Consistency In Prayer
By David J. Stewart | September 2013 | Updated May 2014
2nd Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by FAITH, not by SIGHT.”
Consistent Prayer Is Much Better Than Long Prayer
Please keep me in your continued prayers whoever you may be. I believe that even a small prayer activates the machinery in Heaven and starts the ball of God's omnipotent power rolling. To believe in prayer is to believe in God Who hears and answers prayer. To not pray is a lack of faith, saying that we really don't believe God cares about us nor will He do anything to help us, so why pray? Listen to what King David said in Psalms 22:1, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.” David said that he prayed to God, but he felt like God didn't hear him at all.
HOW THEY PRAYED
George Whitefield, the famous English evangelist, said, “O Lord give me souls, or take my soul!”
Henry Martyn, a missionary, cried as he knelt on India's coral strands, “Here let me burn out for God!”
David Brainerd, missionary to the North American Indians 1718-1747, declared, “Lord, to Thee I dedicate myself. Oh, accept of me, and let me be Thine forever. Lord, I desire nothing else; I desire nothing more.” The last words in his diary, written seven days before he died, “Oh, come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.”
Thomas a Kempis, 1379-1471, said, “Give what Thou wilt and how much Thou wilt, and when Thou wilt. Set me where Thou wilt and deal with me in things as Thou wilt.”
Dwight L. Moody implored, “Use me then, My Saviour, for whatever purpose and in whatever way Thou mayest require. Here is my poor heart, an empty vessel; fill it with Thy grace.”
John McKenzie prayed thus when as a young missionary candidate he knelt on the banks of the Lossie: “O Lord, send me to the darkest spot on earth!”
“Praying Hyde,” a missionary in India, pleaded, “Father, give me these souls, or I die.”
Mrs. Comstock, a missionary in India, uttered this prayer of parting when she sent her children home, “Lord Jesus, I do this for Thee.”
Psalms 44:23, “Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever.” David was frustrated, impatient and bold in his prayers to God. David asked God how much longer He was going to stay sleeping? David cried in prayer, but didn't feel like God was listening. We've all been there. I've learned that you truly begin to mature in the Lord when you keep on praying anyway, no matter how dismal, unproductive or useless prayer may seem in our finite, flawed and human minds. God is capable of doing the unimaginable, miracles and that which everyone said couldn't be done. It requires a greater faith to keep praying when the answers don't seem to be coming, and faith pleases God. The Bible teaches in 2nd Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by FAITH, not by SIGHT.” Notice the word “walk,” which implies moving forward. We move forward in life by faith, trusting God when we cannot see what's ahead and around the tunnel. Those who pray and quit, only do so because they walked “by sight,” and when they didn't see what they expected or wanted to see, they forsook trusting God.
Anybody would gladly pray if the skies of Heaven poured down gold, silver and materialistic blessings. I believe that's why God steps out of the picture and makes us feel like He's ignoring us. In fact, this is the exact Biblical teaching of Luke 18:1-8. The unjust judge avenged the irritating woman to get rid of her, but God ignores us to test us (that is, to test how much faith we really have). How much faith do you have? You have as much faith, not how long you pray; but rather, how persistent you pray. Long prayers don't impress God (Matthew 6:7-8), but to keep praying when it seems like there's no reason left to pray greatly pleases God. Let's all start praying consistently, morning and evening and afternoon. Amen!
Remember the story of the rabbit and the turtle. The rabbit was fast and could outrun the turtle anytime, anywhere. But the turtle still won the race, because he kept with the stuff! The rabbit became overconfident and lost sight of his purpose, but the turtle stayed with the course and finished. In God's marathon it's not a matter of who finishes first; but rather, just finishing the race that He has set before you. Amen! All God expects is that we keep going, never quit, don't stop praying, don't stop sharing the Gospel, keep trying to do right, and keep trusting Him at all times, no matter what happens (Job 13:15).
The best of Christians may fail to live right 5 times out of 10, but that's a lot better than failing 10 times out of 10 because you're a heathen that's not even trying. I am speaking of our fellowship with God here, as Christians. I am not speaking of salvation, which has nothing to do with our lifestyle or how hard we try to live right. Eternal life is a free gift, paid in full by Jesus' precious blood. All we do is receive God's righteousness by faith in the Gospel, that is, Christ's death, burial and resurrection three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).
Expect Big Answers From Small Prayers
An elderly preacher asked a younger preacher the question, “You don't think you're going to receive big answers to prayer by praying for a short time do you?” The young preacher replied, “Of course not!” The old preacher then wisely said, “That's why you don't receive big answers to your prayers.” My friend, even the faintest and briefest sincere prayer, from the weakest Christian, can bring down the biggest answers to prayer that God has to offer. The reason is because it is one's FAITH in the power of the Holy Spirit that brings down the blessings of God, and not one's human effort. THE SPIRIT'S ABIDING (MP3, Dr. Hyles; all is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down).
Jesus taught that having even the smallest amount of faith as a grain of mustard seed (one of the smallest seeds in the world which grows into one of the tallest plants), WILL MOVE MOUNTAINS (Matthew 17:20). What mountains are there in your life, that is, those seemingly impossible obstacles and situations to overcome? My friend, God can do anything except fail!
Faith is not measured by how long you pray, but by how consistently you pray. Keep on praying!
As Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) used to often teach, “PRAYER IS ASKING!” And asking is faith! Philippians 4:6 says to “LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN UNTO GOD.” Notice that the Bible doesn't say to make DEMANDS of God! No, rather, we let God know what we are humbly REQUESTING, and then we trust God's wisdom and power to do the rest. That's a pretty good deal I think. Our part is simply to pray (ask), and then the Bible tells us in Philippians 4:7 not to worry about the matter anymore, claiming the perfect peace of God that passeth all understanding. END
“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil...” —Psalm 97:10
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