Recently in quiet time with the Lord I was reminded of something that He instructed me to do. Something which I did not obey. :)
Last summer I started a prayer group with some wonderful women on-line. It was a way for us to study and pray together w/o having to try to juggle schedules, etc. We were following the book "With Christ in the school of Prayer" by Andrew Murray. He is, by far, one of my favorite authors on the subject of prayer. Although, I think that because we were not getting together it was hard to be connected to the book, each other and the lessons we were learning. It was good, though, because of the time that I spent with the Lord. Through the few chapters we actually got through and I commented on I was able to write, with His help, and expound upon some principles in prayer that the Lord began to teach to me.
Recently, He reminded me that I needed to post those lessons on my blog. I didn't obey at first. It took a few gentle reminders and a prompt by my Pastor to remember what I was supposed to do. So over the course of the next week I will be posting some notes that I have made in regard to the lessons I learned while studying this book and the years of study at the hand of the Holy Spirit, focus in His Word and time spent on my knees.
I pray that you will be blessed, encouraged and your faith will grow as you walk with me.
I hope you will allow me to give a bit of a history of my walk with the Lord and the call He has placed on my life as an intercessor.
I took a step of faith in September of 1993 after a wonderful woman had spent many hours praying for me and speaking truth into my heart and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I remember very specifically as a newly married young woman kneeling in my kitchen and asking Jesus fill my heart and save me according to Romans 10:9.
I was blessed to have some amazing women placed in my life at that time to guide me along as I began to live life as a new creature. 2 Cor. 5:17. But, to be honest I didn't truly come to KNOW Him in a very personal way until the birth of our first child. I began to pray for her while I was pregnant, learning what it meant to rest in the Lord through my pregnancy and then waiting on His grace and wisdom as a new mother. Yet, until she began having health problems, I truly had no idea what it meant to pray. To really pray.
God took a hold of my heart and immersed me in His Word. It was an amazing time of sweet fellowship with God as I was truly at a place where His mercy was all I (we) could hang on to. The days, and eventually years, that we experienced in dealing with our daughter's diagnosis of epilepsy, and the many dr.'s, tests, hospital stays, and living in fear were the training ground for my prayer feet. He has not stopped teaching me about prayer and the power of faith-filled intercession through Christ. My hope is to pass even a sampling of that on to you so that you will find true fellowship and intimacy with Christ as you persevere in prayer with Him.
You see, prayer is not just for us. It is for Him. God is sovereign and He doesn't need us to accomplish anything, but He has chosen to work through us to bring about His plan in this earth. Let's begin to look at Prayer and what it is.
The word Pray is a verb. For those of who enjoy grammar.. it is an action word and it is defined in both the transitive and intransitive forms... Grammar lesson~ Transitive Verbs NEED a direct object or something to receive the action. Intransitive verbs do not have a noun ( or D.O.) after them that receives the action.
** these definitions come from Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary***
In the intransitive form it is defined:
( I pray)
1. to ask with earnestness or zeal, as for a favor, or something desirable; to entreat; to supplicate.
2.To address the Supreme Being with solemnity and reverence, with adoration, confession of sins, supplication for mercy and thanksgiving for blessings.
In the transitive we read it as:
(I pray to God)
1. To supplicate; to entreat; to urge
2. To supplicate; to implore; to ask with reverence and humility
3. To petition
4. To ask or entreat in ceremony or form
Now lets go to the word Prayer:
1. In general sense, the act of asking for a favor and particularly with earnestness
*( read James 5:16)
2. In worship-- A solemn address to the Supreme Being, consisting of adoration, or an expression of our sense of God's glorious perfections, confession of our sins, supplication for mercy and forgiveness, intercession for blessings on others, and thanksgiving, or an expression of gratitude to God for his mercies and benefits.
A prayer, however, may consist of a single petition and it may be extemporaneous, written or printed.
In the above prayer is represented as a noun. If you think of it in terms of being a "thing" ( defining a noun) it is some"thing" we offer to God.
Do you realize that your prayers are effective and effectual? Do you realize that as a born again believers we have the ability to create life with our words.. in essence.. to touch heaven with our prayers and bring down those blessings that are reserved as our inheritance through communion with the Holy God of all creation?
I am getting ahead of myself. :) sorry!
ok.. let's go back to defining. I will ask you to really consider through this study the meaning of words. The Bible tells us that we will all stand accountable for every inoperable word we speak. ( Matthew 12:36) That is truly where God started with me. He led me to His Word.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is powerful and alive. It is here that you can find power in your prayers. Learn what HIS Word says about your situations and apply it to them. Read it, meditate on it, ask the Lord to reveal to you what He wants you to learn through this and then obey Him.
Prayer is an intimate relationship between the Living God and His creation. When you pray you must have faith that He hears you and that you KNOW He cares.
Look at these verses: Hebrews 11:6, 1 John 5:14, 2 Peter 5:7
My hope through this prayer study is to deposit in your heart seeds of faith that will grow and produce much fruit for God. I want to encourage you to do a few things.
Buy a journal to use with this study. Or perhaps if you are notebooking nut like me.. get a 3 ring binder with all the pretty additions and then you can be happy every time you open your prayer journal. :)
Either way.. Journal through this study. Collect scriptures and write them down, write down your thoughts and also your prayers through this time. Believe me, the time you are investing in this will be more than worth the sacrifice you may be giving up to study. I want you to see it as not just a benefit for yourself, but look at it as a chance to grow in the Lord.. commune with Him. He Loves you so much..He rejoices over you with singing. ( Zeph 3:17) If there one thing I can impress on your heart is that prayer is not just for You. It is not just for you to get something from God, it is for you to be with Him. He longs only for that time with you to allow you the chance to know Him.
Take some time before you get your books and write down your goal through this study. Keep a record of it so you can see just WHAT God has done for and through you! I challenge you to let Him CHANGE the atmosphere around you.
Above all.. we need to KNOW Him.
So.. one of your first lessons is to find scriptures that tell you who He is.
Find the names of God and what they mean.
Who has He been in your life?
Are you ready to step out in faith see him as more?
Romans 10:17 tells us "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God". It is by spending time in HIS word that we increase our faith.
Without faith.. it is impossible to please God and all those that come to Him must believe that He is ( exactly who He says He is) and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
My last quote thought for today comes from a quote by Andrew Murray in his book The True Vine
"To avail ourselves of the unlimited prayer promises, we must be men and women who are filled with the Spirit and wholly given up to the work and glory of Jesus. "
Set your heart and focus on the only One who can move the mountains in your life. Step up and step out and grab hold in faith of the gift of prayer and the power afforded you as a born again spirit filled believer and do big things with God. :)
Praying for you in Christ,