27 May, 2013
Thinking Of Prayer As Jesus Taught Part 2
Those words A.C.T. S. meaning
– CONFESS – THANKSGIVING & - SUP PLICATION truly
describe prayer to a tee. As I learned to pray, I made sure I followed the
script, because it worked for me. But, as God got hold of me and lead me to the
wilderness so that I could be tested, unlearned things, be taught etc, within
three years my prayer life had changed and I no longer needed the script
because my life was becoming “the script”.
God knows what we have to offer is faulty, but He also wants to take us to a place where He gives us His best. One example of that is “love” When we first respond to God’s love, we do it with our own love and our own love is selfish because it is based on give and take. (Philos love) The first time God showed me how He needed to exchange my Philos love so that I can learn to love Him with His own Agape love which is unconditional love. I cried like a child because it was a period of intense love between me and the father and I found that I had nothing to offer back to Him. He had to take my faulty love, (Philos), and exchanged it for His agape love, which I use to love Him back. To me that was a sad thing because I wanted to have something that was mine that I could offer to Him. I found out we truly go into this relationship with empty hands.
Like Oswald Chambers said “our thinking about prayer, whether right or wrong, is based on our own mental conception of it.” It is true when we first start with prayer for a while our thinking process is not where it should be with God and yet He is okay with it because He knows only the triune God can get us to where we need to be with Him.
So, where do we need to be with Him? First of all, it is a life of abiding and John 15:7 gave us a tall order of where He wants us to be with Him “if you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” Prayer is like food to our spiritual life and if you go too long without food you will die of starvation, prayer does the same thing in our spiritual life. This life of abiding in Him, while Oswald Chambers is right, often times you feel there is nothing different about you, and you wonder if you are abiding. I know by now that I do not need to worry about it because it is not about feeling. Abiding in oneness in Him becomes so much a natural thing, and it is so unconsciously done that you do not even notice anything different.
While we do not have to worry about abiding because it is His job to keep us there, but we do have to worry about NOT abiding. The Scriptures tell us with a strong warning not to grieve the Holy Spirit. When there is a disconnect in the abiding process we know it because the Holy Spirit let us know of the danger we are in, through this little voice within and our job is to heed and make things right with Him. This little voice acts like a sensor in a car that let you know when we are in danger of being out of oil. Hence why John 15:7 says “if you abide” the “if” is there for a reason. Oswald Chambers also said in his devotion below “if we are obeying Him….Be aware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer.” He also said something in this devotion that applied to all of us Christians “The danger we have is that we want to water down what Jesus said to make it mean something that aligns with our common sense” This is one of the reasons it is important to walk in the Spirit. Only, Him can reveal the proper way we ought to use God’s word according to His standards.
When you read James 5:13-16 you find that prayer is truly powerful and effective. But, he made sure to end it this way “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Obviously it would be nice to have more and more Christians praying, but, throughout the Bible, God tells us that at the end of the day there are some conditions to prayers and He spelled them out of us. God is a good God and He takes care of even the worse unbelievers and they too have a certain amount of His grace. I mean by that, they are breathing, they get jobs, and they can put food on their tables etc., so of course He would take care of us in the body of Christ even when our prayers are not correct. But, He expects us to grow, obey more, trust Him more, and believe in Him more. In the end, what pleases Him most is the prayer of a righteous person. The one that obeys, the one that abide even when life is at its worse, the one that trust and believe in Him etc., those people, their prayers are powerful and effective.
As we grow spiritually, each one of us is changing into an offering that constantly live at His feet. The life we live now, take shape and slowly become an act of ADORATION & THANKSGIVING. We become inwardly bi-product of those words. We adore Him though our reverence for Him, abiding in Him and our obedience to His word. We are thankful for whom He is and who He made us to be, and since we trust and believe Him we can give Him our all to have His way with us. As you pray, you realize you no longer say Lord I adore you through “just words”, but as you are saying those words, your soul is gazing into His face and you can see yourself like a child at His feet because that’s where your spirit lives. Thus, pray without ceasing is not only an act of the will that we do to obey and honour the father, but it changes each one of us slowly as we become “the offering.” Your life becomes a constant prayer to Him! As you fulfill the adoration and thanksgiving part the rest of the acronym supplication and confession they are a given because it takes humility to be truly thankful. Through being thankful you give Him the praise and honour due to Him, etc. As for the confession part, if is a given that you are taking confession of sins very seriously, hence why you can sit at His feet and live there. It is because you confess, with a repentant heart that you are cleansed of all unrighteousness and abide constantly in oneness.
In the same way Christ needed to be in constant prayer so the life of God could be manifested in Him, we need to be in constant prayer so the life of Christ could grow stronger and be manifested in us. So, in this sense, prayer is a tool at our disposal to enable us to become an act of worship to Him as we become intimate with Him.
Our thinking about prayer, whether right or wrong, is based on our own mental conception of it. The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues “without ceasing”; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops. And we are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect oneness with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer. “Pray without ceasing . . .”— maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.
Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer. He had the unlimited certainty of knowing that prayer is always answered. Do we have through the Spirit of God that inexpressible certainty that Jesus had about prayer, or do we think of the times when it seemed that God did not answer our prayer? Jesus said, “. . . everyone who asks receives . . .” (Matthew 7:8). Yet we say, “But . . . , but . . . .” God answers prayer in the best way— not just sometimes, but every time. However, the evidence of the answer in the area we want it may not always immediately follow. Do we expect God to answer prayer?
The danger we have is that we want to water down what Jesus said to make it mean something that aligns with our common sense. But if it were only common sense, what He said would not even be worthwhile. The things Jesus taught about prayer are supernatural truths He reveals to us.