This week Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) tweeted something that made my heart leap with a YES!
I wonder if God hears our tepid prayers, looks around and goes, “Oh, were you talking to Me? It sounds like you’re talking to someone else. I’m the one who created out of nothing, who parts seas or walks on them, who gushed water from a rock & made a donkey talk. Wanna try again?”
Sometimes I listen to other people pray and it sounds like they are bored.
I think, do they know they are talking to the God that breathed the starry host into existence? (Psalm 33:6) Do they know their only chance at living a powerful life today is if God’s power is invited in?
Sometimes I listen to myself pray and it sounds like I am bored.
Do I know I am talking to the God that breathed the starry host into existence? Do I know my only chance at living a powerful life today is if God’s power is invited in to my surrendered life? Sometimes, if there isn’t anything pressing in my day, I dare to think don’t need him as much as usual, if at all. My car, computer, health and phone will carry me through my routine day. Sadly, it’s one of the greatest dangers of wealth.
FERVENT prayer is necessary.
In a devotional by Neil Anderson this week, Neil shares about a high priest in the upper echelons in Satanism that gave his testimony about six months after being set free. Neil asked the man, “Based on your experience on ‘the other side,’ what is the Christian’s greatest strategy against demonic influence?”
“Prayer,” said the former Satanist, “And when you pray, mean it. Fervent prayer thwarts Satan’s activity like nothing else.”
I clicked on the thread of responses to Beth’s tweet and got angry. Responses were mostly critical. Things like, Romans 8:28 were quoted. It’s as if people were saying, Beth, if God hears us without words than He must hear all of our words.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
The Greek word for intercedes in this verse is only used ONE TIME in all of Scripture. hyperentygxánō (from 5228 /hypér, “for benefit” and 1793/entygxanō, “come in line with”) – literally, “bending over” to intercede.
Can you imagine the Holy Spirit bending over to groan for you when the stress of circumstances is so heavy you don’t even have words to speak? The implication is that you are desperate beyond measure for God’s answer, comfort and presence. Nothing casual is happening on your end in such cases.
The Holy Spirit bends over when we are wordlessly fervent.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:18)
We are to pray in the Spirit, not with our mouths. We are to be alert (not daydreaming or running our day’s schedule through our head with the other half of our mind while words come out of our mouth).
Notice the involvement of the Holy Spirit in all of these verses. We can’t be fervent unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit, completely dependent on the Father and not relying on our own strength.
Our standing with God influences the power of our prayers.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (King James 2000 Bible)
Righteous means “right standing with God.” Can’t be nonchalant in a relationship with God and expect our prayers to be effectual. Can’t be effectual unless we are fervent. Sobering, but true.
We are to pray every day like we have a dire need for the Father.
Picture Explanation: One of our daughters moved to Ohio this week for graduate school and my prayers followed her down the street. (God, I beg you. Don’t let her go.) I also noticed something this week for the very first time. I have an oak tree in my front yard and acorns are clinging to the winter branches! Why have I never seen that before? Scads of acorns braving the storms without the comfort of pleasant weather or the protection of leaves. And I thought about my life. I want to be like these acorns, clinging tightly to God like this not only in the most dire circumstances, but also on the best of days. We are desperately dependent on God, and that fact should be evident by examining our prayer life.
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