Thursday, May 5, 2011
Laura's Encouraging Words: Praying in the Spirit With All Kinds of Prayers: "Pray at all times (on every occassion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all (manner of) prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert an..."
And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news (the Gospel).
For which I am an ambassador in a coupling chain [in prison. Pray] that I may declare it boldly and courageously, as I ought to do. Ephesians 6: 18 - 20.
Today is the National Day of Prayer. What a wonderful day to talk about this piece of our armor. How wonderful, that we can pray for each other and for our nation, not only today, but every day we live. What an honor and a privilege, that we get to be a part of the very task Jesus has set Himself to do for us. He intercedes for us in heaven. We get to intercede for each other, too.
Paul, in this passage of Scripture, asks the Christians of his time, to pray for him. He was one of the more well-known ministers of the Gospel of Christ. He gave his all for the Gospel of Jesus. He went through imprisonment, stoning, beatings, shipwrecks, and so much more, all to bring forth the Gospel of Jesus to a dying world. He told of how he, too, had been an enemy of this self-same Gospel, but through the divine intervention of Christ, Himself, Saul, became Paul, and became a true ambassador of God.
For him to ask this of the believers of that time, makes us aware, that no matter how well we think we know Jesus, we need others to pray for us, to intercede for us, and to be aware, that we are all in need of encouragement, love, and support. Prayer is a vital piece of armor, that can move beyond the natural realm and impact our lives in a supernatural way. We are in a war, and prayer is so important to winning that war.
I remember one day, that I was at home in my kitchen, and I felt this overpowering need to intercede for my sister-in-law and her family. I didn't know what was going on, but I truly felt a sense of this being a life and death situation. I prayed for about an hour, and then I felt a release, that whatever had been going on, it was covered now by prayer. Later on, we found out that it had indeed been a life and death situation, and they had gone over a cliff and landed with the front end down. My brother-in-law was hurt pretty badly in his leg, and they all had some scratches and cuts, but they were all alive, and shaken, but not destroyed.
We won't all have such an intense call to prayer, and I have only had a few others like that in my lifetime so far, but that does not mean I stop praying. I continue to pray as I feel led by God's Spirit, to pray. God moves upon us in different ways at different times. If you try and regulate prayer, it becomes a chore, and not the adventure in the Spirit that God wants it to be. We need to allow God to be God, in our midst.
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. He gave them the Lord's Prayer. I want to do more on that prayer in a later blog, so I am only mentioning it to you. You can look it up for yourself right now, in Matthew 6:9-13. He went on to tell them more of what they needed to do.
Prayer begins with us acknowledging God, as our heavenly Father. We need to submit to Him, and His desire for our lives. We need to pray with an ear towards listening for His direction. We are prone to let distractions get in the way. We need to concentrate on God's attributes, to help us keep focused on His ways. He is our Comforter, our Healer, our Deliverer, our Strong Tower, our Salvation, our All in All. The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.
Our God is a supernatural God. He is not bound by our eyes. He is bound by our faith. What I mean by that is that if we will have faith, He will do more than we can imagine, but if we doubt, we close the doors to His supply. If you don't believe me, just think of the Israelites going through the wilderness. They had 40 more years of wandering because of their unbelief. Jesus told the disciples that they could have whatever they believed for, if they would just have faith of a mustard seed. That seems incredible to us, but believe me, He meant it. He means it for us too. He wants us to walk out that door of "just existing" and into a life of "believing for more". Just like Paul asked for prayer, that he might be bold and courageous to share the Gospel of Christ. We need that same boldness and courage. I love in Joshua 1 when the Lord speaks to Joshua to be strong and courageous and then the people repeat that same thing, telling Joshua that the Lord is with him. I quote that sometimes to myself. Reminding myself that God is with me. He wants me to be strong and courageous in HIM.
Dear ones, I pray that you will be encouraged today, reading these words, and that it will encourage you to pray not only for yourself and your family, but for your church family, and for your neighbors, and for the nation, and for the world. Pray for those who are lost. For those who are in disasters, for those who are poor and needy, for those who have lost a loved one, for those who are afraid, for those who are alone. There is no lack of areas for you to pray for God to be glorified and revealed in. I pray that God will give you a desire to pray. A desire to lift up His Name on high and to glorify Him, in interceding for those around you. God bless you all.