I ran across something someone gave me many years ago. It is a plan on how to pray for one hour each day. It is simple. Most people say they cannot pray for one hour each day. Time is always a big excuse for people. Yet, it is important to Jesus. Look at His words in Matthew 26:40-41, “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
So, over the next few days I would like to address how to pray for one hour each day. Far too many people don’t want to spend one hour each day in prayer. Prayer is vital to our daily life and we seem to just dismiss it as a waste of time. You will not be sorry if you learn to pray for one hour and time will not pass you by either.
I wish I could say this is original with me; but, I cannot. It was given to me many years ago. I cannot even remember who gave it to me; but, I am glad they did. If I remember correctly I was given a statistic that the average pastor spends fifteen (15) minutes per day in prayer.
As I was thinking about this again it dawned on me that this might be a huge contributing factor to the decline in our nation. No, I am not writing this to slam pastors and preachers. I am writing this to open our eyes to a real problem in Christianity.
Why don’t we pray? Some feel like there is no reason to pray because God knows all and they don’t “feel” like their prayers will make a difference. Wrong! Prayer works! It is one of the mightiest avenues we have to effect the fallen world we live in for now.
We allow anything and everything to get in the way. Then we do not think prayer is important. It was important to Jesus. He commands us to pray. Look at His words in Luke 18:1, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”
Are you fervent in prayer? Are you faint in prayer? Only you and the Heavenly Father know so you might as well be honest.
As we look around and see our country in the current downtrend it is disheartening to say the least. As I think about things I wonder what I can do. I think the most important thing that any of us can do is pray.
Far too often we discount prayer because we don’t think that God will really hear us. We think our cares are too small for our God to be concerned with. This is a lie from the devil to keep us from praying,
One if the most powerful weapons we have is prayer. The problem is that we don’t use it. We shy away from it and this is quite sad.
Prayer is more than asking and receiving, It is time well spent with our God. It is time well spent praying for other too. Look at Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; ”
Another way we can prepare for Sunday morning services is to pray. All too often we allow anything and everything to interrupt our “quiet time”. It needs to be just that “quiet time”. I know it is difficult; but, it is not impossible.
As I get older I am beginning to see the truth about this. I would not want to ascend the pulpit without first having spent quality time and quantity time with the Father. Why would the LORD Jesus come to Church with me if I never take time for Him? Think about that for a little while.
We must make prayer a priority in each of our own lives. We need to rely upon the prayers of God’s people to carry us through. I am learning this more and more as a Pastor. If God’s people fail to pray then I will fail. If I don’t carry through and pray then someone will suffer consequences.
Jesus practiced private prayer. Look at Matthew 14:23, “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.”
Jesus got alone to pray. We must follow His example. You and I both know as soon as you or I sit down to read that the door bell will ring or the phone will ring. Something will happen. The devil will kick against your time of prayer. Get ready!
I want to continue my thoughts today on “Why We Don’t Have Revival”.
Another reason would be that we don’t pray. I don’t know who said it; but, it is true. Here it is, “All failures are prayer failures.” Wow! So, based upon our topic today if we don’t have revival it is due to a failure to pray for it and it is a failure to pray.
Life is busy, I understand that. Two of the most important things that we as Christians can do is spend quantity and quality time in prayer. We must pray. Look again at our Scripture in II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Prayer is a vital thing in the life of someone who knows Christ as their Saviour. This is the time that we can spend with Him and commune with Him. If I love my wife I will spend time with her. It is no different with my LORD. If I love Him then I will spend time with Him in prayer and reading His Word and listening for Him to speak to me.
So, my dear reader it is simple. If we are going to have Heaven sent, Holy Spirit revival like our nation, our Churches and we ourselves need we are going to have to spend time on our knees and our faces before Holy God in prayer. We must pray for forgiveness of our personal sins and our national sins. God please forgive me/us.
As I related yesterday about the firefighter’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is like the Christian’s armour. This is a loose comparison I know.
In the same way that a firefighter needs protection so does the soldier of the cross and the soldier on the modern battlefield. The firefighter uses things like an axe, pike pole and hoses. So, what does the Christian have that is an offensive weapon?
The first offensive weapon is prayer. When we pray we attack the gates of hell, defeat the devil conform ourselves to the image of Jesus Christ. Prayer is an important offensive weapon. Have you ever tried to seriously pray? As soon as you do the phone rings or any myriad of things will happen to distract you from prayer. It is vitally important. Look at Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
The other offensive weapon is the Word of God. Look at Ephesians 6:17b, “…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”. The devil hates God’s Word! We need to keep our Sword sharp. We need to memorize the Word of God and we must obey it. In the Word we find all we need for faith and practice. The Bible is vitally important. This is why there are so many “versions” so-called today. It is an attempt to bring about confusion and to water down the Truth.
