Everything Starts with Prayer

Everything Starts with Prayer

Everything in Church and the Christian life and ministry begins with prayer!

  • We prayed and asked forgiveness of sins when we started our walk with Christ
  • We prayed and received the Holy Spirit
  • When we worship we pray and call on our Heavenly Father for grace
  • We pray over our meals, pray for sick loved ones, and pray over our children at night when we tuck them into bed
  • We pray for unsaved friends and family members
  • And every morning is started by a time of prayer asking God for grace for the day to serve Him effectively

A disciple of Jesus Christ should have both a vision and theology for prayer as well as a life that models it.

The Praying Church

A true praying church has several ingredients, and these are the vital parts that make prayer effective and powerful in God’s house- which Jesus called the “House of Prayer”.

  1. Private prayer

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matt 6:6

Every dedicated follower of Jesus Christ practices a lifestyle of passionate prayer. They love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. They take up their cross and follow Jesus. And every day they find their secret place and commune with the Lord. They receive strength and grace and impartation from the Lord. They receive their daily directives and guidance from Him.

  1. Prayer of agreement

Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. Matt 18:19

Not only should we know how to pray personally and in private, but we should also know how to get in agreement with another believer. For married couples, this would be our spouse. For others it might be a small group, a friend, a roommate or a business associate. But if we want to see answers to prayers, we need to employ the power of agreement in prayer.

  1. Church prayer

So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth… And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:24, 31

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. Acts 12:5

The concept is simple. The church gathers together for prayer with every member lifting up a voice in agreement for issues that affect the entire church. Corporate prayer is mobilizing the entire church into spiritual agreement.

A Pastor or church leader will lift up their voice above the rest and lead the church, while the members get in agreement and verbally support the petitions and supplications of the Pastors as they lead.

  1. Ministry of prayer

this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. Luke 2:37

“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Ezek 22:30

He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Isaiah 59:16

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints– and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, Eph 6:18-19

One area that is so important in Church life is the ministry of prayer and intercession. While all believers are called to pray, some give themselves more diligently and fervently to specific and strategic intercession. Groups of intercessors can be assigned to specific ministries and to pertinent issues in the church, the city, the Nation, and even the nations of the world.

  1. Apostolic prayer

Samuel
far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; 1 Sam 12:23

Paul to Colossians
we do not cease to pray for you Col 1:9

Paul to Ephesians
do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers Eph 1:15-17

Paul to Galatians
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, Gal 4:19

Jesus interceding for us
He always lives to make intercession for them. Heb 7:25

Christ is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Romans 8:34

In today’s church there are so many urgent needs and issues that must be addressed. Pastors of local churches and apostolic leaders of multiple churches should dedicate time each week to apostolic prayer, i.e. praying for other Pastors, for other churches, for leaders and laborers and for the work of the Kingdom of God around the world. The apostles of the New Testament did not just pray for survival- they prayed for revival!

2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 “but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:2-4 (NKJV)

A healthy Church is a praying church, with individual members praying privately(using the Lord’s prayer model); praying together with family members in agreement; praying together as a Church for corporate needs; praying for their pastors, who in turn pray for them, and having anointed and assigned Intercessors who add double coverage to the priorities of the church in prayer. Every church should nurture these important aspects of prayer.

The Praying Church of the 21st Century

  • Every member praying at home and in private
  • Every believer praying in agreement with another believer
  • Church members fasting and praying each week
  • Every church member in harmony with God and with other members of the church and in submission to those who lead
  • Committed Members joining with the rest of the church in corporate prayer gatherings
  • Prayers prayed fervently, effectively and specifically
  • Continual prayer at all hours of the night and day as all members respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in supplication and intercession

Can we imagine the increase of effectiveness and exponential impact of an entire church praying in agreement. Every hour the church prays together is multiplied times the number who are gathered.

When two or three are gathered and pray an hour- three hours of prayer are sent to heaven. When two or three hundred gather, three hundred hours are lifted up to God. And when two or three thousand pray- three thousand spiritual sacrifices are offered on the altar of incense before God.

And can we imagine how much incense arises to the throne of God when churches of all nations agree in prayer, and the body of Christ unites in worldwide supplication and intercession?

In our first installment of our new “Advanced Discipleship Classes” we are presenting here the messages recently preached to our congregation here in Seattle during a scheduled “Prayer Week”. Also available are the notes for downloading and study.

May the Lord bless and enrich your prayer life and your understanding of the importance of this aspect of a true Christian disciple’s life.

Pastor Wendell

 

Everything Starts with Prayer2015-12-30T15:53:00-06:00

Quotes on Prayer

Quotes on Prayer

The following are various quotes on prayer that may be encouraging to you.

