Posted by: jamescitty | August 21, 2012

Praying like it matters

There are certain things that I look forward to each week. I look forward to going out with my wife on Friday nights. I look forward to church on Sundays and Wednesdays. I look forward to different TV shows I watch weekly. And I look forward to receiving an email from Grace City Church.

This summer a group of Liberty Baptist Theological Students, led by Dave Earley, ventured out to Las Vegas Nevada to plant a church. Why? Their mission statement provides the answer pretty plainly:

Doing very hard things in really tough places so God gets all the glory

 

What is harder than going to Las Vegas and planting a church in the community around UNLV, a campus so resistant to Christian clubs and the Gospel that Campus Crusade has pulled out and the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship only has 30 members out of 29,000 students. They have a great strategy for reaching the campus for Christ, which you can read at http://dearleys.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/jericho-week/ . I’ll give you the short version of the strategy; they are going to spend a week prayer walking part of the campus at UNLV. They believe that nothing of eternal significance will begin on the campus until they win the unseen spiritual battle through prayer.

This week at my parent’s church where I was preaching, Rachel McDaniel gave her testimony about a mission trip she took to Zambia. At the end of her time, she shared the verse Ephesians 3:20 which reads:

Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—

All this has made me ponder the question; do we really believe that? Do we believe that God is able to do above and beyond all we could ask or even think? And, if we really believe that God is able to do above and beyond all that we ask, why don’t we pray more or at least pray with an expectation that He can?

If you truly believe that God answers prayer, then you pray. If you really believe that He is able of doing all that you ask, then your prayers should reflect that type of confidence. If we don’t pray, or don’t pray with an expectation of seeing Him move, then we don’t really believe that prayer works.

The truth is that God not only is able to do all that we ask, but He is also willing! That as Proverbs 15:8 says, God delights in the prayers of the righteous. His people bless Him when they pray. God doesn’t view our prayers as a type of inconvenience as though to say, “Oh great it’s him again.” Quite the opposite, because when we pray He delights and is overcome with joy that we are approaching Him with our deepest burdens.

One of my favorite parables that Jesus taught was that of the woman who came to the unjust judge asking for justice in Luke 18:1-8. Jesus’ point in teaching was that if the unjust judge was willing to grant justice to the widow because of her persistence, how much more will our Father in Heaven grant our requests to us if we persistently approach Him because He is loving and just.

So, why don’t we pray like God is willing to grant our requests? Why do we often not realize that God is like any good parent whose desire is to satisfy His children with good things? What big things are you praying for that would be impossible if God did not intercede? Who are you regularly praying for regarding salvation and their relationship with Christ? What is stopping you? What do you really have to lose?

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