Monday, June 11, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 92

Fervent Prayers continued...

Luke 18:1, “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”

Too often, many within the household of faith interpret fervent prayer to be some sort of marathon prayer session, wherein you don’t get off your knees for five hours at a time, or spend an entire night, from dusk until dawn just praying, and nothing else.

Although we ought to pray always, and there is no such thing as too much prayer, the notion that fervent prayer is in fact these marathon prayer sessions, is unscriptural, and false on its face. The fervency of a prayer has nothing to do with the length of a prayer. Just as one can speak hours on end without really saying anything, one can readily pray hours on end without ever exhibiting fervency in their words or actions.

Fervency, and possessing a dynamic and fervent prayer life has more to do with the heart of an individual rather than the words of an individual…more to do with the hope of an individual rather than his need.

I’ve heard enough prayers throughout my life to know the source of one’s prayer within a very short span of time. I can tell whether the prayer is sincere or pharisaical, whether it is the pouring out of one’s heart to God, or one’s attempt to impress those within his hearing by his words, and I can also tell if a prayer possesses fervency, or is done more as a symbolic gesture than something true and vital.

Jesus spoke a parable to those who listened to Him, that they might understand the imperative and necessity of prayer in their lives.

For far too many believers today prayer has become an option, and not even an attractive one at that. Because the true beauty of prayer is never spoken of within the church, because the need for prayer isn’t constantly and consistently hammered home in sermons and teachings, prayer is seen as a waste of time, something we practice not out of need, or paramount necessity, but out of habit and tradition.

True believers feel the need to pray. If they’ve gone without praying for a day, they feel that something is off in their spirit, they feel that they are no longer in harmony with God, and return to prayer as soon as they are able.

Nobody has to tell a true believer they must pray, nor can they stop a true believer from praying. Circumstances do not dictate whether we pray on a certain day or not. Busy schedules, appointments, errands, or anything else that fills our day ought not to infringe upon the time we have set aside to spend in the presence of God, speaking with Him and communing with Him.

If circumstances dictated our prayers, than Daniel would have kept silent when he discovered he was being watched and scrutinized, but his need to commune and fellowship with God was overriding even when it came to his sense of self preservation.

Daniel knew he had enemies. He knew they were planning his destruction…why not lay low for a few days, or a week? Why not stop praying until the danger passed, and those who were looking for a reason to have him arrested went on to find something more exciting to do?

Daniel could no more put off prayer for a week, than he could put off breathing for a week. That is something many believers here in the West can’t seem to understand, or wrap their minds around.

How could prayer be such a fundamental need in one’s life that they couldn’t manage to put it off for a few days? How could prayer mean so much to one such as Daniel, that he risked not only his freedom but his life in order to fellowship with God?

It is only when we understand the beauty, the power, the fellowship, and intimacy we have in prayer, that we understand what Daniel did, and not only will we not fault him for refusing to delay his prayer time, we will understand him on a very fundamental level.

The individual that does not pray, cannot thrive or grow spiritually…It’s that simple.

I don’t care how many gospel artists you listen to, I don’t care how many autographed posters of televangelists you have on your wall, I don’t care how many blogs you read, I don’t care how many Bible verses are stenciled around your home…if you don’t pray consistently, and fervently, spiritual death is only a matter of time.

‘But how could you make such a sweeping claim brother Mike?’

Because it is the truth, and the word of God bears it out. Jesus spoke a parable that men always ought to pray, not because they had nothing better to do, not because they didn’t have jobs, and bills, and children and spouses, but because prayer is a necessary and integral part of every believer’s life, and just as your physical body cannot survive without oxygen for an extended period of time, your spiritual man cannot survive an extended period of time without prayer.

In his first letter to the church at Thessalonica, Paul wrote to them and admonished them to pray without ceasing, proceeded by the admonishment to rejoice always, and followed by the admonishment to give thanks in everything; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

When Paul admonishes the church at Thessalonica, and by association us to pray without ceasing, he is not suggesting that we spend the rest of our lives on our knees, looking upward, repeating the same phrases over and over again. What Paul is intimating by his use of this phrase, is that we ought to always pray in the Spirit, and we ought to always possess an awareness of our spiritual man, making sure that he is in constant and perpetual communion with God.

Pray always, pray with fervency, pray with passion, and do not lose heart, for He who sees all and hears all, sees and hears your prayers too.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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