  1. “Don’t pray for lighter burdens, but for stronger backs.”
  2. “Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God.”
  3. “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
  4. “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”
  5. “Pray, and let God worry”
  6. “Most people do not pray; they only beg.”
  7. “The greatest prayer is patience”
  8. “Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life”
  9. “Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.”
  10. “All prayers are answered if we are willing to admit that sometimes the answer is “no”
  11. “Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart”
  12. “Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.”
  13. “Many people pray as if God were a big aspirin pill; they come only when they hurt.”
  14. “Prayer is a confession of one’s own unworthiness and weakness”
  15. “Prayer is the key to Heaven, but faith unlocks the door.”
  16. “Prayer is the voice of faith.”
  17. “A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing”
  18. “It’s hard to fall when you are already on your knees”
  19. “when life seems more than you can stand, kneel”
  20. “Prayer is more than meditation. In meditation, the source of strength is one’s self. When one prays, he goes to a source of strength greater than his own.”
  21. “Pray often; for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan”
  22. “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks.”
  23. “I believe in prayer. It’s the best way we have to draw strength from heaven.”
  24. “As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools”
  25. “Prayer has comforted us in sorrow and will help strengthen us for the journey ahead.”
  26. Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.
  27. No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it.
  28. Trouble and perplexity drive me to prayer and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble.
  29. Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
  30. The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him.
  31. Prayer may not change things for you, but it for sure changes you for things.
  32. We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.
  33. When at night you cannot sleep, talk to the Shepherd and stop counting sheep.
  34. When a man is at his wits’ end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get in touch with Reality.
  35. Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble:  prayer is a life attitude.
  36. The trouble with our praying is, we just do it as a means of last resort.
  37. Certain thoughts are prayers.  There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
  38. I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.
  39. God can pick sense out of a confused prayer.
  40. Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue.
  41. God speaks in the silence of the heart.  Listening is the beginning of prayer.
  42. We must move from asking God to take care of the things that are breaking our hearts, to praying about the things that are breaking His heart.
  43. Just pray for a tough hide and a tender heart.
  44. Before we can pray, “Lord, Thy Kingdom come,” we must be willing to pray, “My Kingdom go.”
  45. Some people think that prayer just means asking for things, and if they fail to receive exactly what they asked for, they think the whole thing is a fraud.
  46. Be thankful that God’s answers are wiser than your answers.
  47. Prayer is the language of a man burdened with a sense of need.
  48. Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the spirit of God.
  49. Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.
  50. Some people pray just to pray and some people pray to know God.
  51. Wishing will never be a substitute for prayer.
  52. Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?
  53. Of all the duties enjoined by Christianity none is more essential and yet more neglected than prayer.
  54. We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.
  55. Those who know God the best are the richest and most powerful in prayer. Little acquaintance with God, and strangeness and coldness to Him, make prayer a rare and feeble thing.
  56. When the Christian stops praying the devil shouts for joy.
  57. Faith prays, unbelief does not.
  58. If you can’t pray a door open, don’t pry it open
  59. God does not delay to hear our prayers because He has no mind to give; but that, by enlarging our desires, He may give us the more largely.
  60. We waste most of our time trying to get God to do something He has already done—or praying for God to do something He told us to do.

 

 

 

 

Quotes on Prayer2015-12-30T14:46:44-06:00

Creating a Vocabulary of Praise

A Focus on God’s Attributes

I’ve always been able to hold up my end of a conversation without difficulty. Except, that is, when it came to prayer, and particularly when I tried to express my praise to God. Attempting to begin and end my prayer times with praise and adoration, I often found myself flat-out speechless. I wanted to praise God with all that was within me, but I couldn’t think of one sensible thing to say. I recently read a book called Invading the Privacy of God by Cecil “Cec” Murphey. The book describes how Cec’s prayer life was revolutionized when he settled on the practice of praying God’s attributes as praise. I began imitating that practice in my own times of praise, and over the course of a few months, I developed a “program of praise” that has proven wonderfully helpful. It has opened a door for me, and my praises to God now flow freely from my heart and lips during prayer. I focus on one attribute of my awesome God and Father each day, using the Scripture-based sentences as “praise starters.” At the end of each month, I start the list over, combining traits when the month is shorter than 31 days.

