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By: Norm Rasmussen
Every Christian would like to have a more fruitful prayer life. There’s no doubt that God desires that Christians have more fruitful prayer lives. Yet there are times when we’ve prayed, locked in our faith, and the end result was not what we were praying and believing for. Does God delight in keeping Christians confused (and frustrated) regarding their prayer lives? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Notice: God exhorts Christians to pray frequently:
Pray without ceasing. (1 Thess. 5:17)
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, (Ephesians 6:18)
I’ve bolded and highlighted “in the Spirit” because it is CRUCIAL that we understand what God is communicating to us regarding praying “in the Spirit”.
Praying “in the Spirit” means: Praying as the Holy Spirit specifically leads … in any given situation. (It encompasses 1 Corinthians 14:14-15).
Inquiring FIRST of God in how we're to pray and believe about a given matter is praying “in the Spirit”. It is the wisdom of going to the Creator in prayer and simply asking, “Father – here’s the situation I’m dealing with. You already know what my will is in this matter, but I want to remove my own will in this matter and I want ONLY what You determine to be best regarding this situation. Please give me peace – give me clear direction - about how I’m to pray to You about this matter, and how I’m to believe. And help me be patient in all this, as I wait on You."
Inquiring FIRST of God before we pray and begin believing about a certain matter is a clear demonstration on our part that we desire to honor God. If you’ve not thought much about it lately … God DEMANDS to be honored. God might will the very thing to happen that you would like Him to do, yet purposely not allow it to come about, simply because no honor was FIRST given Him in the situation.
Many a Christian has sought God for a healing, but never got that healing, simply because time wasn’t taken to honor God by FIRST inquiring of God about what He thinks about the matter.
Assumption and presumption are two critical reasons why our prayers are often not answered the way we would like. To keep from having our prayers and confidence sabotaged, we need to be extremely wise. Taking the time to inquire FIRST of the Lord about how we’re to pray about a given matter pays huge dividends! God does not want us praying amiss! Praying amiss only chips away at our future confidence in God in our prayer lives, and if there is one thing Satan absolutely loves is Christians continually praying amiss. Praying amiss (which usually means praying selfishly and/or presumptively) will rob your future confidence in believing God to answer your prayers like little else will!
There is a huge line drawn in the spiritual dimension between FAITH and HOPE when it comes to answered prayer. Hope doesn't get many prayers answers. Trust is what moves God to answer our prayers when we pray prayers in accordance with God's will. Active - persistent trust is probably the second most important key to gaining and sustaining a vibrant prayer life. What is the number one most important key (which includes persistent trust, by the way)? To be walking in obedience to all the commands of the New Testament Bible. That means that if we have on-going sin in our life, God tends to not grant favor in our prayer lives. It is God's nature to reward obedience in His people, and withhold favor when we are disobedient ... with one exception. We can pray for the salvation of a lost soul if we're in gross sin and God will STILL use our prayer, somehow - someway. God's concern for loss souls is His top agenda.
A common experience happens every day around this planet. A Christian is stricken with physical ailments, and loved ones are praying and trusting that God is going to heal that person. Perfectly fine … if that is CLEARLY what the Holy Spirit imparted to do in the situation by FIRST inquiring of Him. But what if God has plans for that person in heaven? Are we able to release that person and let God’s BEST unfold in that’s person’s life? Can we get past our pain of having a loved one depart this sin-sick-saturated world and enjoy the joys (and possibly assignments) awaiting that person in heaven?
Not one of us know exactly what is best for another person, (nor ourselves, for that matter) UNTIL we first give God an opportunity to reveal His thoughts to us regarding that person and the situation that is confronting them.
Of course, God is not obligated to reveal to us anything about a given situation if He determines that to be the wisest option. But God will always think well of us in our FIRST inquiring of Him about the matter because again … we have purposed to honor God.
You can quote key scripture passages to yourself, God and others about a given matter and lock in your faith in standing on those key scripture passages … yet not see happen what you’re believing will happen, if you are guilty of not honoring God FIRST in the matter. God DEMANDS to be honored. He DELIGHTS in being consulted FIRST about every given matter we are faced with in this life.
To be given honor, we must continually sow honor FIRST. "Give, and it shall be given unto you."
This I am fully persuaded of. The more we seek God in ways to honor Him in our prayer lives, the more fruitful our prayers will be.
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THE KIND OF PRAYER
GOD HONORS THE MOST