Do we give up too easily in our prayer lives? Do we put a timetable in our requests and prayers before God? Does our faith sizzle out after a few days of not seeing any results in our prayer life? Are we persistent and unwavering in our prayers and confident in our faithful God or is our prayer life plagued with doubts, worry and fear? Do we expect God to hear and respond to our prayers or do we think God has turned a deaf ear? Is our prayer a few seconds of weak, unfocused words with little trust or faith. Is our prayers a mere formality, a vain repetition of words with little heart and passion in them?
Eric Ludy-This is not some bb gun that God has given us to try to shoo away raccoons in the night. Prayer is nuclear power, world renovating in its epic strength. When used according to the pattern of Scripture, prayer alters history, alters the natural world, and alters the human soul. The Sword is too heavy for a mere man to carry, but prayer enables us to lift it, swing it, and transform the world around us with it. Prayer is the catalyst behind everything Godly taking place in the earth.
EM Bounds- Our praying needs to be pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied and a courage that never fails.
Ludy-This concept of “praying through” can alter your entire spiritual life, but it can make you greatly uncomfortable, because it goes against the way we are naturally built as humans. The great giants of the faith like George Mueller, CT Studd, Hudson Taylor, Rees Howell and Amy Carmichael all knew what it meant to pray through. Prayer is taking from God’s purchase on the cross (His promises in the finished work of Jesus Christ) and like a grappling hook throwing the hook up to heaven to these promises and pulling, pulling and pulling until the promise comes into manifestation on the earth. Prayer is the action of faith on the earth. Prayer is our way of saying: “I’ll prove that God is who He says He is, just watch.” Framework of prayer-thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is on heaven. We have a God job to do in persistent prayer. Take what God has done and bring it to the earth through prayer.
James 5:16: Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Availeth-Greek-means “granting great power for extraordinary deeds”
No limits are set to the power of prayer.
Look at the persistence of Elijah’s prayer in Elijah’s prayer in I Kings 18, which is one of the greatest moments in the history of the world. It illustrates the mockery and foolishness of serving or praying to anyone but God. Elijah had the promise verse 1. Prayed and brought it from heaven to the earth. This whole amazing demonstration of the powerof God was a result of time he had spent in intense prayer in his prayer closet. Prayer prepares you to face the challenges of ministry.
Prayer closet-Matthew 6:11ff “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
AW Tozer-The man who would know God must spend time with Him. True prayer demands more of our lives than most are willing to give and therefore few ever taste of its power and delights. You need to be radical in your prayer life.
The Doctrine of Answered Prayer
God has promised and He cannot lie
You can stand on it like a solid rock; we do not waver.
Answered Prayer is guaranteed when prayer is done God’s way and according to His pattern set forth in Scripture. Prayer is not based on a guess as God for certain wants to bring His promises into manifestation on the earth. Don’t stop praying until you see the promise come to pass. Faith when it is real expresses itself through prayer. Prayer is a holy confidence, a godly certainty and an unwavering trust in God’s promise and you don’t back down. You know what God is able to do and you immediately take it to God in prayer knowing He is faithful beyond measure.
Hebrews 6:15-18 (NLT)
13 For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:
14 “I will certainly bless you,
and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.”[b]
15 Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.
16 Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. 17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.
WORD OF GOD NOT STUTTERING ON THESE POINTS
Ask, and it shall be given you . . . – Matthew 7:7
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. – Matthew 21:22
But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. – John 11:22
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. – John 14:13
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. – John 14:14
. . . whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. – John 15:16 . . . Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. – John 16:23
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. – John 16:24
Hebrews 6:35-39 (NIV):35So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37For in just a very little while,”He who is coming will come and will not delay.38But my righteous one will live by faith.And if he shrinks back,I will not be pleased with him.
A. W. Tozer portrayed a praying Christian as a constant threat to the stability of Satan’s government writing that…
The Christian is a holy rebel loose in the world with access to the throne of God
Since prayer is detrimental to the evil one’s purposes, Satan and his minions do their utmost to interfere when we pray especially opposing us when we try to take time for prayer because. The enemy knows better than most Christian’s the power of persistent prayer!
In any posture, in any attire, at any time, in any place, and under any circumstance prayer is appropriate. Prayer is to be a total way of life, an open and constant communion with God.
