As previously mentioned, I’m currently in the midst of doing an intense study on prayer. My world is really being rocked. I have the privilege of learning from some incredible leaders. I have stacks and stacks of books and articles that I’m reading through. I’m overwhelmed and exhausted. I’m thankful and blessed. I’m convicted and I’m praying daily that these stacks of books and the wisdom being poured into me from others will not be mere knowledge for me but that this experience will revolutionize my walk with the Lord and service to Him.
Here are some of snippets from my readings:
“Praying is spiritual work; and human nature does not like taxing, spiritual work. Human nature wants to sail to heaven under a favoring breeze, a full, smooth sea. Prayer is humbling work. It abases intellect and pride, crucifies vainglory, and signs our spiritual bankruptcy, and all these are hard for the flesh and blood to bear. It is easier not to pray than to bear them. So we come to one of the crying evils of these times, maybe of all times–little or no praying. Of these two evils, perhaps little praying is worse than no praying. Little praying is a kind of make-believe, a salve for the conscience, a farce, a delusion.”
“To men who think praying their main business and devote time to it according to this high estimate of its importance does God commit the keys of his kingdom, and by them does he work his spiritual wonders in the world. Great praying is the sign and seal of God’s great leaders and the earnest of the conquering forces with which God will crown their labors.”
“The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer.”
“Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still.”
(From Power Through Prayer, by E.M. Bounds)
“Prayer is critical because it takes us into heavenly places, before the throne of God to ask for the resources and resolve to break through the strongholds that Satan is erecting.”
(From The Truth About Spiritual Warfare by Mark Corts)
“God loves to bless His people. But even more He loves to do it in answer to prayer.”
“If you don’t know the rhythm of desperation and deliverance, you must have your sights only on what man can achieve.”
“I know that the reason so few conversions are happening through my church is not because we lack a program or staff. It is because we do not love the lost and yearn for their salvation the way we should. And the reason we do not love them as we ought is because such love is a miracle that overcomes our selfish bent. It can not be managed or maneuvered into existence. It is an astonishing miracle.”
“The lingering aroma of prayer gives a sense of eternity to all our work.”
“Examine yourself: Does it lie within your power right now to weep over the spiritual destruction of the people on your street? Such tears come only through a profound work of God. If we want this work of God in our lives and in our churches, there will be agonizing prayer: “God, break my heart!” I choose the word “agonize” carefully. It is the word Paul used in Romans 15:30, ‘Now I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayer to God on my behalf.’ With such ‘agonizing together’ God may grant tears. And without those tears we may shuffle members from church to church, but few will pass from darkness to light.”
(From Brothers, We are Not Professionals by John Piper)
“When we depend upon organizations we get what organizations can do, when we depend upon education, we get what education can do; when we depend upon man, we get what man can do; but when we depend on prayer, we get what God can do.”
(By A.C. Dixon)
“God requires prayer as a prerequisite to his working powerfully.”
“The greatest workings of God come by corporate prayer; and we will not see the power of God in a sufficient measure to transform the world around us until we pray together.”
“We are no longer independent units fitted together but intricately joined… God does not allow us to conduct our personal relationship with him in isolation. He ordained that our service require teamwork… Being a body mandates that we regularly encounter him together. Focusing on only our personal prayer life is like trying to play Mozart with one hand.”
(From And the Place Was Shaken by John Franklin)
I could go on and on but I don’t want your brains to turn to mush like mine feels like it is! :o) I do pray that if you need your world rocked to get you to pray powerfully, like I needed my world rocked… That maybe my sharing this journey will help.
If I had tome sum up what I’ve learned so far I would say these three things:
1. We (I!) do not pray NEARLY ENOUGH!
2. Prayer is HARD work!
3. Prayer is ESSENTIAL work if we are to accomplish the mission of God!
I am definitely just skimming the surface of what I have to learn and I’m already overwhelmed and exhausted but I am so very excited and I pray that my life will never be the same again!