Here are some excerpts from my notes of a message on prayer I gave at Horizon Cristian Fellowship church plant in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. Shout out to Matt and Molly Schroeder from their long ours of faith and labor of love in Lacrosse!
Prayer is the fuel, my heart the kindling…to this bonfire of faith. Will I make it my business and my full-time job to pray for sustenance and abundance in this ministry of Revival? Help me get less sleep in this season. Strengthen me in the Holy Ghost. May I very literally and honestly pray without ceasing.
“Prayer is an open door which none can shut. Devils may surround you on all sides, but the way upward is always open, and as long as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy’s hand.”–Charles Spurgeon
“My chief help is prayer.”–George Muller
If we don’t pray for impossible things, we pray for nothing–paraphrase of an Oswald Chambers quote.
The deepest question to ask concerning prayer is, “Why don’t I pray more?” The answers that result from honestly asking this question and ones like it can often shock us with dismay and truly reveal the selfishness and crookedness inside us that obviously obstruct us from going further in prayer. Like Jesus said on finding His disciples asleep, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is week.” This reveals a couple truths about pray that must be overcome to pray more and all the more effectively.
First, your flesh and my flesh (most definitely) is weak as can be. We must combat this stubborn meat with buffeting it with discipline. Not feeding it. Galations 6:7-9. We must buffet it with the power of the Holy Spirit, with the Word, with worship, godly fellowship…and, undoubtedly, PRAYER.
Second, they were asleep. And I have been discovering that sleep is one of the grandest enemies of the prayer warrior. Those who wish to go deeper with God and begin to shake the heavens with their prayers, are going to probably lose some sleep–especially in crucial preparatory times of a move of God. Am I simply willing to just get less sleep to pray and intercede more and more? This is a difficult one: E.M. BOUNDS said to an understudy, “Keep the 4:00 am hour. The Lord will be for it, the devil against it.” I really don’t think this can be done without a great reliance on the Spirit for power and on God for guidance. He must get us ready for this. There is also a huge priority shift in our thinking; God and others have now taken the place of my personal comfort. Can we say this with confidence?
Can my life be bent around God’s purposes and His will in prayer? Prayer isn’t seeking something from God, it is seeking God Himself, according to Mr. Chambers. Again, this is a huge priority shift that may involve less TV and movies and Internet and texting and modern comforts. Couldn’t our lives do for some simplifying and the heavenly benefits of simplicity? We are finding that this is a great blessing from God, to be set free from materialism and wordliness. No, you don’t need to buy more stuff to be happy. No, you don’t need to see all the new movies and to drive the best car.
What you need to do is pray more.
For he who has ears….