Ludys’ Wrestling Prayer-The greatest threat to our prayer life isn’t the devil. It’s not some external force, some harassing demon from without. Surprisingly the greatest threat to the powerful life of prayer is none other than you–its self within.
God’s destiny for you is to be transformed into the image of His son and like Jesus become a spiritual rescuer. This is what prayer is all about. It is about doing the rescue work of Jesus on the earth. Prayer in a nutshell is kingdom business. God desires to build us into his workforce and set us about the Father’s business. You see, in God’s economy, things on this Earth do not change through wishing, through positive thinking, or through good karma. They change through faith expressing itself in loving fervent prayer. God’s people are commissioned to ask, to seek, to knock and to plead the realities of heaven be made reality down here on Earth.
But there is a rebel part of your being that detests prayer, that seeks to avoid it at all costs, that gets extremely tired at simply the notion of it. This is what the Bible refers to as the flesh. And this flesh is the greatest and most formidable enemy of prayer.
The promises of prayer are extraordinary, but for prayer to work it must be purged of self and doubt. Doubt and unbelief are prayer killers. Your faith must be unwavering, stouthearted, persistent and unmovable.
True prayer never violates the nature of God. What He is like is what our prayers should be like. True prayer has the glory of God as its aim-not the comfort of men, nor the fleshly pleasures of humanity or a selfish plea for comfort and blessing as prayer is not using God as our personal servant or an ATM machine. True prayer must be offered out of a life that is true-true to God, true to Scripture, true in heart, true in motive and true in purity.
Wiersbe writes that praying without ceasing…
certainly doesn’t mean that we should constantly be repeating prayers, because Jesus warned against that kind of praying (Mt 6:7). Rather, it means to make prayer as natural to us as our regular breathing. Unless we are sick or smothering, we rarely think about our breathing; we just do it. Likewise with prayer—it should be the natural habit of our lives, the “atmosphere” in which we constantly live.
Luke 22:28You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me…
31″Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you[a] as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
“Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer.” — Psalm 66:20
The Six Things that Hinder Prayers
1. It is a Prayer that is Born of the Flesh Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts. – James 4:3 KJV. Flesh always after self outside of God. Flesh always after your ends, your betterment, your wealth, your desires and your security. If come to God praying out of the flesh, there is no guarantee that God is going to answer your prayer. Lust-intense appetite for self gratification. Lust is one of the number one prayer killers. IT IS ALL ABOUT ME-When you approach God on those terms, you are living in the wrong kingdom. In God’s kingdom, you give up self-it is no longer after self’s agenda. Most of us are nominal Christianity who live for self in bondage to the kingdom of darkness.. We are bought with a price; we are His and we should say do God whatever you wants with my life. That is the beginnings of prayer out of a soil of selflessness. Structure your prayer life after the spirit and not after the flesh. Pray God prayers. Ever ask God what to pray about? God has an agenda and He is looking for saints to carry the burden and make intercession in prayer. God knows exactly what needs to be done down here. God what do you want to pray about? We feel His heart, His love, His compassion. God knows the mountains and barriers that need to be crushed. Any doubt God will answer a prayer that He has initiated and started?
2. Prayer that is Errant – not in Alignment with God’s Nature, Will, and Purpose on Earth
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: – 1 John 5:14
Prayer that is missing God’s bulls eye. Sin-one definition is missing the mark. Not in alignment with God’s nature, will and purpose upon the earth. The Bible is the revealed Word and Will of God. Understand the scriptures and you will know His will. God’s Word contains His exceeding great and precious promises. This is our promised land. Go and take it. The Word of God sets the territory and boundary of prayer.
3. We Ask in Prayer Wavering and Unsure
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. – James 1:6-7
We doubt and do not believe that God will keep His promises. Do we have complete confidence in the Word of God? We have an entire generation of Christians that are struggling with uncertainty and that are wavering and unsure. Faith must rise up and look at template of Word.
4. Living in Disobedience and Impurity
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. – 1Jo 3:22 KJV
If I had cherished sin in my heart; the Lord would not have listened. Psalm 66:18 In the Hebrew sin refers specifically to an idol.
And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. – Isaiah 1:15
Are we are living the way He asks us to live? If we live according to the world and the flesh then are prayers are greatly hindered. Remember the teaching breaches in your walls? Titus says the grace of God teaches us we should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.
