him more. It positions us to be energized to love God and people by receiving God’s love as a Father and Bridegroom.
F. We love others better as we encounter God’s heart. We do not have to give up our prayer time to make time to minister to people. We can do both. Most of us can seize time for the kingdom from the time we spend on entertainment or in gaining extra money that we may not really need.
G. Prayer that leads to intimacy with God protects our spirit from burnout as we minister to many people over the years. Our prayer life serves as a buffer against spiritual burnout. Maintaining a heart connect with Jesus is the lifeline that enables us for decades to sustain our ministry of winning the lost, healing the sick, and doing works of justice and compassion.
II. PRACTICAL ISSUES IN DEVELOPING A CONSISTENT PRAYER LIFE
A. Three ways to strengthen our prayer life are to set a schedule for regular prayer times, make a prayer list, and have a right view of God. A schedule establishes “when” we will pray. A prayer list gives us focus on “what” to pray. A right view of God causes us to “want” to pray.
B. Once our prayer time has been scheduled, we must consider some of that time as “sacred time,” treating it as a real appointment with the King and should not be missed except in emergencies......To be Continued!
Shalom & Stay Blessed