LEGACYouth: Pump Up the Prayer

To understand the power and place of prayer, we must first recognize that the actual power-source is God, not so much in the words we say. So when I say “power of prayer”, what I mean is, “the power of God accomplished through prayer”… an open line of communication with the mind and presence of God in us. Secondly, we must accept the truth of what God says about prayer in His Word:
  • 1 John 5:14-15 – “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
  • Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  • James 5:16 – “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
When we dig into God’s Word, we find that prayer is:
  • Our best connection to God. Thus, it’s important to make sure we are praying the way He has instructed us. Because if we truly want to see results from our prayers, we must pray like Jesus taught us to pray (Luke 11:2-4), which as we’ll later discuss, involves quieting ourselves, positioning ourselves to listen to God and dying to ourselves (practices Jesus modeled many times during his ministry).
  • An effort of will* (Oswald Chambers)…a pre-requisite to faith & a requisite of faith. A.J. Gordon once stated, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed; but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed.” In other words, prayer expands your faith which, in turn, stirs up more prayer! It’s a snowball effect worth getting wrapped into (see right image). You see…often times, if we’re struggling in our faith, then we’re struggling to connect to God. And if we’re struggling to connect to God, then we’re likely not believing something we need to believe or visa-versa.
The point is: If we’re praying without believing, then we’re essentially the living embodiment of 2 Timothy 3:5 (…having a form of godliness, but denying its power), “Pharisee praying” our way to powerless religion. We must have faith to have supernatural breakthrough in prayer, yet if our faith is weak, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask God for help through prayer.
  • An extension of God’s character… a channel by which His nature can flow through so we can encounter His healing power (James 5) and experience breakthrough, transformation and glory. Often times, we get so focused on telling God what we need, we forget that He actually wants to speak and meet with us, that He wants to show us how to be like Him! It’s not He’s the Wizard of Oz, only caring when you actually show up. And it’s not like He’s passively mosing about in heaven either. After all, He created mankind so He could have a relationship with them!
Also, we find what prayer isn’t…
  • ...a religious motion (or thinking we can control God through a 'works mentality')
  • ...a complaint department
  • ...demanding a granting of wishes (as if God was a magical genie)

Thus, when we consider what prayer is, we find it to be a practice designed by God for a purpose, with a purpose. However, the purpose and practice of prayer doesn’t stop when our mouths do. Contrarily, if there is any power as a result of our prayers, we’ll find it supported by progressive action (i.e. “follow-through”).


Because again, if what we pray isn’t evident in our lives, what that say about our faith?
Truth is: if prayer is abandoned, then our calling as followers of Christ will (reference Kathy Matz’s ‘see the Scripture, see the prayer’ approach) be compromised as a result of hindered connection. And if our calling is compromised, if our connection is removed, then prayer will become just another motion of ministerial agenda.
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Consider the athlete. An athlete cannot perform as effectively without specific warm-ups and cooldowns relative to the sport. As the warm-ups and cooldowns relax the muscle and increases flexibility, the functions of the athlete become enhanced. Ultimately, the warm-up and the cooldown not only boost performance, but also amplify the “follow-through”.
Now, let’s relate this to spiritual warfare.
Imagine God is your conditioning coach, who desires to see you develop greater flexibility (submission) and “faith muscle”.
You hear God tell you, “_____, let’s build your “faith muscle”!
You respond, “How do I do it?”
God answers, “By choosing to pray and expecting me to answer!”
Think about it: If faith is the race we’re called to run well (Hebrews 12:1), then prayer is the warm-up and the cooldown! And if faith is the race and prayer is the warm-up/cooldown, then the “follow-through” is the evidence of a transformed life running with strong spiritual stamina.
Or perhaps think of prayer as a force that triggers the avalanche of holy dependence on God! With greater dependence, comes greater trust, with greater trust, comes greater belief, with greater belief, comes greater endurance, etc.**
…meanwhile, as our faith start taking off, we find our fear and anxiety melting away as God’s nature permeates the territory those strongholds occupied.
Now consider weed killer. Like RoundUp, the power of prayer can exterminate the worldly weeds that stunt spiritual fruit development. And when liquid (faith) levels run low, the “s-prayer” can be pumped to better the progression of the fluid flow with greater accuracy.
How do we use the “s-prayer”?
Simply pump up the prayer, pump up the faith…and then spray it over harassing principalities, the lies of the enemy…anything contradictive to God’s Word and His promises. You’ll find a fear of God springing forth out of the places where there was once fear of man, fear of failure, etc.
Bottom line: Pump up the prayer! Believe in the victories that will come as God reinforces your strength. Do not be afraid to serve the Lord with prayer that doesn’t quit. Make the choice to pray so you can relish in the joy of communing AND communicating with Him!

The next time you dive into the Word, remember you are exercising every fiber of your heart, mind, soul and strength towards the perfection of God’s will. He never lets go, so why not do the same?




Footnotes

*will = deliberate course of action as a result of one’s faith

** etc. = Romans 5:3-5 (i.e. perseverance à character à hope)



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