Monday, June 18, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 97

Fervent Prayer continued...

The word of God is clear that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. We can try to throw out red herrings such as, ‘the Lord hears and answers every prayer, no matter how halfhearted or uncommitted,’ or ‘God is not impressed by your intensity when you pray. Just the fact that you pray, is enough for Him,’ as often as suits us, but truth is still truth, and we must abide by it.

Scripture does not say that any kind of prayer avails much, but the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man.

The word effective is defined as ‘producing or capable of producing an intended result or having a striking effect, able to accomplish a purpose, or prepared for use or action.’

The word fervent on the other hand is defined as ‘intensely passionate, ardent, enthusiastic, burning, and very sincere.’

Fervent prayer is effective, because God responds to those moments when we stand before Him, petitioning Him, and doing so with intense passion and ardency.

James 5:16, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

What is that one thing for which you are fervently petitioning God? What is that one thing that burdens your heart each time you come in His presence, each time you approach the Mercy Seat?

We all have someone we pray for on a continual basis, whether an offspring, a spouse, a neighbor, a friend, or a parent, we all have something we pray for, whether healing, understanding, wisdom, fellowship, protection, or comfort. It is different for each of us, but each of us must approach God with the selfsame fervency, with the selfsame effectiveness, so that our prayers might avail much.

Prayer, especially fervent prayer, is warfare. Make no mistake, whenever you come before God, whether in a public setting or by yourself in your prayer closet, you are engaging in spiritual warfare.

The enemy hates a praying Christian and it is incumbent upon us to do more of what the enemy hates, because if the enemy hates it, it is likely detrimental to him and his plans.

Romans 15:30, “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.”

Who do we strive against in our prayers, and who do we strive for? Is it the Lord we strive against when we pray? No, it is not the Lord we strive against, it is the enemy who is continually attempting to stifle our prayers, to detour our prayers, or keep them from reaching their desired destination.

The enemy is a hinderer, and he attempts to hinder our prayers every time we come before God. The enemy knows that if we strive against him when we pray, if we pray fervently, passionately, and shrouded in righteousness, then God will answer our petitions and our pleas.

It upsets the enemy to no end to see believers having their prayer answered, because with each answered prayer our faith grows and solidifies, and each time our faith grows the enemy’s effectiveness in attempting to detour us, or put up roadblocks in our quest for all of God, is lessened and diminished.

Often times, in our desire to maintain a fervent and effectual prayer life, we must even strive against ourselves. There are moments in life when we know we ought to pray, yet can’t muster up the right frame of mind for prayer. Either we’re too distracted, too tired, too bogged down with the worries of this life, but whatever it is we must strive against and overcome, we know it is a hindrance to our prayerfulness.

We must readily identify the source of our hindrance, and whether it is due to some external force, or it is something within ourselves with which we must contend, strive against, and overcome.

We face two constant enemies in this life. The first enemy we face is the flesh, the second is the devil, and both desire to keep us from wholly surrendering ourselves to God, wholly submitting to His will, and wholly humbling ourselves at the foot of the cross.

Neither the enemy nor the flesh have an issue with partial surrender, partial submission, or feigned humility, because both know that God will not accept half measures, nor will He ever be content with only half our heart.

It is a trick the enemy employs frequently and successfully, as time and again he convinces would-be believers that God will be content with less than their all, that they don’t really have to thirst after righteousness, or hunger after holiness.

Because some come to believe that God will accept less than their all, and that He is eternally appreciative of however much time we can spare to stand in His presence, they take God for granted, and the absence of reverence when they do get around to fellowshipping with Him is something disheartening and off-putting to behold.

It is said that in an ancient land a king had a son with whom he was very close. The king loved his son, offered him a place of honor at his table, treated him kindly, and always heard him out, but with each passing year the son became less and less respectful of his father.

One day, the son comes into the king’s chamber disheveled and unkempt, and without preamble sits at the king’s right hand and begins to devour the king’s meal.

Finally, the king could take no more, and with a gentle tone he said, ‘my son, I am your father, but never forget that I am also your king.’

Yes, God is our father ,and He is a good father, but we must never forget that He is also King, He is also the Creator of all that is seen and unseen, and one day He will judge the living and the dead according to His righteousness.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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