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What does God want? In Your Prayer

God does not command us to succeed. He commands us to pray. His people’s busy-ness has never
impressed Him (the Pharisees were very busy about the observance of religious practices). His ways are
not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts [Isaiah 55:8]. There is a way that seems right to a man, says
Proverbs 14:12, but in the end it leads to death. Are today’s churches so busy doing things that seem right to them that they are on a one-way road to nowhere?

That’s the way many prayer-conscious people see the trend. We sermonize about how Satan "fears the
weakest Christian on his knees," as E.M. Bounds wrote, but we still spend far more time in work than in
prayer. We seem to think, as Oswald Chambers states in My Utmost for His Highest, that prayer is to
prepare us for the greater work. But, Chambers rightly says, "Prayer is the greater work." If it is not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God that spiritual progress is to be made, why are we not doing the one thing that brings the enabling Spirit to our side?

It is not an easy question to answer -- "How did we get ourselves into this mess?" -- but the more serious
question of the day is, "What do we do now that we’re in it?"

1. All who have a heart for prayer must keep on praying - The only cure for prayerlessness is prayer.

2. Pray that the Father will thrust forth laborers - We've taken Matthew 9:28 to be a call for evangelism, and that is a correct interpretation. But the greater meaning is that, whatever the task, when more of us need to be involved in what God is calling us to do, the thing to do is to ask the Lord of the harvest to "thrust forth laborers into his harvest field."

3. Assume responsibility within your church’s prayer ministry - It can be a lonely battle, but Jesus taught His disciples in Luke 11 and Luke 18 that we are to persevere -- to pray without giving up. If no one else is willing to pray, you pray. Before long, God will honor your prayers by sending you others with the same burden.

4. Don’t expect a prayer ministry to grow dramatically and quickly God builds the ranks of His prayer warriors one pray-er at a time.

5. Risk being thought of as a fanatic - People who don’t pray don’t always like those who do. We live in a "doing" culture. Our worth is judged by what we do. God sees us otherwise.

6. Risk being thought of as unproductive - There are those in places of leadership in our churches, some of whom are writing books on church growth, who will tell you that prayer is a cop-out -- a substitute for hard work. Their problem is that they don’t know what hard work really is. Let them try praying night and day for God’s power to be visited on them. Then they’ll discover the meaning of hard work!

7. Mark in your Bible the scriptures that will keep you going:
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Ephesians 6:10-18 (especially verse 18, which wraps up all that Paul has said in 10-17)
Matthew 6:5-15
Mark 1:35
Luke 6:12
Luke 11:1-13
Luke 18:1-8
John 17:13-26
Acts 1:12-14
Acts 2:42-47
Acts 4:23-31
Acts 6:2-4
Acts 12:5-17

The church that forsakes the only means of hearing from God is in grave danger of losing its place in His
plan (see Revelation 2 and 3). In Revelation 3:20, we find a much-misunderstood picture of Jesus knocking
at a door. It is the door of His church, and He is waiting for His people to open up to Him and allow Him
entrance to a place that is too busy to hear Him knocking.
Make it your constant, consistent and urgent prayer that your church will hear and respond as He desires.

This resource is from PrayerPower. Published with permission

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