Prayer has as much power today as it has ever had in history! When we commit ourselves to seek God’s face in prayer daily and meet the conditions for prevailing prayer nothing is impossible! God has not changed and His voice is just as quick to hear the voice of earnest, fervent prayer as it ever has.
Our Heavenly father is looking for men and women with a heartfelt commitment to intercessory prayer. This kind of commitment requires an earnest effort, and an energetic approach to praying that dictates the setting aside of specific time to be spent coming boldly before the throne of grace into the presence of our Father with our prayers. We should follow the example of Epaphrus, who according to Colossians 4:12 was always wrestling in prayer for other Christians that they would stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. Epaphrus was a simple humble servant of Almighty God just like you and I. But he determined to make his life count for eternity by obeying with all his heart Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Prayer was the first thing on his list for the day. How about you? Is prayer the first thing on your list for the day? The last? Or is prayer somewhere in between if it ever happens much at all. The word devote used here doesn’t fully convey the complete meaning of the original Greek, which was giving constant attention to or persevering.
In Acts 4:13 Peter and John astounded everyone with their boldness and power. The crowds noted that on their own they were unlearned and ignorant men, but they had been with Jesus! They were transformed by the presence of the Lord through times of prayer and fellowship spent alone with the soon coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords, basking in His Great glory and Majesty.
How about you? Do people take note of your life and the transformation that has taken place because you have been with Jesus? If Jesus Christ were to return this very day, how would He describe the personal relationship you have with Him? Casual acquaintance or intimate friend? Remember no relationship thrives or becomes close without much time spent together. How much time did you spend each day this past week in quiet solitude in your prayer closet talking to and listening to God as He speaks?
Bible history is full of examples of how very important God considers this practice in His called, chosen, and faithful disciples. Abraham, Moses, Enoch, David, and the Apostle Paul all lived a life of devotion, daily walking in fellowship with God through the commitment of specific periods of time alone with Him. Our Savior retreated for prayer on a daily basis. Luke 22:39 tells us that. Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening He went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and His disciples followed Him. Jesus recognized the need we all have for periods of time devoted to the cultivation and nourishment of our souls. Devotional time when we stop to actually listen and receive instruction from our Heavenly Father. He knew that without this practice the pressures and forces of this world could and would slowly erode the very foundation of our spiritual life. Everything can look very good on the outside. We do all the right things at the right times, just like the Pharisees did. But inside maybe even without our awareness, our spiritual vitality grows less and less. We must not neglect our prayer lives! Our first love will be lost if we do.
Paul challenged Timothy to train himself in Godliness. I Timothy 4:7 Paul was actually saying, Timothy take responsibility for your own spiritual condition. This is the challenge you and I face, to make our own environment for growth. This world system we live in will not provide what is needed to grow in grace and godliness. We must schedule time for our own training, our own quiet times with God. We must keep our mind set on the goal and discipline ourselves to work at it!
Satan can get us so busy living life; we tell ourselves we really don’t have time to spend time alone, with our Heavenly Father. This is one of Satan’s greatest deceptions! The truth is we know God as well as we choose to! If we truly love God above all else in the world, with all our heart and soul and mind and strength we will arrange our lives to make our relationship with Him our number one priority every day we live upon this earth. One of the greatest promises our Lord made was: “Lo, I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20
Unfortunately we often do not experience this promise through life’s many storms. God is speaking to us, but our attention is elsewhere – on God’s work or other concerns of life and we fail to hear His voice, of comfort and encouragement and guidance.
Brethren, Our Heavenly Father is calling each of us to a closer walk with Him. We should never underestimate the power of our prayers to transform our lives and the lives of others! Follow the example of Peter and John and let the life of Christ shine through you by spending time with Jesus in prayer everyday! Give Him your best time and effort every day! Call unto Him and He promises to answer and show you Great and Mighty things! Jeremiah 33:3
Psalm 86:1-2; 6-7
1) Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2) Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.
6) Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.
7) In the day of my trouble I will call to You, for You will answer me.
1) O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before You.
2) May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.
3) For my soul is full of trouble.