How can we work in God's Power and Provision, to see these people brought to Christ and see amazing things? There is one way, and only one way: John 15:16: Jesus said that He appointed us to win souls for Him, and one of the very reasons He says He will answer our prayers is so that we may complete His work in saving these souls. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4: Paul says that we are not waging war in the physical world, and the weapons we will use will not be our weapons of this world; they will be Divine; mighty in God ONLY. What is the only way to bring God into the fight from our position? Prayer!
We have taken something that is actually the central, primary, foundational, absolutely necessary source of our relationship with Christ, of all our decisions, all our power, all our provision, and we have made that absolutely-necessary-foundation into a bothersome chore that we half-heartedly do, sometimes; asking for an extra, "Kick" to what we've already planned, decided, and set up to do in our own power; often not even considering if it was His will, or having any expectation of His Hand in the work. Satan loves us for it, because it makes us weak. In our present day and hour, we will completely flounder and fail, if we don't seriously change our mentality and practice of prayer.
Jesus was sinless, gifted, healthy, motivated, and loving.; of all people on earth, He probably seemed to need prayer the least of us all; and yet, the Gospels show that Jesus thrived on prayer. If He needed it; was driven by it, strengthened by it; why do we think we are so complete, with so little prayer?
Having the right words, and the right methods are useless if we do not have a hunger and desire to spend time with God; to truly learn His will; and to go and do His will no matter the cost. How much time do you actually spend praying, really? If honest, many would probably say at meals, and a few minutes before bed (when you pray at all); and when you do pray, it is something like this:"Lord, forgive my sins. Protect me and my loved ones. Bless my family. Help me have a great day tomorrow. Amen!"
Hebrews 5:7. How many times do we put God last until we are just too tired, and then skip time with Him thinking, "He'll understand?" Listen to the time and passion Jesus put into praying, even with a life chocked full of more than you or I could claim: Mark 1:32-35. Even after working late into the night doing God's will in power, Jesus was the first up, before sunrise, to spend time with His Father: Luke 5:15-16. It seemed the busier Jesus became, the more He realized He needed God’s fellowship, perspective & power. Look for yourself in Mark 6:30-56: Jesus beckoned the disciples to go away with Him to a deserted place for rest and food, because they had just lost John the Baptist to martyrdom, and now were so pressed by the people they didn't even get to eat. (Already heartbroken, tired, hungry, and stressed- in the afternoon) They got in a boat and headed for a deserted place, but the people knew where they were going and beat them there, waiting for them when Jesus arrived. So, Jesus had compassion on them, and taught them late into the evening; He then performed a miracle to feed thousands. Then, made His disciples get in a boat and leave while He sent away the thousands alone. Then, after all of this, He went up into the mountains alone, to pray until sometime into the fourth watch of the night (between 3 & 6am), then walked on the water to join the boat in a storm. As soon as they reached the other side at Gennesaret, people ran to Him wanting healing, and He continued ministering to them that day. So, Jesus never found time to mourn or rest for two days solid, yet, He took what little time he had and did what: pray. If Jesus saw that it was that absolutely important to spend time with His Father, why do we keep making prayer a trivial thing to be done when we can fit it in, so He can bless our will in life? You can find the time; If you are passionate about something, you gladly make the time. If not, you never will. God needs passion—try Him!
When Jesus was about to choose the Twelve Disciples, He prayed all night. He prayed for wisdom: Luke 6:12-13. When He was about to begin His earthly ministry, He departed into prayer and fasting for forty days. He prayed for strength & guidance: Mark 1:10-13. When His disciples, even one disciple, needed strength and protection, He prayed for friends: Luke 22:31-32. For His enemies when they were mocking and even torturing Him! He prayed for enemies in real love: Luke 23:32-34. On the night of His arrest, before being crucified, Jesus prayed for strength to do the Father's will: Matthew 26:42. While on earth, and even today in Heaven, Jesus prays for His people. He prayed for the unity, protection and strength: John 17:20-26, Romans 8:33-34. Jesus prays in the Garden before His death, and even in a gut-wrenching moment on the cross for fellowship with the Father: John 17:5, Matthew 27:45-46. Jesus prayed in thanksgiving for the physical provisions given by God, and for the answered prayers and power that He received from God: John 11:41-43.
Jesus Christ came as a Human being, to take away our sins, and to show us how to live for God. If He was that radically devoted to prayer, in order to have a wonderful relationship with the Father and the power to serve Him, doesn't it stand to reason that we need the same thing? And when we hear all of these theological debates about God not working the same way anymore; about how God doesn't do that anymore; don't you think the evidence probably more clearly points to the fact that we are not passionately devoted to prayer for guidance, and power? That maybe it is our desire and will that has more likely changed, than God's ways and promises?
Here is a memory peg to help you remember what we are to Biblically pray for when we pray: Jesus with His arm around you, as He smiles and guides the way; while you hold a magnifying glass in one hand, and hold your family's hand with the other, and they, in turn, hold the hand of a string of people coming out of the Church, while people surround us and throw things at us all. 1) Jesus with His arm around you: your first reason for prayer is passion for Christ; to share your pains, show your love and admiration for His Awesomeness; to say thank you for all the prayers answered, and protection given, and how He's used you previously. What is He doing? Guiding you along the way; one of the most important things to spend time with God in prayer over, is understanding His will, and finding His way. We do not go to Him in an attempt to bend His will to ours, or tell Him where we need to go in life, but to learn, and surrender to His will in passion and love, as Christ in the Garden. 2) Magnifying glass in hand: Stop seeing yourself as good or bad in your own eyes, or in the eyes of the world's scales, and start asking yourself, in the Presence of God in prayer: Who you are in Him; what He thinks of what you are doing; what sins you may have that you don't even know about; what sins you both know you are struggling with right now; and just honestly confess the struggle, ask for help—ask for help in accepting His acceptance as well. 3) Holding the hand of your family: It is your Scriptural responsibility to know the needs and weaknesses, and sins of your family, and to lift them in prayer before God in expectation and passion; and to pray for their safety, direction, wisdom, protection, and holiness. If you aren't noticing these things, if you aren't caring and addressing them, who is? 4) They hold the hand of a string of people coming out of the church: Pray for the extended family in this church; for God's power and provision here; for what He will do with us as a Body; for individuals that will be saved, for healed marriages, for healed bodies and minds, for unity. 5) Who was surrounding us, throwing things: unsaved—enemies of us and church. Pray for your enemies; for their conversions, convictions, discovery of Truth.
2 Chronicles 7:14