May 25, 2014
Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed.”
Isaiah 54: 10
King James Version
Today’s Study Text:
“Be constant in prayer.”
Romans 12: 12
Standing In The Need of Prayer” Part 1
“Prayer is the most important thing in my life. If I should neglect prayer for a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.”
What place does prayer hold in my life?
If I did not pray, what effect would this have in my life?
“The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”
“We pray because we were made for prayer, and God draws us out by breathing Himself in.”
P. T. Forsyth
Years ago, there was an old song which I just loved called: “Standing In The Need of Prayer,” The words began, “Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.” Possibly, you too can relate to these powerful words for I don’t know a one of us who doesn’t feel the need for prayer in our lives right now!
In fact, in the nearly ten years that Transformation Garden has had our prayer and Bible study ministry, I must tell you that it has been in the past few months, when the attacks by the evil one have been so great in the lives of so many of you, that I’ve seen the number of prayer requests in the Garden triple!
This is why I want to continue studying the life of Jesus during the rest of May and through the month of June along with the topic of prayer. Then in July, to the end of 2014, we will finish our studies about the Old Testament kings and queens – and what a tremendous undertaking that will be as we uncover the way God worked during what appeared to be a dark and gloomy time in history. The fact is that what we will learn will help us deal with the terrible struggles so many of us happen to be facing currently.
For today, I want to reinforce the fact that the reason I so fervently believe in the power of prayer is that in my own life, I have repeatedly found prayer to be the greatest thing I can do for God and for those who are dear to me. During the past 5 days, I have had four friends call me with extremely urgent requests which encompass a critical financial need which has to be resolved by May 23; a serious marital situation which is ripping lives apart; a critical medical diagnosis that just came out of nowhere; and a long-term financial situation that has been one I have prayed about for a dear friend for years.
Now let me be clear, these are all issues that are affecting the lives of those I love and I am certain, as many of you know, your prayer lists are just as long and as important to you.
While I recognize that prayer may not be the only thing we can do for others, it is the first and foremost thing I can do. But I must take time…make time…and place prayer at the top of my priority list! It’s not something I can just write about or talk about. It isn’t something we just go to conferences regarding, as vital as conferences can be. Learning about prayer isn’t the same as spending time alone in prayer as Jesus did when He was on earth.
I read something very interesting several weeks ago where one author noted that up to the time of the cross, from the time Jesus called His disciples, there is not a recorded story where the disciples are found saying to Jesus, “We need to go away alone, by ourselves, or better yet, ‘by myself,’ for a time of personal communion with my Father in heaven.” Quite possibly, this may be why the disciples lacked the stamina and strength they needed to face the trial and tragedy brought into their lives when they witnessed their beloved Lord and Master, Jesus Christ crucified.
I love the words by the great preacher John Wesley who noted, “I have so much to do that I just spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.”
One might think that the more you do, the less time there is for prayer and in actuality, this is sometimes true, for we let “prayer-time” get squeezed out. With more on my plate than ever before, it can be easy to skip our special time with Jesus. But prayer must take the first and best place for me – for I know I can’t do without my daily time with my Father. As one author wrote:
“I got up early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
That I didn’t have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me,
And heavier came each task;
‘Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered.
He answered, ‘You didn’t ask.’
I wanted to see joy and beauty
But the day toiled on gray and bleak
I wondered why God didn’t show me
He said, ‘But you didn’t seek,’
I tried to come into God’s presence;
I used all my keys in the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
‘My child, you didn’t knock.’
I woke up early this morning,
And paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray”
Sweet Hour of Prayer
“Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer;
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me, at my Father’s throne,
Make all my wants and wishes known!
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempters snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.
Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His word, and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer.”
William W. Walford
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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