LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY
Ps 119:32: “I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart.”
2 Cor 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Ps 55:22: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.”
It is very difficult to pray. The apostles knew this and asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). The Lord rebuked them when they failed to persevere in prayer, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? (Mark14:37). There is a frustrating mystery of prayer. It is to know exactly what to pray for. There is a natural lack of intuition, direction, and conviction in prayer which the Holy Spirit promises to provide, “The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26-27).
When we have trouble knowing what to pray for, the Spirit of God gives the thoughts, burdens, and petitions we need to bring to God. Keep your daily devotions spirit-driven and you will find a thousand petitions flowing from your heart with ease and joy. Prayers that begin with faith in Christ usually end with the confidence of being heard and the grace to wait for the answer.
-Joseph M. Jacowitz (www.christbiblechurch.org)
TOGETHER IN MY NAME
Matt 18:19-20: “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
Jesus manifests His presence in a special way when two or more of His disciples meet to pray. Here are a few thoughts about the application of this text:
(1) There must be agreement between the praying partners, (2) We must pray together in the Name of Christ. What Jesus affirms here is repeated many times in His teachings: John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:24, (3) That for which we ask must be believed. Here is real faith, the confidence that prayer will be answered. The promise is that if we ask in agreement with the will of God, we know that the request is granted (1 John 5:14-15).
What unspeakable joy! A confidence multiplied as believers’ prayer and believe together. ~ Pastor Joe Jacowitz
Prayer is everything to God
Isaiah 56:7: “Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”.
Prayer is everything to God. It is a barometer of a believer’s spiritual life, and a test of a church’s love. Most churches that begin well in prayer find it enormously difficult to maintain consistency and zeal in prayer for the long term. How can we overcome the snares that hinder prayer? Is private and corporate prayer on your priority list? In the above text, insight is provided into God’s burden for a praying people:
1) Because God is always drawing us to prayer, and back to prayer when we wander, “I will bring”, (2) the best preparation for prayer is walking in holiness “to My holy mountain”, (3) the personal effect of prayer, “make them joyful”, (4) the results of Spirit assisted and Christ mediated prayer are the acceptance of our worship and fruitfulness in our service, “their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My alter”, and (5) prayer points to God’s main interest in organic fellowship and inner communion with Him rather than external rituals, “for My house shall be called a house of prayer”.
Prayer is the means for Christians and churches to obey our high callings of: worship, intercession, and holiness, “…you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5). “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work, prayer is the greater work.” (Oswald Chambers). Does your church have a prayer meeting? Will you ask God to strengthen your prayer life? Therefore, press on because there is hope: Jesus “always lives to make intercession for us” (Heb. 7:25). - Pastor Joe Jacowitz