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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 95

Fervent Prayer continued...

Paul the Apostle was a man who knew what it was the pray with fervency. Whenever he wrote concerning his prayers for the church, whether to the church at Rome, the church at Corinth, or the church at Thessalonica, he was quick to remind them of his prayers on their behalf.

Paul’s prayers on behalf of the church were neither lighthearted nor passionless. Rather, whenever Paul prayed for the Body of Christ, whenever he prayed for the household of faith, his prayers were passionate and fervent and all consuming.

Romans 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”

This was the extent of Paul’s heart’s desire, this was the extent of his prayer…that Israel may be saved. His prayer did not focus on himself, his heart’s desire was not for himself, but rather for the people of Israel, that they might discover the truth in righteousness, and be saved from destruction.

The height of love is when we can forsake ourselves, and forget ourselves for the sake and benefit of others. Paul forsook himself, and made the salvation of Israel the desire of his heart.

It takes real, abiding, and burning love for an individual or a nation, to pen such words as, ‘I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, and giving of the law.’

We approach God differently when we have a burning need, or a burning desire in our heart, and when we do it out of habit or custom.

Most of the time the ‘why’ of a certain thing, determines the ‘how’ of a certain thing.

It is said two men were waiting to be interviewed for the same job. Just as it is now, times were hard, and jobs were sparse, and the man hiring only had one position to fill.

As the first man was called into the business owner’s office, and asked to sit, the owner began asking him questions, from what qualified him for the job, to why it was he wanted the job.

‘Well, I have a degree in the field you are looking to hire, and I suppose that’s what qualifies me for the job, and as far as wanting the job, my wife made me go look for one.’

After concluding the interview with the first individual, the second individual was called into the business owner’s office, and was asked the selfsame questions the first interviewee was asked.

‘Well, I’m not overly qualified in the field you’re looking for, but I’m a hard worker, and I learn quick, and as far as wanting the job, I’ve got nowhere else to go, and I need this job in order to provide for my family.’

Upon hearing this, the business over stood up, extended his hand, and said to the man sitting in the chair, ‘you’re hired.’

After the requisite thanks, the newly hired man leaves the office, and giving him a puzzled look the owner’s assistant asks, ‘why did you hire this gentleman over the other one? The other one was more qualified.’

‘Yes, the other one might have been more qualified, but he wasn’t driven. Between a man whose wife forces him to go looking for a job, and a man who seeks out a job all on his own because he desires to provide for his children, I’ll hire them man who doesn’t need to be nudged, every time.’

Why are you praying the prayer you are praying? Why do you petition God for what you’re petitioning Him for?

These are important questions and they will go far in determining whether we are fervently petitioning God for something truly valuable, or something that will just make our lives easier, and make us feel better about ourselves.

A fervent prayer can often be identified by its intensity, its passion, its physical exertion, its emotional exertion, and its persistence.

Luke 22:44, “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Hebrews 5:6-8, “As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’, who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”

Fervent prayer is the diametrical opposite of dry, customary prayer. Jesus prayed fervently, He prayed with passion, and because of His godly fear He was heard. When we couple godly fear, with fervent prayer, we too will be heard.

The author of Hebrews is not hesitant in pointing out that in the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears. If Jesus prayed in this manner, if Jesus prayed with vehement cries and tears, what makes us think we ought to pray any different, or that such prayers are unbecoming of us?

When we pray fervent prayers, the whole notion of pretense is utterly annihilated. During moments of fervent prayers no one wonders if their mascara is running, if the tears are staining their shirt, or if someone is watching.

It’s just you, and God, and no one else, and you cry out to Him, and you call on Him, and you petition Him from the depths of your heart, unconcerned with how others perceive you, or what they’re thinking about you.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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