Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Effective Prayer

"The prayers of righteous men accomplish much" James 5:16 - What do you want to accomplish today? Have you asked God for His help? The finished work of Jesus allows us to be covered by His righteousness, BUT --- "The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous." Proverbs 28:9 --- The truth is, the very best Christian is only human and God says that the human heart is deceitful above all else.  The Holy Spirit was deposited in us, to convict us, to guide us, to comfort us, and to teach us about Who God is...He is holy and in order for us to remain in a right and intimate relationship with the Lover of our souls, we must abide in Him, and respond to Him in prayer. Prayer is a relationship, a connection, it is a sacrifice of our time with the Holy Spirit, it is a time to ask, and it is a time to listen to what the Spirit is asking us to do.  In our obedience, we are blessed.  We serve a BIG GOD and HE asks us to do things that stretch our faith and cause us to enter into a
crisis of belief.  "How can I accomplish that Lord?"  EXACTLY!!! "On our own, without God, we can do nothing!"  We deceive ourselves whenever we think we have been completely obedient, or that we are NOT without UNBELIEF at times, or that we have NOT sinned today. "Oh Lord, I believe in You, but help me in my unbelief about...."  Has God asked you to do something you are unwilling to do because of your lack of faith in Him for finances, for provision, or for equipping us adequately? Have you watched a program that would offend God today?  Have you held a single unkind thought about your neighbor? Have you arrogantly thought or said "I am better than they are because I would have acted...I would have done...and they should..." Our prideful thoughts of being superior to anyone, our hesitation to forgive others, or a single good deed performed out of a selfish motive... this unknown, unseen condition of heart makes us unholy, unfit and unable to expect answers to our prayers. We must confess our sins to God with genuine remorse for NOT trusting Him, for avoiding Him, for NOT believing that He cares, for discounting His power, for rebelling against His authority, for offending the King of Kings, and for pridefully denying that we sin and fall short daily.  STOP and listen to what the Spirit in YOU is asking.  Do we need to pray for the Holy Spirit to increase our faith?  To help us with our unbelief?  To forgive today's sins? Are we honest before God?
 "O my Father, my Advocate, my Counselor, Thou art worthy of all my adoration. Before I can approach the Holy of Holies boldly... I must humbly confess that my heart breaks for having offended Thee. Most sincerely I despise all my selfish, offensive ways and thoughts.  I fall short and I admit I need You. Your convicting chastisement is effective and JUST.  Because I have offended the glory and honor of Thy Holy name Jesus, I have NO peace.  O my Lord God, Thou art all good and fully deserving of all my love and devotion. With hope for Thy continuing grace, have mercy on me. I thank You Holy Spirit for convicting me so that I may transparently confess my sins.  You sought a sinner like me and adopted me so that I may reflect the holiness and glory of God.  Jesus said..."But go and learn what this means: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."  For I have NOT come to call the righteous, but sinners." Matthew 9:13 - Oh Lord, you called me a sinner, and after all your mercy, love and grace, I beseech Thee to forgive my sins again. Oh my Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!  Your glory is above the heavens, and who am I that You would be mindful ...and hear my prayers? Reading the Psalms You inspired David to record, I am reminded that
the arrogant cannot stand in Your presence. God hates pride and all who gossip and speak ill of others. Only because of Your great mercy, am I able to kneel down and ask for Your forgiveness. Your perfect word says "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 -- My soul is in anguish, be merciful to me Lord for my heart is broken, full of remorse. Forgive me Father, for I have offended Thee by my -----------. "I praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I set the Lord always before me, therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure, because I trust His unfailing love will not abandon me." Psalm 16 --- Lord, You have made known to me the path of life; You filled me with the Holy Spirit and I am yours.
AMEN and HALLELUJAH! Our heartfelt prayers are words that are spoken from a pure heart. No matter the words we use, the Holy Spirit, our intercessor will deliver the perfect request to Jesus, our Advocate who sits at the right hand of our Father. "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." Romans 8:26.  "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father ---Jesus Christ, the Righteous One." 1 John 2:1. The Psalms are a gift from God. They overflow with genuine praise to God, given under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, through men whose hearts and minds were overtaken by the glory of God. Our impoverished vocabulary does not diminish our prayers because God knows our hearts and He issues us grace, mercy and compassion as we stumble to express our adoration, daily confessions and thanksgiving.  "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart"  Psalm 51:16 ---Our Father will not despise or reject the prayers that come from a heart that
genuinely feels remorse for their realized impurities.  It is unwise to take God's mercy for granted.  God is not obligated to forgive us.  The failure to FEEL gratitude for all the benefits of being a child of God is to be like a pagan or the apostate.  "For although they knew God they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him." Romans 1:21 --- When we FEEL the emotion of gratitude, we are compelled from within to ACT, and to express our genuine thanksgiving.  To NOT give due thanks to God is to exalt ourselves and degrade what God has done for us.  Our Lord Jesus is dishonored when we choose to withhold praise.  Keeping a praise journal is a great way to never lose sight of the countless times God blessed us. If our Father never grants us another prayer request, or if He withheld His stream of grace, we would be hard pressed to thank Him adequately for what He has already done. Read the entire Psalm 66 and consider all that God has done for you personally. The Psalm is filled with praise and this important truth: "If I had cherished sin in my heart (withheld confession), the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard MY VOICE in prayer.  Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me." Psalm 66:20 ~ Thank God for giving us...DAILY... amazing gifts!

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the wonderful way You created me.  Thank You for providing me with endless opportunities to be of service and to avoid a stale life of routine boredom. Thank You for giving me courage to take risks, to think outside the box, and to experiment. Thank You for giving me timeless commands without endless rules!  Thank You Lord for inviting me to ask and receive what is best for me, in Your time. Thank You for increasing my faith daily by all the glorious evidence of God in nature. Thank You Lord for allowing me to make tons of mistakes, and for Your unmerited grace. Thank You for collaborating with me, and uniquely gifting me that I may excel in life. Thank You for Your generosity of time and unlimited resources, that I in turn may be generous towards others. Thank You for the freedom I have "in You" that allows me to live set apart, and independent from world views.  Thank You for Your mercy as I experiment with words and actions.  Thank You for motivating me from within, to do good and to be accountable.  Thank You for giving me plenty of work to do, and the strength to do it well.  Thank You Lord for never forsaking me, for always going before me, and leading me in the right way. Thank You for giving me eyes to see, for ears to hear, for a mind that can choose what to think, a heart that feels compassion, and hands and feet to keep moving. Thank You for restoring what was lost, for repairing my heart, and healing my body. AMEN - The practice of prayer becomes sweet as we anticipate a dialogue with our Father God who is delighted to hear from us. Our Father is genuinely interested in every aspect of our lives. SPEAK plainly to GOD, be HONEST and pour out the contents of your heart. Everyday brings a need or a trouble to tell to our Father.

3 comments:

  1. GRATITUDE is an EMOTION. THANKSGIVING is an ACTION.

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  2. N EMAIL FROM MY SON THAT YET REFRESHES MY SPIRIT
    "Mother your prayers are working I am on fire look like I just left Teen Challenge. I have to rescreen from everything today hallelujah I love you more!!!" Jason Newell - February 20, 2015

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  3. The infallible test of spiritual integrity, according to Jesus, is your private prayer life. "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done...." Many people pray as a church expectation, or perhaps ONLY when the anxiety caused by troubling circumstances arises. Peter prayed for believers that their faith would increase, not their wealth. Those who genuinely live inside a relationship with God as Father, will inwardly be compelled to pray and therefore will pray even though nothing on the outside is pressing them to do so.

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