It’s All About Prayer

I had an altogether different agenda for work this afternoon with no plans to blog but the Holy Spirit is stirring something in me with such force that I don’t want to resist it.

The word setting fire to my heart this moment is Colossians 4:2 –

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 

Nothing is going to sound new or fresh in what I’m about to say because we’ve all heard it over and over again but sometimes it’s a timing thing. In other words, we’ve heard something a million times but all the sudden, with explanations known to God alone, the thing clicks and the breakthrough comes.

Here goes:

WE’VE GOT TO PRAY.

WE’VE GOT TO BECOME PEOPLE OF PRAYER.

WE’VE GOT TO PRESS IN MUCH FURTHER AND BELIEVE GOD TO BE MUCH BIGGER.

WE’VE GOT TO CEASE LETTING PRAYER BE OUR WEAKEST SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE.

WE’VE GOT TO STEP IT UP AND WIELD THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT IN RELENTLESS INTERCESSION.

WE’VE GOT TO GO FURTHER THAN WE’VE GONE BEFORE IN PRAYER. PRESS HARDER. THINK HIGHER. DIG OUR KNEES IN DEEPER.

WE WILL NOT LIVE BOLDER THAN WE PRAY.

THERE ARE PARTS OF OUR CALLINGS, WORKS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND DEFEATS OF THE DARKNESS THAT WILL COME NO OTHER WAY THAN FURIOUS, FERVENT, FAITH-FILLED, UNCEASING PRAYER.

It’s time we quit falling asleep in prayer. It’s time we quit practicing a prayer routine that bores us to tears. It’s time our quiet times ceased to be quiet. There are battles to be won. Works to be done. The kinds which only come through prayer, prayer, and more prayer.

It’s time we quit depending on someone else to do it for us.

It’s time for each of us to see in the mirror one of the most powerful people of prayer we may ever meet.

It’s time we prayed like we believed the risen Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, was right in our very presence. Because He is.

This is what Colossians 4:2 says:

Continue steadfastly in prayer. 

Don’t give up several days in. Don’t get all whiny. Don’t get all offended because God doesn’t appear to answer right away. Persevere. Keep praying. Keep believing. There are muscles God means to strengthen. It’s about the means as much as the end. Did God clearly promise in His Word what you are asking for? Then do not shrink back. Or is there a precedent in Scripture for what you’re asking in prayer? Then keep telling Him what it is, asking Him if He’d be glorified in granting your request and, if not, to remove or quiet your desire.

Persist. That’s what Luke 11:5-10 and 18:1-8 are all about.

We are warriors. Victors. More than overcomers. Bloody and bruised, we still get back up. Lip busted, we open back up our mouths – this time the louder – and call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised and so shall we be saved from our enemies. (Psalm 18:3)

Being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 

This is key. We’ve got to keep our eyes wide open. We can close our eyes during prayer if we need to but then, for crying out loud, let’s get those things open and let God see the whites of our eyes, ready and watchful. Let’s expect something, for Heaven’s sake. Jesus promised us in John 5:17 that God is always at work. When we get a glimpse of His activity or the slightest hint of answered prayer, let’s thank Him for it right then and there. For instance, have you been praying for someone dear to you to be set free from an area of tremendous bondage? While you wait for the huge breakthrough, can you see any glimpses that God is at work? Then thank Him for it. Applaud Him. Like Elijah who knew it was going to rain the moment he saw a cloud the size of a man’s fist, believe with all your heart that He who began a good work WILL be faithful to complete it.

We can be so preoccupied looking to the horizon for the huge thing that we miss the glorious mosaic of a hundred scattered pieces of answered prayer right at our feet. God is rarely up to only one thing. Our nature is to look for the big finish. His is to call us into constant and daily communion, working through every circumstance, tweaking and turning and tying and telling. He’s teaching our tongues the art of tasting in a world trained to binge.

We’re looking for the string of pearls. He’s planting one pearl here. Another pearl there. The full stretch of our lifetime is the string. We won’t see how those jewels all came together on the one strand until we study them under the light of His glorious presence. In the meantime, let’s ask God to make us alert and give us eyes to see where He’s working on the way to the divine achievement we’re longing for. And let’s respond with hearts full of gratitude and mouths full of praise.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

The Apostle Paul’s next words represent a concept that is crucial to the well-being of our souls. Colossians 4:3 –

At the same time, pray also for us…

At the same time we are praying and watching and waiting, we will be vastly helped and blessed and connected by praying fervently for other people. Intercession for others becomes a guard against the narcissism of this present culture seeping right through the screen door of our prayer closets. A stunning number of Christians don’t believe in praying for themselves at all. Others have global vision the length of their noses and don’t believe in praying for anyone besides themselves. The counsel of the Scriptures is to pray for others and to pray for ourselves.

But, for the love of God, PRAY.

There is no other way.

We’ve got to wake up and pray.

In Jesus’ Name.

Like those who believe He hears.

Satan wants you to quit praying. He wants you to believe God isn’t paying one whit of attention to you. That He’s moved on without you. That you don’t matter. There’s only one thing to do with that. Pray twice as much. With twice the faith. And a thousand times the thanks.

Get up and pray.

We’ve got one shot at this earthly life. Good Lord, let’s make it count.

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