Jack Hayford’s great book from 1977 reminds us of the significance of prayer as well as the power source.
“If believers will come in prayer to Jesus – who alone is accredited as the official baptizer-with-the-Holy-Spirit – they will receive the timeless promise of divine enablement (Acts 2:39). They will not earn this experience with prayer, but they will receive it through prayer. And while faith is the instrument by which all God’s provision is reached for, experience is the criterion for judging whether faith has been effective.” (Pg 35)
It seems to me that:
We must DECLARE what we have received and then function with this awesome weapon in our lives. If we handle a weapon correctly, learning its power and care, it will be useful against all enemies. Prayer is designed to restore a Kingdom of love, grace, mercy and intimacy to all – not to allow the enemy to restrict us from our rightful relationship with the King.
The Bible says in II Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:.”
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must; but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow;
You might succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit;
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
A long time ago, I heard of a minister preaching the same sermon for several weeks in a row. Finally, one of the elders came to him and asked him why he was so insistently preaching the very same sermon week after week. He was greatly disturbed that something fresh was not being shared in the sermons and felt it his obligation to make the minister aware of his error. The minister graciously received his questioning words of correction and replied, “I will keep preaching the same message until I see that you have heard and received it and begin to practice the admonitions of the Scripture.
What would happen if instead of looking for something new, something to tickle our ears, to pacify our troubled hearts, we began to practice what we have already know? The truth is I have heard in my five decades of life, far more than I can ever put into practice. Actually, all that I have heard could be part of my character if I would choose obedience to that which I know.
Several years ago, I asked my worship pastor what I should do when I know the destination but not how to get there. We commiserated for a while as I knew what I desired was to be understood and to have someone offer a game plan for my next steps. I even called that season in my life “the dilemma of the pickup sticks.” I wanted to remove some things in my life but all of the various troubles interwove in such a fashion that one could not be removed without disturbing others. I did not know what to do.
But at that very time, there was a message being shared by a variety of speakers, a very simple message. “Obedience is doing the very next thing God asked of me.”” Our minds created by an infinite God are complex and astounding but they are no match for the processing capability of the Creator’s mind Himself. And His words were basic, “Do not be afraid, be of good courage, take my yoke upon me, trust in me.” Instead, we want an alternative…not unexpected but with great consequences dealing with a lack of peace and joy in our lives.
So my question today is, what would happen if we did the very next thing God asked us to do as an act of obedience and trust? Would the world be a different place? I think so. God has much to share with us. It is His delight. He is waiting for us to do the next thing.
Be blessed His children.