I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” ~ Matthew 16:19
My husband has spent quite a few years studying for his M.Div and now his Doctorate. He has had many assignments. However, my favorite assignment he had to do was one called “Capture the Sermon“. In this assignment, he had to listen to and rewrite the sermons in his words as he would teach the lesson. From that assignment he wrote one called “Prayer-Keys to the Kingdom“. This one is special because it was a sermon by our favorite Pastor, Steve Griffith out of Dallas, TX. Steve was not only Lee’s mentor but also the Pastor who married us in July. I also owe Steve a lot because it was him who gave me my husband back. Without Steve, Lee would not be in my life or our son’s life.
This is a very timely find because of my new passion for my relationship with God and my desire to improve my prayer life. Since watching the movie War Room, I have reignited my passion for the LORD and my prayer life. Imagine my surprise when I was going through this file and found this beauty at the bottom of the stack. God’s perfect timing once again!
Here it is:
Prayer, there is nothing simpler or more powerful. In 1 Timothy 2:1, we see the first instruction Paul gave the church was to pray. Prayer is a constant challenge for most Christians- finding time, following up, knowing what to pray for. And here lies the problem-making it an activity on the to-do list instead of a lifestyle that leads to victory.
Ephesians 6:18 tells us to “Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to the this end with perseverance and all suppliaction for all Saints” This means:
- Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit
- Don’t stop praying
- Call on all believers to help you pray
- Pray for one another
We are in a constant attitude of prayer; a constant state of communicating with the LORD; a continual dependence on Him, moment by moment in life. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing.” We should pray about everything and on all occasions. Anytime, Anyplace. Whether we are in prayer circles, meetings, our closet, family table, bible classes, devotionals, intercessions we should be walking and talking with God.
Prayer is our spiritual fuel. We are human but now we have a spiritual engine. That engine needs not human fuel or fuel of the world but prayer, which supplies our spiritual needs. Prayer provides the energy needed to wear our spiritual armor (aka The Armor of God). We cannot fight spiritual battles in our own strength-running on human effort. We MUST rely on PRAYER. It is the key to wearing God’s Armor into Victory!
Satan will use every device to keep us from praying. He will cause physical fatigue and zap our energy. He will make us mentally unfit for prayer through the cares and burdens of the home and business. He will destroy our power and prayer life through doubt, discouragement and depression. So, when we feel least like praying, this is the time we need most to pray, for Satan has already gained a foothold in us. The enemy knows when we haven’t prayed and moves into attack. Prayer CANNOT be a matter of emotion. It must be a CHOICE OF WILL. A constant act of devotion and communication with God.
We must pray in prosperity and adversity; sickness and in health. When we pray, pray prayers of praise and thanksgiving. Then pray for what we will, desire and need. James 4:2 says “we do not have because we do not ask…” Often we strive after something without even praying about it and asking God for it. Asking is the rule of the kingdom. If Jesus had to ask, you and I cannot expect to be exempted from it. God knows what we need but HE wants us to ask Him as a sign of faith and dependence on Him.
The Holy Spirit provides us with power. “Praying in Spirit” is all about God’s will. We learn to pray the will of and according to the Word of God by yielding to the power of the Spirit who lives in us. The Spirit directs us to pray in alignment with God’s plan and purposes, so God is able to answer. If we pray on our own strength and wisdom, we will not find agreement with God. We must have the mind of God which the Spirit provides as we pray.
Praying needs to become natural to you! We must have perseverance in prayer, not giving up. Prayer should also be done out of spiritual willingness and should not be forced.
The enemy has many ways he will try to discourage you from praying. Let’s say you have two good days of praying in a row. Satan will try to convince you it will be like that the rest of your life. Listen closely, it won’t! The third day when your prayer life is fruitless, the enemy will try to convince you that you’ve blown it and there is no use trying anymore. THIS IS A LIE!!! Do not listen!
If you have a couple of good days of prayer, then thank God for them and try for a third. If the third day is a failure, just pray again on the fourth day. Forget what is past and start anew each day. Persevere in prayer. That is the only way to get it done.
An old saying about the devil and prayer is that “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayer-less studies, prayer-less works or prayer-less religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom but trembles when we pray.”
And that is the first half of his sermon that was completed on September 6, 2010. Tomorrow I will share keys to prayer effectiveness and some guidance on prayer from Paul. This is my favorite part of this sermon. However, if you are like me, and not holding a M.Div. as my husband does then you have quite a bit to ponder for now. I have to read and reread to fully grasp his words and the content. I encourage you to do the same.
I am blessed with such a God-fearing man full of wisdom on the subject of our walk with the LORD. Sometimes I get overwhelmed to make sure I’m living up to the standards Lee has but what I, what we both have realized is each of us has our own walk with the LORD. Lee’s calling is his own and my calling is my own. Our expectations for our walks are tailored to each of us but there are certain expectations we share. This is a lesson we both had to learn the hard way. It took us both humbling ourselves and almost losing one another to learn it. Place your spouse/significant other in God’s hands and He will give you what you need. Together, as one, we now encourage and support one another in our walks through the powerful gift of PRAYER.
A Very Blessed Woman in TX