Step Right Up! Prayer Wimp to Prayer Warrior!
Spiritual lust–‘I must have it at once’–causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God himself who gives the answer. Is today ‘the third day’ and He has still not done what I expected? Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get a hold of God, not of the answer.
I believe that mighty men and women of prayer truly do “get a hold of God.” If this statement is accurate then I believe a question is warranted. “If this is so, then do they possess some golden nugget of truth or a piece of the gospel puzzle that the rest of us ‘recovering prayer wimps’ don’t have?”
The answer to this question is most assuredly NO…but it does come with a clarification. These mighty men and women of prayer perceive their own desperate need for God’s Spirit to embolden and enliven their hearts to pray! These “prayer warriors” understand 2 vitally important truths that cannot be passed over or brushed aside if there is any hope for the aforementioned “ prayer wimps” to become “prayer warriors” themselves.
First of all, these “prayer warriors” see the immense value of prayer, understanding that praying in deep, abiding ways increases their faith. And secondly, men and women of much prayer wholeheartedly and unabashedly trust God without an inkling of doubt, believing that He is ready and willing to answer their requests.
This doesn’t mean that they’ve never dealt with disappointment in their lives or a “non-answer” from God. Many of the most godly prayers I’ve ever known have gone through intense seasons of suffering! But they don’t question God’s goodness or favor if they don’t get the answer they think they deserve. Their faith and trust in the providential care of a Savior who loves them and is near to their brokenheartedness draws them closer and deeper still to the only One who can sustain them in the first place. They look to God and the joy of being intimate with Him, rather than only looking at the request they need answered. There’s a huge difference in those two!
Recall, if you will, that the Lord listens to the prayers of the righteous (Jms 5:16; Pr. 15:29). And He is longsuffering and attentive to the needs of His people (The Israelites in the O.T., people. ‘Nuf said!). But we find rest, contentment, and satisfaction in our hearts/lives when we focus on the beautiful reciprocal relationship we have with the Almighty God, NOT just on the needs of the moment.
So here’s how this can be intensely practical for you and me. Begin today to focus on the Lord who delights to answer your petitions. Don’t continue to focus on the requests themselves that need answers. When we are theocentric and others-centered in our prayer life our hearts begin to change, we become less anxious about the answers, and oddly enough, we really start to enjoy the peace and fellowship we have in God’s presence (Phil. 4:6). This kind of praying gives us increased boldness and assurance that our loving God really will answer our requests and supply our every need. This, in turn, develops more and more confidence within our hearts and should excite us to no end to hear what God has to say to us! Now we have the makings of a true “prayer warrior.”
I’m beginning to realize that being a “prayer warrior” has little to do with the number of hours I spend locked away in my study crying out to God. It has more to do with the condition of my heart and whether I trust God to the point that, whatever the answer, He is still sovereign and Lord of my life. My faith is made stronger in the presence of my Savior…hmmmn, that sounds familiar! Take your requests to the King of Kings today with no other motive than to be in His presence and enjoy His companionship. And watch, then, how He transforms your life of prayer for your good and His ultimate glory. Pray on, friends!
Clayton J. Elliott
Pastoral Ministries and Prayer, Kontaktmission USA clay@GoKMUSA.org (731) 217-1741
Here are two recent prayer requests from KM missionaries.
KM missionaries working in South Sudan ask “Please pray for the safety of the teachers and student at Nile Bible College in Juba, South Sudan and for an end to the civil war so the school can open again. Please pray that I will be able to go back to South Sudan soon to build up the church through theological training.”
Willi and Katharina Löwen (KM coordinator for former Soviet countries) based in Horn-Bad Meinberg, Germany. We thank God that more and more congregations in Eastern Europe and Asia are interested in sending missionaries. Since the beginning of this year we have been able to help some congregations in Russia with this. At the end of March we will be helping congregations in central Asia. We are just beginning, but we trust in God’s leading.