When we find ourselves under attack we need to run to the LORD and we need to take up our “Sword” and we need to wield it like a seasoned soldier. If you are not a seasoned soldier this will be difficult. We must get more intimately acquainted with the Word.
As I was considering what message the LORD would have me to preach this morning I came across a series of three e-mails from my cousin Dale A. Byers. He is a fantastic writer, Pastor and man of God. He shared much about Gethsemane. It was powerful reading for sure. I began reading his text from Scripture and I got hung up on the following verse in Matthew 26:28, “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.”
Jesus has led his most trusted disciples; the inner circle we sometimes call them, into the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus shares with them that His heart is heavy. He is looking ahead to His cross. He tells them, “Tarry ye here, and watch with me.” Their Master gave them two simple commands.
The first command was to “tarry”. This means to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy. Jesus knew these men inside and out. He knew that they; like you and I, would wander. He commanded them to tarry. Far too many Christians get their feelings hurt and it is off and running someplace else.
He also asked them to tarry there because they were on watch with Jesus. In His darkest hour in all of time and eternity all Jesus asked of they was to “tarry” and “watch”. We need to be solid Christians. We need to be stable Christians. We need to be sold out Christians.
Then Jesus command them to “watch”. This is a deep theological term that means to keep awake, i.e. watch (literally or figuratively). If we are not careful we will find ourselves sleeping. If we are not careful we can be lulled to sleep by the enemy of our soul. He knows that we are vulnerable in that area and he will keep us running in circles so that we are exhausted so that we fall asleep easily. Don’t be lulled to sleep by the devil.
Yesterday I received a daily devotional from Dr. Adrian Rogers and Love Worth Finding Ministries. Dr. Rogers also hit on prayer and I want to share some of his thoughts with you.
He said, “It was a very long, tiring day. I had preached three sermons and dictated a stack of letters. And at the close of each letter I ended it, “In Jesus’ name, Adrian Rogers.”
A man came to me at the end of a service and said, “I must see you. I have a severe problem.” I was bone weary but I said, “Very well, come on back and let’s talk.”
We talked and I listened. My heart was moved with compassion. I said, “Let me pray for you.” And when I finished I said, “In Jesus’ name, Adrian Rogers.” And then I thought, “Oh my! Did I say that? Did he hear me say that?” How easy we slip and rattle off our prayers.”
Dear Reader, is this a description of your prayer life? I hope it is not. Even more so, I hope and pray this is not a description of my prayer life. Prayer is so important. It is a time we can fellowship and spend valuable time with our Heavenly Father. It is never time wasted. I know that my family and I desperately need your prayers.
I am afraid that I am like you, my readers. When time gets pinched we all seem to want to drop prayer and Bible study. Why is this? If I could answer that one I would be a wealthy man. The fact is that we do seem to think we will make it up. Just the other day I thought I could just pray in the vehicle as I traveled. Right… The traffic was so bad (I should have prayed) that I thought more about the lesser capable drivers on the road than the all sufficient Saviour that I should have been spending time with. After the trip was over I was deeply convicted of what I had done. Learn from my mistake. I took the time to pray and ask for forgiveness.
This weapon we have called prayer is a powerful weapon. The Scriptures account many times where someone prayed and miraculous things happened. The problem is that you and I don’t see prayer as a miraculous weapon in our arsenal. Shame on us all for this. When we pray we are coming into the throne room of Almighty God and the Holy Spirit of God hand carries our petitions to our Father. Then our Father answers them personally. Wow! If that is not love then I don’t know what love is.
Notice the Apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” We should always be praying for others and for ourselves. We can move offensively and defensively against the enemy of our soul in prayer. We must pray that God puts a hedge of protection around us and our family. We must pray against the schemes of the devil. We must utilize the weapon of prayer.
I have a quote on my wall from Chuck Knoll that says, “Champions don’t beat themselves. If you want to win, do the ordinary things better than anyone else does – day in and day out.”
My guess is that you are wondering how this quote and our current series connects. I hope to make that bridge quickly. Here goes.
I was watching a basketball game the other evening with family. I watched in horror as our team went down by nineteen (19) points. This was nearly horrifying. Then we watched as they just point by point chiseled away at this deficit. The next thing we knew they were ahead by two. From there it went back and forth.
Now, if you and I are going to see God’s Glory come back we have to take the the counsel of coach Chuck Knoll. We have to do the ordinary things better than anyone else so to speak. What I mean is that we need to get back to the basics. We must meet with God everyday in prayer. We must meet with God everyday in Bible study and I think we must go out and introduce other people to our Heavenly Father in witnessing. These are basic; but, needed things in our lives.
So, how are you doing?
II Chronicles 5:1, “Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.”