DOES GOD WANT ME FRUSTRATED WITH PRAYER?
(By: Norm Rasmussen)
Do YOU believe God wants us frustrated and discouraged with prayer? No! But I know who does. His name starts with an 'S', and no - it's not Superman.
Here are some truths about prayer Satan doesn't want you reminded of:
Prayer keeps us from losing spiritual heart for things important to God. Then He (Jesus) spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. - Luke 18:1
When we grow apathetic and cold in prayer, we grow apathetic and cold about witnessing; be used of God to bless others in the name of Christ; become easier tempted to sin; grow more distant with God and our desire to please Him. Don't let the devil steal your heart for pleasing God! It has both serious earthly and eternal ramifications.
Prayer is a mighty, much needed spiritual weapon. Don't EVER forget that. When we don't see God grant us personal things we would like Him to grant us in our time frame, or the way we are expecting Him to answer, we tend to let that frustrate and discourage us in our prayer lives. Satan works hard at trying to keep us focused on our discouragement in prayer. When you force yourself to keep remembering at all times that PRAYER IS A SPIRITUAL WEAPON TO BE USED CONSTANTLY, you won't become nearly as discouraged or doubtful with prayer.
Prayer releases God's power over evil. We are in a spiritual battle with the spirits of darkness working through people, and to walk in any degree of victory over evil in our lives, we have to fight with SPIRITUAL weapons. God didn't give His people spiritual weapons to stick in a closet to collect dust. He gave them to us to USE, because He knew we would need them to experience any degree of peace and joy (not to mention our effectiveness against evil) in this life!
Christians who are not regularly - DAILY - asking God to protect them and their loved ones from evil sadly have NO CLUE the vicious spiritual battle they are engaged in. Matthew 6:13 is NOT a verse of scripture you want to read over lightly nor disregard: Not if you're WISE. If God never told us to pray to "keep us from temptation and to keep us from evil" - then we could assume He would just automatically do so without us having to play any part in the matter, correct? Yet Matthew 6:13 tells us just the opposite! We do play a HUGE part in God's protecting us and our loved ones from evil by praying frequently!
Prayer releases heavenly Father assigned, Holy Spirit warhead tipped, angelic powered "missiles" from heaven. Angels are highly trained - amply equipped soldiers of God assigned to work on our behalf. Prayer moves God to both directly intervene as well as assign angels to help us fight this battle of good and evil. Can you envision myriads and myriads of angels standing with arms folded behind them, patiently waiting for God to dispatch them to earth on assignment, but God saying nothing to them until sufficient prayer to God is FIRST offered from earth to move God to dispatch them? Think about it ... could it be that until prayer is offered and persisted in - little or no help from heaven is given?
God has given followers of Jesus Christ His authority to help subdue evil on this planet. His authority, not His power. None of us are powerful enough in our own efforts to stop much, if any evil. It is only through GOD'S power that evil is truly subdued. Thus when Christians pray, we are asking and trusting God to release His will and power into the battle of good and evil over the human race. You and I may not 'feel' like praying on our down days, but if we're WISE and truly love God and want to be pleasing to Him, we'll quit giving into our 'feelings' (usually of doubt; lies that God won't respond to our prayers -- and sometimes simply because we are battle weary from discouragement, which we all struggle with from time to time, and God understands, which is why we need to be sensitive to Christ's soldiers in need and lift them up with encouragement and prayer when they are experiencing "battle weariness") on the matter of prayer and do our part in helping God execute His will regarding evil.
By the way -- what gives us the right in assuming God will have others do all the praying? Have we ever considered that maybe NO ONE is praying for the lost soul of our next door neighbor, and that maybe God is expecting you and I to? Gulp.
In an important sense, prayer truly demonstrates to God our need for Him ... and that's a very important matter (Especially when it comes to motivating God to increase His blessings and favor in our lifes). People who struggle with prayer more than likely have lost focus on just how much they realize they need God. People who struggle with prayer are sadly people who are struggling in some capacity with God. God does not want us struggling with Him. He wants us to be at peace with Him and our confidence in Him at extreme maximized levels so we can trust our conversation with Him MATTERS, and MATTERS GREATLY!