1. God the Creator. “Creator God, I praise You because ’you made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all
their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the
multitudes of heaven worship you’” (Neh. 9:6).
2. The Only God. “God, I praise You because You are ’the LORD, and there is no other; apart from [You] there is no
God’” (Is. 45:5).
3. The Almighty God. “’O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness
surrounds you’” (Ps. 89:8).
4. The Everlasting Father, the Ancient of Days. “I praise You, Lord, as the ’Ancient of Days’ (Dan. 7:9), the ’Everlasting
Father’ (Is. 9:6), who lives forever and ever.”
5. A Loving God. “I praise You because You are a loving God, whose very nature is love”
(1 Jn. 4:16).
6. A God of Justice. “Lord, I praise You and magnify You, who is ’just and the one who justifies those who have faith in
Jesus’”
(Ro. 3:26).
7. A Faithful God. “Heavenly Father, I give You my praise and adoration, because You are a ’faithful God, keeping
[Your] covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love [You] and keep [Your] commands’” (Dt. 7:9).
8. A Merciful God. “’You are a gracious and merciful God’ (Neh. 9:31), and I praise You for Your great mercy.”
9. God, My Refuge, My Fortress. “I praise You, Lord, for You are ’my mighty rock, my refuge’” (Ps. 62:7).
10. A Patient, Persevering God. “Father, I praise You because You are ’patient with [Your children], not wanting
anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance’ (2 Pet. 3:9). Thank You for Your patience with me.”
11. Eternal, Saving God. “I give praise to You, Father, ’the only God our Savior.’ To You ’be glory, majesty, power and
authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore’” (Jude 25).
12. The Holy One. “Holy, holy, holy [are You] Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Rev. 4:8).
13. A Personal God. “I praise You, God, because You are a personal God, who gives me the honor of knowing You
personally, even inviting me to feast at Your kingdom’s table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Mt. 8:11).
14. A Giving God. “All praise and honor be Yours, O God, because You are a generous God, who did not even stop
short of giving Your own Son” (Jn. 3:16).
15. A Provider God. “I praise You today, Lord, as my Jehovah-Jireh (the Lord Will Provide), who makes all grace
abound in me and generously provides all I need” (2 Cor. 9:8).
16. God, My Shepherd. “I bless Your name and praise You as my Jehovah-Rohi (The Lord My Shepherd), who will
shepherd me and guide me in the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake” (Ps. 23:1-3).
17. God, My Victory. “Praise to You, my God, because You are my Jehovah-Nissi (The Lord My Banner), God, my
victory, ’who always leads [me] in triumphal procession in Christ’” (2 Cor. 2:14).
18. God, My Peace. “I praise You with all my heart, Lord, because You are my Jehovah-Shalom (The Lord Our
Peace), ’the God of peace [who] will soon crush Satan under [my] feet’” (Ro. 16:20).
19. The God Who Heals. “Father, I praise You because You are the Lord who heals me” (Ex. 15:26).
20. The God of All Comfort. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and
the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3).
21. The God of Miracles. “Lord, I praise You because ’you are the God who performs miracles; you display your power
among the peoples’” (Ps. 77:14).
22. A Forgiving God. “I want to bless You with praise, Father, because ’you are a forgiving God, gracious and
compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love’” (Neh. 9:17).
23. The Burden Bearer. “Praise be to the Lord, to God [my] Savior, who daily bears [my] burdens” (Ps. 68:19).
24. A Faithful God. “I praise You because ’your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies’
(Ps. 36:5), and ’great is your faithfulness’” (Lam. 3:23).
25. King of Kings and Lord of Lords. “All honor and praise be to You, my God, ’the blessed and only Ruler, the King of
kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light’” (1 Tim. 6:15).
26. God the Liberator. “I will praise You because ’you are my help and my deliverer; O LORD’” (Ps. 70:5).
27. The Lifter of My Head. “Father God, I praise You because ’you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory
on me and lift up my head’ when I am weary or despised” (Ps. 3:3).
28. God of Light. “I praise You, Lord, because You are ’my light and my salvation’ (Ps. 27:1), and because You know
’what lies in darkness, and light dwells with [You]’” (Dan. 2:22).
29. God of Joy. “I give You praise, O Lord, because ’you have granted [me] eternal blessings and made [me] glad with
the joy of your presence’” (Ps. 21:6).
30. The God Who Answers Prayer. “I praise and honor You, Father, because You are a God who loves to answer
prayer and who begins to answer even before I pray” (Is. 65:24).
31. The God of All the Earth. “I praise and adore You, Lord, as ’the Holy One of Israel . . . [my] Redeemer . . . the God
of all the earth’” (Is. 54:5).
Following this “praise program” has energized my praise life, helping me to worship and adore God more plentifully
and purposefully in prayer. It has also enlarged my vision and awareness of the praiseworthy God I love and serve
and, I believe, increased the evidence of His godly character in my life. I pray that it may do the same for you.

A Vocabulary of Praise
Goal:
To spend an entire prayer meeting praising God for who He is.

Instruction:
Talk about the many things that scripture describes God as being.
Begin to praise God for being these things. Spend the entire hour focusing on the attributes of God rather than asking Him for anything. Have different people come up and lead in a prayer of thanksgiving for who God is. Example: “Lord, I praise you because you are
Jehovah Jireh, my provider….”

Creating a Vocabulary of Praise2015-12-21T12:23:29-06:00

Just Push

JUST PUSH

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled, with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin.

The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down; his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might.

Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: “you have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t moved.”

Thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and the he was a failure.

These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough.”

And that is what he planned to do, until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord,” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done.

Now I, my friend, will move the rock.”

At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves mountains.

When everything seems to go wrong … just P.U.S.H.!

When the job gets you down … just P.U.S.H.!

When people don’t react the way you think they should… just P.U.S.H.!

When your money looks “gone” and the bills are due…just P.U.S.H!

When people just don’t understand you … just P.U.S.H.!

 

P= Pray

U= Until

S= Something

H= Happens

 

Just Push2015-12-30T16:17:43-06:00
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