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Prayer Changes Things: Prayer Changes Us!

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Prayer Changes Things: Prayer Changes Us!

 It is often said that “Prayer changes things!”  We should also add, “Prayer changes us!”  It is true that your prayers will change things around you but sometimes your prayers change you. At times our situation even remains the same; but we are different.

The disciples in Acts 4, were threatened and warned not to speak or preach in the name of Jesus.  They did not react by going to God in prayer pleading, “Lord change things!  Lord, change our circumstances.”   Rather, they asked the Lord to “…grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word…”  (Acts 4:29) Their attitude was, “Do not change our circumstances; change us!”

“For things to get better, sometimes you must get better.”

We may change our circumstances and even seek a more favorable environment but we will take ourselves with us wherever we go. Jesus asked us to “consider the lilies (flowers)” in Matthew 6:28.  These flowers grow where they are planted.  Many of us refuse to grow where we are placed and because of that we never take root anywhere.  Instead we want to be planted in a better set of circumstances. One man said, “I have found the problem and it is I.”

There are things in all of our lives that must die through prayer, fasting, and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.

“It is not so important what happens to us; it is more important what happens in us.”

The Psalmist David wrote “The Penitent’s Psalm” of Psalm 51.  This Psalm was written after Nathan, the prophet came to David revealing his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, and the murder of her husband.  (II Samuel 12:1-13)  David did not ask for a change in his circumstances but cried out “Lord, change me!”  Read about this in Psalm 51:1-19. He prayed for a clean heart, and a right spirit.  He knew that “a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart…” (51:17) were necessary for the Lord to make a change in him.  David basically prayed, “Lord, I have sinned against you! Clean me up!  Change me so that I can be a blessing to your people.”  This attitude was quite different from that expressed by Saul.  When he sinned, he said,“…I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel…”  (I Samuel 15:30)  He was not interested in a real change in his life through repentance. He was more interested in how he appeared before the people.

Prayer allows us to become like Jesus. It is spending time with Jesus, our friend. It is said,“You show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.”  The type of friends we have serve as a good indicator of who we are.  Jesus promised to be a friend that “…sticketh closer than a brother.”(Proverbs 18:24) In prayer, we are trying to not only know Him but also become more like Him. The Bible teaches, “Everything reproduces after its own kind.”  (See Genesis 1:24)  God expects us “…to be conformed to the image of His Son.”  (Romans 8:29) He accepts you as you are but will not leave you there.  He wants you to be changed.

“It is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Max Depree in Leadership is an Art

Our salvation experience begins with repentance. Through obedience to Acts 2:38, God changes us with a born again experience and transforms (changes) our destiny.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  (II Corinthians 5:17)

Prayer changes things! Prayer changes us!

Lord, Let Prayer Change Me!

 

 

Prayer Changes Things: Prayer Changes Us! 2018-10-27T18:19:22+00:00

Prayer Pointers

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Prayer Pointers

 “…Behold, he prayeth.” Acts 9:11

Saul, just knocked down on the road to Damascus and physically blinded but spiritually alert, did not have to take a course in New Testament praying before he could pray. He is found immediately on Strait Street with his life straightened out and praying.   As you read the Epistles you see that Paul became a great prayer warrior.

In this lesson we want to look at some “Prayer Pointers”that will help strengthen our prayer lives and will help us become effective prayer warriors affecting the world.

Prayer Positions

Sitting: II Samuel 7:18; Acts 2:2
Kneeling: Daniel 6:10; Ezra 9:5; Acts 9:40, 20:36, 21:5
Bowing: Exodus 34:8; Psalm 95:6
Prostrate: II Samuel 12:16; Matthew 26:39
Standing: Mark 11:24
Walking: Genesis 13:17
Lying on Bed: Psalm 63:6

 When To Pray

Early morning: Psalm 63:1; Mark 1:35
Morning:  Psalm 5:3, 88:13; Acts 10:9;
Noon: Acts 10:30
Evening: Psalm 55:17; Matthew 14:23, 26:38-41
Midnight: Acts 16:25
Day and night: I Timothy 5:5; II  Timothy 1:3
All night: Luke 6:12
Multiple times: Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6:10
Unceasingly: I Thesselonians 5:17
Always: Luke 18:1

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17)

As you develop your prayer life and personal prayer ministry, you should look for prayer opportunities.  When someone mentions a need to you and asks you to pray why not respond, “Yes I will pray about that.  In fact, why don’t we pray about it right now.”  Thetus Tenney says, “an immediate prayer at the time of a confessed need can be very effective.”  Jesus prayed this way.  He met people with needs; asked them “What do you need?”  He then prayed for them and they had their healing or miracle immediately.

