hearts joys

hearts joys

Monday, August 5, 2013

Stepping into Prayer

As we contemplate leaving our house and home to travel who knows where, to be of service to Yahweh Elohim, I have begun to immerse myself in prayer.  Not just taking a few minutes here and there to pray but to actually take time to study the subject and to take time to put it into practice.  I am ashamed to say that I have actually spent very little time in prayer over the course of the last few years.  I can remember when my wife and I were going through a very difficult time in our marriage.  I spent so much more time in prayer and on my knees back then.  But when things are going well...
It is so easy to let it go and not spend the time with Elohim that a good relationship deserves.
  When we begin to contemplate living a life by faith, that faith requires us to be on our knees asking, seeking, and listening to the words of Abba El.  So, now I would like to share with you some of the quotes that have been meaningful to me as I study this subject.

we must learn how to walk at God’s pace if we desire to truly hear God and discern His best for our lives. Ben Patterson describes what this tension is like in a direct but helpful way: For many of us, on an almost subconscious level, there is a lack of confidence that something like prayer can actually get anything done. Therefore, since our lives are full of things that need to be done, prayer naturally gets pushed out to the edges of the day . . . God said it would be that way: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee!” (Isaiah 30: 15– 16). Flight is a good image of the kind of activity that dominates prayerless people and churches.[ 43]
Banks, James (2010-11-10). The Lost Art of Praying Together (Kindle Locations 846-847). Discovery House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

When we watch and pray, we learn to be sensitive to the Spirit and move with God’s promptings.
Banks, James (2010-11-10). The Lost Art of Praying Together (Kindle Location 851). Discovery House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Spurgeon gives this practical explanation of what the rhythm of prayer and action look like in the Christian’s day-to-day life:
We shall not fly into a passion with the Lord, and refuse to believe Him any more, neither shall we run off to novelties, and fall into the fads and crazes of the day, to try this and to try that, because God’s own way is a failure; but we shall say, I have done what God bade me. I have done it in dependence upon His Spirit, and I believe good will come of it; therefore I shall wait and watch. I shall be found moving when God moves; or sitting still when the Lord tarries; but I am sure that He will not fail the soul that waits upon Him; all will be well; the blessing will come. What a sweet thing is the calm leisure of faith![ 44]
Banks, James (2010-11-10). The Lost Art of Praying Together (Kindle Locations 861-863). Discovery House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
There should be a rythem in our daily lives if we are living a life that pleases Yahweh Elohim 

Pray. Wait. Act. Action follows prayer. Prayer discovers what action to take. Prayer and action should never exclude each other.
Banks, James (2010-11-10). The Lost Art of Praying Together (Kindle Locations 874-876). Discovery House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

In a world that is steeped in self-reliance prayer tells us that our time and energies do not belong to us but to Elohim.  Prayer gives first of all priority to Elohim.  When we are constantly on our knees before His throne where ever we are and whatever we are doing we are consciously living our lives in His presence. 

If we are attempting to do things for Yahweh without prayer we are heading for disaster.

E. M. Bounds describes what this looks like: Sacred work— church activities— may so engage and absorb us as to hinder praying, and when this is the case, evil results always follow. It is better to let the work go by default than to let the praying go by neglect. Whatever affects the intensity of our praying effects the value of our work. “Too busy to pray” is not only the keynote to backsliding, but it mars even the work done. Nothing is well done without prayer for the simple reason that it leaves God out of the account. It is so easy to be seduced by the good to the neglect of the best.[ 48]
Banks, James (2010-11-10). The Lost Art of Praying Together (Kindle Locations 898-901). Discovery House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Action in response to Elohim's leading through prayer then becomes us being His ambassadors of light and salt.  It no longer is about our agenda but His. 

I have repented of living a life that is less than powered by Yahweh Elohim.  This journey we are on is filled with fear and trepidation.  But Scripture teaches us perfect love casts out fear.  Yahweh Elohim's Word and character are on the line.  Is He big enough for me to serve Him in this way?  Or do I just think of Him as being too small to care about my living by faith?  So I put my little mustard seed out and wait for His sunshine and rain to increase this little bit I have.  I look forward to praying and watching what Elohim can do.

More to come

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