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Archive for January, 2016

Do you ever feel like you’re banging your head against the wall when you pray and not getting anything back? Are there times when you wonder if your prayers are getting anywhere or if He is just simply quietly listening, contemplating His next move?

When I first got saved, I hated going into the prayer room. Everyone at our church had to take a prayer hour that they were responsible to be at every day. It was great training, but it was a hard point in my day.

I would go into the prayer room each day with dread because I didn’t know what to say for sixty minutes. I just didn’t have a request list that long. So I would end up repeating the same things over and over, and then after what seemed a sufficient amount of time, I would move on to the next request. It was as if I was supposed to follow some organized format of placing my request on the table and hoping that somehow God would notice it, stop by and maybe read it. Then maybe He would consider it, perhaps talk it over with some of the angels and see if it was any good, and then either answer it, reject it, or put it in the “Later” pile.

Sometimes I would sit there and wonder what all that stupid repetition sounded like to God. Here is the most intelligent entity of the universe suffering through this babble that sounded like it was directed to a moron. Did He every get tired of it? I sure would, and I wasn’t anywhere near as smart as God.

I just didn’t know how to pray.

I can’t tell you that some incredible light bulb went off and I finally saw the light. It didn’t and neither did I. There was no epiphany that all of a sudden changed my whole perspective. I think I just got tired of trying too hard.

It was when I finally surrendered, that it all came together for me. At that point, the door opened to real communion with God, and when it did, I was flooded with a world of possibility.

God doesn’t live on a one-way street. The traffic flows both ways with Him. If it doesn’t, then you might be banging on the wrong door.

You can get advice on how to pray from just about anywhere. Lots of well-meaning folks would love to tell you how it works. But that’s what works for them. It’s like telling someone to just have faith. How do you “just have faith”?

No, prayer – the deep kind that pierces the heavens and moves God – is a personal thing. It has to be real, not something that comes packaged in a book or some program to follow, otherwise you’d be flapping your wings, but never able to get off the ground.

Prayer has to be personal – just between you and God – it has to be real, and you have to want it bad enough to go get it yourself.

 

Brother Dale
Revivalfire Ministries

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My wife hates the big discount stores like Walmart and Kmart.  It’s too big; too much stuff.  She gets lost in crowds.  But there sure is a lot of women that just love all the stuff!  Aisles and aisles of stuff.  Sure, you lose that personal touch that you get at the local Mom and Pop store, but the convenience is what draws them in.

Prayer is lot like that.

I’m not a fan of these prayer request shopping lists.  You know, the ones that have a long list of people that have dozens of needs from people all over the place.  A list of one-liners, no matter how serious, doesn’t give me that feeling of personal urgency.  It may be urgent for them (and I certainly don’t want to minimize their need), but it’s hard for me to feel the same sense of drive for a hundred different people every day.  I’m not God.  I’m sure He can do it, but I’m having a hard time keeping up.

Because we have an active website on the Net, we get a lot of prayer requests from people all over the world, and I sincerely try to pray for as many of them as I can.  But sometimes, I just get overwhelmed and try to slide by with a blanket form of, “Lord, you know what their requests are.  Can you just sorta cover them all for me?”

I don’t know if that works or not, but sometimes I wonder what really does work.  Do all our prayer requests go up into some huge database in the sky to get logged in, and then compiled into some report that God reviews for content and quality?  How does He decide which ones to act upon?  How do you get your prayers answered?

Is it a matter of repeating a prayer a certain number of times until it registers?  If that’s the case, maybe we could just sit down looking out the window while a tape player repeats a recorded loop a certain specified number of times until the magic number is reached.  Uh, I don’t think so.

Maybe it’s a matter of getting a certain number of people praying at the same time.  Surely, God will pay attention if the number of signatures on the petition reaches critical mass.  Or maybe it’s a matter of finding the right guy that God pays attention to.  If He won’t listen to Charley, maybe He’ll listen to Gladys.  I don’t think that counts either.  Either He hears you, or He doesn’t.

I’m sure there’s something to be said for the effort to ask huge numbers of people to pray for something, and there’s certainly a lot of charity to be considered with the folks that forward on long lists that are all-inclusive, but I just get lost somewhere in the crowd.  I want something personal; something special; something that will drive me to labor in prayer to reach the Throne of God and fight until I have my answer.

He’s a personal Savior.  I want a personal relationship with Him, and I want a personal answer to my prayers.  I want to know that if I bust my way into the Throne room of God, He will stop what He’s doing, turn to me and hold out that golden scepter.  I’ve got rights to the Throne through the Blood of Jesus Christ, and I’ve got the holy boldness to use them.  I will not be denied.

To reach that level, you’ve got to really mean business in prayer.  The need has to be felt on a personal level that will drive you to get past your flesh, and contend for an answer.  Elijah, the Bible says, was a man just like us, but wow, he knew how to prevail in prayer!

If Elijah could stop the rain, if Joshua could stop the sun, if the Apostles could heal multitudes and raise the dead, then surely we can get an answer to our prayers if we follow their same example.  Somehow, dropping your one-liner on the bottom of some lengthy petition seems more like trying to jump onto a bandwagon in someone else’s parade.

Leonard Ravenhill said something that I’ve never forgotten.  “God doesn’t hear prayer.  He hears desperate prayer!”  If you aren’t cut to the heart, how do you expect your prayers to get past the ceiling?

I guess these forwarded prayer lists are OK, but don’t let them lull you into a presumption that dilutes the potency of your need.  Walmart is great for finding a discount item that you need, but I when I have to have an answer in prayer, I don’t want to wait in the checkout line.

Brother Dale
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