Foundational Prayer Before Crisis or Blessing
Living by the Spirit of the Lord is something we all pursue in our every day life. How we do this, can be a challenge for sure. Jesus lived a life of prayer, and when He needed dedicated prayer time, He would even send crowds and most likely potential resources away, so that He could be with the Father. As a result, He would not move, speak, or do anything that the Father did not ask Him to do.
As I think of prayer and how often we come to the Father during a crisis, I am thankful that our Loving Father responds to hearing our cry. I am also reminded that prayer is really for us to connect with Him, His nature, and a conduit for His peace and joy to flow through us. His Spirit never leaves us, but we must participate and engage relationally with Him in order for His presence to manifest through our lives in power. This happens most often through prayer and spending time with Him.
I also want to make a distinction between prayer and talking or listening to God. Prayer is a focused time, and talking and listening to the Father should be a continuum or seamless activity. When we are in conversation with anyone we should ask the Lord “Father what do you want me to hear, and Father how would you desire me to respond.” When we are consciously doing this, the Lord will do amazing things, and you will find that you are now giving God glory in many more conversations, and releasing His love more abundantly to others.
When prayer is foundational and we allow His will to supersede our will, every day activities take on a new light. I begin to see as He sees, I begin to hear His voice more clearly, and I begin to respond to life’s successes and challenges to the glory of God, our Father. I have also found that prayer times for me, is tuning everything elase out so I can hear from Him. I make my petitions known before God, but more importantly I listen for His petitions to become reality for me and for others, according to His will, and His plans. Below our some quotes that will encourage you to pursue prayer in an increased fashion, and watch the Father do, what only He can do.
Richard Sibbes said, "God can pick sense out of a confused prayer."
Thomas Watson said, "The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that fetched the angel."
Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God.”
Andrew Murray said, “Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God's voice is its most essential part. Listening to God's voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.”
Abraham Lincoln said, "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day."
This one's from John Bunyan, the imprisoned pastor who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress: “You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”
Robert Murray McCheyne said, "What a man is on his knees before God, that he is, and nothing more."
E. Stanley Jones said, "Prayer is surrender—surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boat-hook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God."
And now the story, from the life of George Mueller:
Things looked bleak for the children of George Mueller's orphanage at Ashley Downs in England. It was time for breakfast, and there was no food. A small girl whose father was a close friend of Mueller was visiting in the home. Mueller took her hand and said, "Come and see what our Father will do." In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but there was no money in the home's account.
Mueller prayed, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat." Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. "Mr. Mueller," he said, "I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 o'clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is." Mueller thanked him and gave praise to God. Soon, a second knock was heard. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. He said that before the milk spoiled, he would like to give it to the children.
Looking at George Mueller’s ability to know that Father would provide, makes it very clear that prayer preceded the miracle that was about to happen. Through prayer, and revelation, George knew that His Father would provide, and activated the faith in others, while preparing the table for the miracle.
“Prayer is not pulling God to our will, but the aligning of our will to the will of God." May we all pray like never before, in the midst of crisis or blessings, and begin to prepare the table for His miracles to appear in our lives, and the lives of others, in Jesus name.