5. Lack of Heavenly Honor
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. – 1Pe 3:7 KJV
Honor is a higher behavior, a holy mindset, a regal bearing in the midst of a polluted world. It is an absence of all perversion-a state of being untainted by the filth of this age. Honor is a selfless disposition, a servant’s posture, a sentinel’s gaze, and an intercessor’s readiness. Honor is the mark of heaven on a man, It is spiritual poise, grit and moral command where you have harnessed the old sin nature and you exercise a holy restraint on its emotions, passions and mental wanderings.
6. Lack of Abiding
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. – John 15:7 Caveat-abiding in Him and his word abiding in you.
Another key prayer killer is anxiety, fear and worry which Jesus Christ taught we are not to have an ounce of in our hearts.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Two Parables of Persistent Prayer/Praying Through-Luke 18 and Luke 11-Show what Faith is.
Luke 18:1-8 (NIV):
1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4″For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ ”
6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
5Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’
7″Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9″So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Don’t let go of your God until He has done it.
One thing God requires of His children is to believe Him. You are unmovable and not pushed around on the promise.
E.M. Bounds-Nothing distinguishes the children of God so clearly and strongly as prayer. It is the one infallible mark and test of being a Christian. Christian people are prayerful, the worldly-minded, prayerless. Christians call on God; worldlings ignore God, and call not on his name. But even the Christian had need to cultivate continual prayer. Prayer must be habitual, but much more than a habit. It is duty, yet one which rises far above, and goes beyond the ordinary implications of the term. It is the expression of a relation to God, a yearning for divine communion. it is the outward and upward flow of the inward life toward its original fountain. It is an assertion of the soul’s paternity, a claiming of the sonship, which links man to the eternal.
Importunate prayer is a mighty movement of the soul toward God. It is a stirring of the deepest forces of the soul, toward the throne of heavenly grace. It is the ability to hold on, press on, and wait. Restless desire, restful patience, and strength of grasp are all embraced in it. It is not an incident, or a performance, but a passion of soul. It is not a want, half-needed, but a sheer necessity.
In this study however, we turn our thought to one phase of prayer-that of importunity; the pressing of our desires upon God with urgency and perseverance; the praying with that tenacity and tension which neither relaxes nor ceases until its plea is heard, and its cause is won.
He who has clear views of God, and scriptural conceptions of the divine character; who appreciates his privilege of approach unto God; who understands his inward need of all that God has for him-that man will be solicitous, outspoken, and importunate. In Scripture the duty of prayer, itself, is advocated in terms which are only barely stronger than those in which the necessity for its importunity is set forth. The praying which influences God is declared to be that of the fervent, effectual outpouring of a righteous man. That is to say, it is prayer on fire, having no feeble, flickering flame, no momentary flash, but shining with a vigorous and steady glow.
The repeated intercessions of Abraham for the salvation of Sodom and Gomorrah present an early example of the necessity for, and benefit deriving from importunate praying. Jacob, wrestling all night with the angel, gives significant emphasis to the power of a dogged perseverance in praying, and shows how, in things spiritual, importunity succeeds, just as effectively as it does in matters relating to time and sense.
As we have noted, elsewhere, Moses prayed forty days and forty nights, seeking to stay the wrath of God against Israel, and his example and success are a stimulus to present-day faith in its darkest hour. Elijah repeated and urged his prayer seven times ere the raincloud appeared above the horizon, heralding the success of his prayer and the victory of his faith. On one occasion Daniel though faint and weak, pressed his case three weeks, ere the answer and the blessing came.
Many nights during his earthly life did the blessed Savior spend in prayer. In Gethsemane he presented the same petition, three times, with unabated, urgent, yet submissive importunity, which involved every element of his soul, and issued in tears and bloody sweat. His life crises were distinctly marked, his life victories all won, in hours of importunate prayer. And the servant is not greater than his Lord.
PRAYING THROUGH MEANS YOU PRAY UNTIL YOU SEE IT HAPPEN. It could be days, months or years but you do not give up. It is praying without letting go; praying relentlessly in pursuit of the promise. We often blame God for not answering prayer, but what actually happened is that we stopped praying. We are in spiritual battle. You don’t see everything. Our job is to believe. Our job is to stand firm in faith until God answers. This is why it is important to know and understand God’s nature. Why is it easier to trust men and women on this earth than the God who created us? Your God is coming. You hold fast to that petition. Don’t look at your circumstances. God, you are the only one that has what I need and I won’t let go. That is faith.