Purposeful prayer

PerilousTimes

I am fascinated by the study of war and the strategic thought behind what makes a good leader in times of engagement. I find I can apply so much to my own leadership to the teams I find leading. So when I read this, I can’t say that I ever looked to the Bible to give advice of this nature.

 Before you start fighting, a priest is to come forward and say to the army, Men of Israel, listen! Today you are going into battle. Do not be afraid of your enemies or lose courage or panic. The Lord your God is going with you, and he will give you victory.’ – Deuteronomy 20:2-4  GNT

I believe they call this – the anointed of the war. The person who was responsible to pray for them – the priest – was called to animate the people. Are not the best encouragers those who believe in the promises of God made to the prayer of faith? It is like an esteemed chaplain in today’s army – not called only to pray, but to preach to them – to give them advice as to what may hinder their success and how to raise their hopes.

The trap of purposelessness faces all of us from time to time. Look how we are instructed to pray and honest prayer.

Then in their trouble they called to the Lord,
    and he saved them from their distress. – Psalm 107:13  GNT

I pray differently than many others but I love the fact that God hears us all – the whispers and the screams.

Unfortunately, I see too many of us who bother not to seek God and to pray about their needs and problems.

Keep all your magic spells and charms;
    you have used them since you were young.
Perhaps they will be of some help to you;
    perhaps you can frighten your enemies. – Isaiah 47:12  GNT

It is a sarcastic comment but what else would one do if they have lost their purpose and have forgotten that prayer matters.

“No man shall ever behold the glory of Christ by sight hereafter who does not in some measure behold it here by faith.”
― John Owen, The Glory Of Christ

 

Find time to pray

find time to pray

It might just be possible that we have become addicted to hyperstimulation. The constant barrage of news and knowledge can dominate ones mind. With the environment of media presence within our arms reach, how difficult is it to find time be be quiet, to think or even to pray.

“Stop fighting,” he says, “and know that I am God,
    supreme among the nations,
    supreme over the world.” – Psalm 46:10 GNT

I am encouraged to stop fighting and find that quiet place where I can know God – an essential part of my day – to read my Bible, pray and consider not only God’s goodness but also His greatness.

It is like this prayer —

Close your heart to every love but mine;
    hold no one in your arms but me. – Solomon 8:6 GNT

It is a prayer that suggests that I might see Christ’s love visibly, It puts me in a place where I discover, through my experience, there is no longer a question nor a matter of doubt that God’s hand and His heart are engaged for my eternal salvation.

God not only hears our prayers, but when I wrestle with Him and strive in prayer, He loves it.

Let me hear your voice from the garden, my love;
    my companions are waiting to hear you speak. – Song of Solomon 8:13 GNT

In the first place, helplessness. This is unquestionably the first and the surest indication of a praying heart. As far as I can see, prayer has been ordained only for the helpless. It is the last resort of the helpless. Indeed, the very last way out. We try everything before we finally resort to prayer.

This is not only true of us before our conversion. Prayer is our last resort also throughout our whole Christian life. I know very well that we offer many and beautiful prayers, both privately and publicly, without helplessness as the impelling power. But I am not at all positive that this is prayer. Prayer and helplessness are inseparable. Only those who are helpless can truly pray. – Ole Hallesby