Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 113

Hindered Prayer continued...

Some of the hindrances, obstacles, and roadblocks the enemy attempts to put across our path toward prayer are so banal they would be laughable if they didn’t work so well. The reason the enemy’s hindrances work so well is due to their subtle nature. You don’t realize it’s the enemy, you don’t realize it’s a roadblock or an obstacle, and you get distracted and sidetracked from doing what you had set out to do…namely, pray.

Have you ever planned on coming before the Lord in prayer when suddenly you feel so tired and lethargic you can barely keep your eyes open? Have you ever planned on coming before the Lord in prayer and suddenly you remember fifteen things you had planned to do, and didn’t get done that day? Have you ever actually been in prayer and your mind started to wander, your thoughts became scattered, and you got distracted during your prayer time?

No, it is not your mind playing tricks on you, it is not your body telling you it needs a nap; it is the enemy trying to keep you from the solemn act of prayer.

The enemy realizes what we often do not, that every prayer uttered, every petition made, is another step toward a more intimate relationship with God. The more we pray, the more we desire to pray, and the more we desire to pray the deeper the roots of the Spirit take hold of our heart, wherein we come to the point of being as Daniel, unable to keep from being in God’s presence for a day.

The more we grow in our lives of prayer, the more we learn to hear the voice of God as well. No, prayer is not a one sided conversation. We’re not talking to the wall or to the ceiling, we are speaking to God the eternal, God the omnipotent, God the omniscient, and the most amazing thing of all, is that He talks back.

No, I’m not hearing voices in my head, although I have heard the audible voice of God on occasion. Most of the time, God speaks to our hearts, and we know it’s His voice because it comforts, and soothes, and heals, and gives peace and joy abundantly.

The world mocks what it does not understand, and because the world can never understand the mysteries of God, they mock those who experience Him in ways they never could. Yes, everyone claims to be spiritual, in fact most people pride themselves on being open minded, spiritual people except when it comes to Jesus and what He can do, the power of the Holy Spirit and what He does, and God’s ability to speak to His creation on a personal and intimate level.

The enemy knows full well once we’ve learned to hear the voice of God, once we’ve experienced true intimacy with Him, then the distractions, the roadblocks, and the hindrances he is so quick to put in our path will no longer work. He knows once we experience the fullness of God, we will let nothing stand in our way of true fellowship with Him.

Of all the ways the enemy attempts to hinder our prayer life, distracting us while we are attempting to pray seems to be the most successful. We begin to pray, focused, intent, and knowing what it is we are going to petition God about, then suddenly we’re just saying words without focusing on what we are saying.

In order to keep their focus, I’ve known brothers who have taken to praying aloud while pacing in their homes. Yes, we must pray with the spirit, but we must also pray with the understanding, for only when the two are combined and come before God in harmony is a prayer truly a prayer.

1 Corinthians 14:15, “What is the result then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.”

Our duty as wise and obedient children of God is to know when the enemy is attempting to distract us, when he is attempting to hinder us in our prayers, and rebuke him. It is our duty to lay aside every weight and sin which so easily ensnares us. It is our duty to run with endurance the race that is set before us, and no one can do it on our behalf.

I cannot lay aside your weight for you; I cannot lay aside the sin which ensnares you for you. It is incumbent upon you as an individual to do these things yourself.

I realize the notion that we must do absolutely nothing except raise a limp hand in a church service has reached unprecedented heights, and scores of individuals are flocking to this doctrine, but just because the masses are flocking to it, it does not make it biblically sound, or scripturally true.

Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Does this verse even imply that Jesus will set aside the weight and sin for you? Does this verse even imply that Jesus will run the race on your behalf?

No, it does not!

Let us, every one, lay aside every weight. Let us, every one, lay aside the sin which so easily ensnares us. Let us, every one, run with endurance that is set before us, for only those who run the race faithfully, until they cross the finish line, will receive the crown.

I cannot run your race, nor can you run mine. We each run our own race, and may we do so with endurance, unburdened of every weight and every sin, that we might run into the arms of Jesus all the more swiftly.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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