I signed up for the earliest prayer slot on our all day prayer vigil for Brother David Miller and our church during this renewal weekend in order to set a good example and be leading in the effort. The Elders never want to ask the fellowship to do what they themselves are unwilling to do. So, the early prayer time was mine.
Little did I expect the Lord to reveal some lessons to me as I prayed, but here they are. As I go through the list, understand that each lesson will be preceded by the phrase ‘PRAYER TIME OBSERVANCE PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO…’
1. …FACE OUR FLESH. Few activities will reveal the inhibiting presence of the flesh quite like an early morning rise, pushing aside all normal activities and praying. The flesh likes to remind us of the time, time pressures, obligations, weariness, other times to pray and so on. Many of these reminders may be true to an extent, but if allowed to, will rob us of time with our Savior.
2. …FACE OUR FRAILTY. Unwelcome and undisciplined thoughts frequently infringe on our quiet moments with Jesus. Our frailty is obvious at these times and calls for our petition for grace to pray on while taking our thoughts captive to the obedience of Jesus.
3. …FACE OUR FEARS. Going before our Sovereign God and sharing our troubles, our temptations, our failures and our trials while asking Him to act on our behalf is a daunting experience. The God ‘who spoke and the world was’ is listening to us as we speak to Him and plead for His action. This awareness calls for caution in prayer.
4. …FACE OUR FOES. Few activities, excluding worship, will arouse our enemy’s attention like prevailing prayer. Prepare for not a few battles with him.
5. …FACE OUR FRIEND. Though it is an awesome moment as we talk with the Lord, we are, in reality, speaking with Him who sticks closer than a brother. We can be confident in His friendship.
6. …FIND OUR FREEDOM. Nothing compares to the empirical knowledge that we have been lovingly forgiven, powerfully enabled and amply supplied anew in our walk with the Lord when we say AMEN! IT IS TRUE!
The chorus of a favorite hymn has great truth: ‘He is always there, hearing every prayer, faithful and true; Walking by our side, in His love we hide all the day through. When you get discouraged just remember what to do—Reach out to Jesus, He’s reaching out to you.’
Let’s be a people who reach up as we learn as we pray.