Prayer is given to us by God to help develop and maintain our intimacy with Him. Afterall, He DOES want to be our very best friend. You can't have intimacy with someone you can't (or refuse to) communicate with. Prayer is our phone line with God. He never hangs up on His end. It's us who hangs up on Him, or chooses to talk with Him non-stop. Thus prayer is a very accurate gauge that measures the QUALITY of our love for Him - our trust in Him. People who constantly pray selfish prayers demonstrate that they love God conditionally. People who pray unselfish prayers demonstrate that they love God unconditionally. God longs to be loved by us unconditionally. Who of US don't want to be loved by Him and loved by others unconditionally?
Prayer allows us to participate in God's works. Prayer can release God's will and influence into a given situation, when He may keep from directly releasing His will and influence otherwise. We know God can do anything He decides to do. Yet is it possible God would maybe like to execute a miracle on our behalf, yet unless we are willing to spiritually and emotionally fight for it in prayer and patient trust (faith), we may never see that miracle manifest in our situation or situations that involves others?
Does God need our help? YES! He has entrusted to His Church (individual Christians) His authority over evil spirits and mankind to work with Him to execute His will both for the human race, and ultimately crush Satan under His feet and under the Church's feet (because the Church is His visible army on this planet). Because God has made us co-heirs with Him, He expects each of us to do our part on this planet to help expand His kingdom rule in the lives of people. Prayer plays a crucial role in bringing that about.
Prayer grants us the privilege of experiencing God. Through prayer we obtain an experiential basis for our faith. We do not ignore the intellect or reasons for faith, but prayer makes our experience of God real on an emotional level. Satan is ruthless in doing everything He can do to keep us from experiencing God in our everyday lives, because once we reach that place more and more, Satan knows we will now become a much greater threat to His operations on this planet.
God created us to have free will. He wants us to come to Him willingly and not as robotic creations. He has given us a mind to make decisions and the most important decision is about eternity. Even though He knows the future, we don't know the future choices we will make. It's important to live by His guidance to make the right choices.
Answered prayer is a potential witness. If our prayer is answered in a dynamic way, it can serve as a potential witness for those who doubt. Furthermore, it helps maintain and even helps build our own personal faith in God. And perhaps most important of all, answered prayer brings glory to Him. Afterall, that is our ultimate purpose for being created by Him in the first place, to forever look for ways to bring Him glory.
Prayer strengthens the bonds between believers. We can talk to and give counsel to someone until they grow weary of us talking, which is sometimes necessary, but there's something that transcends our human comprehension when we'll take the time to pray Holy Spirit directed prayer with a person. Mere talk with another person is simply a two-way conversation. When you pray for that person, it involves THREE persons, and the third person (God) you invited to the conversation has the power to bring about change that no amount of mere talking could ever accomplish!
Prayer fulfills emotional needs. Do we need God through prayer? Yes! We were made to function best, emotionally, in a prayerful relationship with God.It has be said, "God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other."
"When I was growing up, I found prayer very boring. It's because it just seemed like an endless stream of meaningless words to me. However, when I truly understood what prayer meant (that it's speaking to God with complete honesty, without any kind of masks or worrying about how and what you talk), my whole perspective about prayer changed. Prayer today is not a burdensome task that I have to complete everyday, but a joyful time I spend with my Lord. It's such a privilege to be able to talk to the King of Kings; to share my innermost thoughts, my deepest desires! However, this privilege came at a price. Jesus Christ died on the cross for me, for my sins, just so that I could enter the throne of God's grace with confidence. So is it for you!" - Priya Johnson
In closing ... there can be any number of different hindrances to a healthy prayer-life with God, but probably the greatest hindrance is the failure of a person to realize that God knows what is BEST for each of us in any given situation, and although we can ask God for specific things ... the WISE Christian has learned to end most of their prayers with (though not always ALL) ... "Nevertheless Lord - not my will, but YOUR wise will in this matter be done, because I have full trust that you will answer my prayer in the way YOU decide is best, and not necessarily the way I think it should be answered."
Hopefully, this writing has given you some insights into WHY Satan wants you to stay frustrated and discouraged with prayer, and God uses it to get you back into greater intimacy with our heavenly Father. Satan knows lack of intimate prayer separates you from God. It doesn't separate God from you ... it separates you from GOD ... your spirit's life source.
And a nutritionally depleted and/or starving spirit causes one's emotional state of mind and physical body to become much more vulnerable to Satan's devices/attacks against them.
Is it any wonder God has told us to?: "Pray without ceasing." - (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
PLEASE HELP US HELP YOU SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON BECAUSE...
JESUS DID IT! and...
Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)