Where to Pray

In the church: Mark 11:17; Acts 22:17
In the house:  Daniel 6:10; Acts 9:40, 10:30
In the street: Acts 16:18
Going to church: Acts 3:1
Prayer closet: Matthew 6:6
Housetop: Acts 10:9
Wilderness/forest: Luke 5:16
Garden: Matthew 26:38-41
Solitary place: Mark 1:35; Luke 9:18
Mountain: Matthew 14:23; Mark 6:46; Luke 6:12; 9:28
In jail: Acts 16:25
Riverside: Acts 16:13
Anywhere/everywhere: I Timothy 2:8;  Ephesians 6:18

How To Pray

“Here’s what I want you to do.  Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace. The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.” (The Message, Matthew 6)

Levels of Prayer

Ask: Petition/Requests
Results: “you shall receive”

Seek:  Devotion
Results: “you shall find”

Knock: Intercession
Results: “door will be opened”

Prayer Portions

Rejoice:  Worship and praise
Repent: Confession of sin
Resist:  Battle Satan and forces
Request: Ask and Intercession
Recommit: Yield ourselves to God
Receive: Listen for God to speak

Jesus asked a penetrating question after teaching on the subject of prayer.  He inquired,  “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”  (Luke 18:8)  He was asking, “When I return, will there be faith or won’t there?  Will people still be praying and trusting God in faith? What type of world will I find; a world filled with sin or a world filled with the power of God?  What is going to be happening in your country?” Jesus’ question comes immediately after his parable on prayer that began with “men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”  (Luke 18:1) Lots of us make commitments to pray and it lasts for some time and then we give up.  If we would persist in prayer we could make a difference in our lives and the world that we live in.  The church will not have growth and revival without a large and consistent prayer ministry base.

What was the cause of David winning the battle?  One phrase keeps recurring in David’s life; “and David inquired of the Lord.”  What was the cause of Joshua being deceived by the Gibeonites that came to him dressed like they had come on a long journey?  His failure was because he “asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord.”  (Joshua 9:14)  How will you be successful in the battle?

 “Watch and Pray.”
(Matthew 26:40)

Prayer Pointers 2018-10-27T18:25:11+00:00

Nine Steps of Intercession

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Nine Steps of Intercession

Most Christians have a desire to impact the kingdom through their prayers.  Often we jump in and start praying for everything that we can think of that needs prayer.  While this may have some impact, Spirit-led prayers are more effective. The following are proven steps that help prepare us to be effectively used in intercessory prayer.

REPENT:  

  • “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord won’t hear me.”  (Psalm 66:18)
  • Before we go before the throne of God on behalf of others, we must have clean hands and a pure heart.

RELATIONSHIP CHECK:  (first with God, then with others)

With God

  • Am I putting Him first in my life?
  • Am I trusting Him fully?
  • Am I spending time in His Word?
  • Am I obedient to the leading of His Spirit?

With Others

  • Is there anyone I need to ask for forgiveness?
  • Is there anyone I need to forgive?

PRAISE AND WORSHIP:

  • God inhabits the praise of His people.  When we praise, He comes near.
  • Liberty is produced when God’s Spirit is present.

DIE TO SELF:

  • To hear from God we have to get ourselves out of the way.
  • Dead people don’t have to have things their way.
  • When we die, Christ can fully be in charge.

INVITE THE HOLY SPIRIT:

  • Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you as you pray.
  • If we follow the leading of the Spirit, we will pray perfectly in God’s will.   
  • If we ask anything according to His will, it shall be done.

SUBMIT AND RESIST:

  • “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee.” James 4:7

TAKE ON THE ARMOR:  

  • Loins Girt about with Truth (love truth)
  • Breastplate of Righteousness  (protect my heart from evil)
  • Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace  (bring peace where I step) 
  • Shield of Faith (covering me from fiery attacks) 
  • Helmet of Salvation (protect my mind) 
  • The Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) 

WAIT AND LISTEN:

  • “His sheep know His voice.” (John 10:4)  We must have times of listening for that ‘still, small voice’.
  • When I only pray for the things I want to pray about, I am not submitted.  Therefore, God is under no obligation to answer, and the enemy is under no obligation to flee.

OBEY:  

  • Now, we do what God says.
Nine Steps of Intercession 2018-10-27T18:27:53+00:00

In the Balance

In the Balance

There is something that has been weighing on my mind lately. God has burdened me for those ‘in the balance’. They haven’t quite turned their back on God but they are thinking about it…teetering on the fence. We mostly focus our prayer on those that are doing great, “lost” or the “backsliders”. But my heart is so heavy for those that are in between these extremes. They come to church, may even volunteer, but outside of church they are being pulled at by the world.
Pray:
  • the protection of their minds and hearts
  • they can discern the voice of God
  • for a hedge of protection around them
  • for spiritual strength
  • for a returning to their first love
Tiffini Countaway
In the Balance 2018-10-29T07:15:41+00:00