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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 91

Fervent Prayer

There is something to be said for passion. There is something to be said for approaching God with urgency and fervency, with zeal and intensity, continuing to come before Him with undiminished enthusiasm until He answers our prayers.

If you’ve been a believer for longer than a moon’s turn, then you already know one of the constant battles we must wage with ourselves is keeping the fires of our first love burning, and being passionate when we come before God in prayer.

Few things are more troublesome to see in today’s modern church than passionless prayers absent of fervency or zeal. Prayer has become just another custom, just another tradition, something we practice because we feel we have to, with all the enthusiasm we would show if we were, per chance, watching paint dry.

If by some miracle a prayer goes on longer than two minutes, the squirming begins, the number of those fidgeting in their seats and checking their wristwatches growing exponentially every fifteen seconds or so.

Because most believers today do not have a full and right understanding of what prayer is and what it can do in their lives, they see it as just another chore, and just another burdensome duty, like going to church, or reading one’s Bible.

With the full realization that the preceding might seem insensitive, brutish, and even hurtful to some, it is nevertheless truth, and if anyone can prove me wrong and show that much of the church today isn’t an amalgam of lukewarm, sycophantic idol worshippers who prize the self above a relationship with Christ, then I will retract my statement, and even apologize.

We can call it a mammal, an oversized life form, and even a non-human entity, but eventually even the most unwilling of souls must acquiesce, and call an elephant what it is.

What we call the Church today really isn’t, because the true Church, the true Body of Christ, the true people of the Way serve Jesus, worship Jesus and obey Jesus. True believers are not enamored with other individuals; they do not raise other men up to the point that they become surrogates for the One true Christ, believing these men over Jesus Himself. True believers take the time to study the word of God, to search the word of God, and compare everything they hear to the aforementioned word before they receive it as doctrine, and allow it to take root in their hearts.

Until we stop ignoring the central issue, until we identify the cancer and uproot it from the midst of the household of faith, we will wander about as if dazed, seeking spiritual succor and nourishment anywhere else but in Christ.

Why people would choose to follow other people rather than Christ Himself is simple: Jesus requires self-sacrifice, self-denial, and self-renunciation; other people don’t. Other people are content with your love gift, and if you contribute enough to their vision, your spiritual wellbeing is irrelevant, and immaterial to them.

As long as you pony up, whether you read the Bible, pray, grow, or live a righteous life is not an issue to those whose only reason for handling the word of God is gain. Because their singular purpose is to part you from your hard earned money, they have no qualms about telling you what you want to hear, running the gamut from insisting that your faith will never be tested, to promising you that a mansion and a beach house are just around the corner if you send in enough faith seed, to twisting scripture to the point that repentance isn’t even necessary anymore for entering the Kingdom of God.

There is no denying that new doctrines and new teachers of heretical falsehoods have been sprouting up like mushrooms after a spring rain as of late, and if we hope to remain strong in the Lord and the power of His might, if we hope to remain steadfast in truth, then we must be in the presence of God as never before.

We must be deeply rooted in the word of God, now more than ever, and prayer must be a constant companion, an extension of oneself, that we might walk in the light of truth, and possess the authority rightly ours as sons and daughters of the Most High God.

We have learned the importance of distinguishing our prayers and knowing which prayers we are praying to God, we have learned the importance of praying in Jesus’ name, of praying in faith, and praying with expectancy, and today we begin to learn the importance of fervent prayer, or praying fervently.

Before we begin our discussion, I would stipulate that fervent prayer is not reserved only for when we have a pressing issue looming over our lives, nor is it reserved only for when we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place.

Sadly, it seems the only time we approach God with passion, with fervor, with fire, with urgency and with zeal is when we really need something from Him, and need it sooner rather than later.

Why does it usually take a catastrophe or a tragedy to cause us to approach God fervently? Why does it usually take a situation we can’t see ourselves out of before we come before God with urgency and zeal?

Ought we not to desire God and the kingdom of God in perpetuity? Ought we not to seek after the things of the kingdom of God with intensity every day of our lives?

These are questions to which you already know the answer, and each one must search their own heart in order to discover the answer that lies therein.

One thing is beyond doubt however, few today still approach prayer fervently, reverently, and passionately, and it is to our own detriment that we lack these all important qualities in our prayer life.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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