Last night, as I was booting down the day in prayer, I realized something. Something kind of significant. I figured what it said about me just as important as what I actually believed about prayer.
It struck me that while I often pray to stop worrying, I always pray mid-struggle - in the heat of a thought that has run haywire, like a wire with far too much current and no outlet. Now, I won't say by that point it is too late, but I just wonder, why do I wait until that point, rather than getting out in front of it defensively?
Why don't I build an action plan, a game plan and an attack
to beat down worry before it runs wild?
When we fail to prepare with big preemptive prayers, we prepare like paupers.
But, when we prepare in advance, not fearing to ask for massive deliverance,
God prepares our hearts in the unimaginable.
Jesus, he teaches us to pray unrestrained, unbelievable and uncensored prayers. Let's take a look.
1. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16
Getting alone gives our mind the white space it needs to conceptualize life-transforming spiritual needs.
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. Mt 26:39
Jesus was not afraid to ask for big deliverance. Our big God can handle big prayers. In fact, he loves a heart that believes by faith he can do all things. Just ask it!
3. My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done. Mt 26:42
Jesus knew God's will takes precedence over earthly will. When we pray, we should let our heart convey needs, yet trust that God ultimately knows what we best need.
4. And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark. Mk. 1:35
Jesus knew that seeing God first in his day, sets the foundation of a day - in God. When we place our morning eyes on God, he gives our eyes sight on great strength in our day.
5. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Mt. 6:9
Jesus knew who he was talking to, do we? God tells us that the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous can run into it and are safe (Prov 18:10). Do we believe this?
6. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Mt. 6:13
Praying to be delivered from what has not already hit, prevents your feet from getting swept out from under. Jesus teaches us to pray preemptively, and for good reason.
7. I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. Mt. 11:25-26
Jesus praised God for what man could easily find fault with. Praise God for the things you can't understand. When we know that a good God is over our bad problems, we find calm waters.
8. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. Luke 22:32
Jesus knew the value in praying on behalf of faith. May we ask for more faith, so we can walk into the unseen with power, authority and courage, just like Jesus.
9. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:9
Jesus prayed for his beloved children. Let's pray that our heart, and the heart of all God's children, will endure, stay pure and persevere together until the end, for this is God's will for us.
10. Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34
Jesus forgave when he could have cursed the world for his breath labored pain and agony. He didn't. Let's forgive those who cause us pain and agony, for what we will find is that forgiveness is what ends up causing us far less pain in the long run.
Prayer is our power!
It is our power.
It is our strength.
It is our direct connection to the greatest ruler of this earth.
It is our cosmic shift from selfish plans to God's plans.
It is our ability to be an influencer, a pleader and a worker in a kingdom that counts.
It is our ticket to our greatest needs being met in awe inspiring ways.
It is our hope that confirms to our heart we have a hope.
It is our peace that the creator is still creating.
It is our power found in uplifted hands and in the quietness of a solitary room.
It is our ability to call the Great Physician to a family member in need.
It is our emergency exit door for what the devil has already cooked up to destroy us.
It is our greatest weapon in a world that is building bigger and bigger weapons.
It is our lifeline when we feel we have lost all life.
It was one of Jesus' greatest tools,
shouldn't it be ours too?
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Originally published Wednesday, 01 February 2017.